It’s official. The breezy spring air has finally drifted into College Park, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Birds are singing, the sky is clearing, and there are even a few tulips budding outside my front door. Of course, we all know how sporadic Maryland weather can be (this time tomorrow you might be trudging through snow on the way to class, and I’ll be sitting here with my foot in my mouth), but from the looks of it, springtime isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take full advantage of this gorgeous weather. Especially in College Park, where most of the school year is tainted with blustery winds, bitter air, or heat that will melt your backpack right off your shoulders, it’s best to enjoy the short spring season for all it’s worth.
I think it’s fair to admit that College Park isn’t the most unique of cities. Let’s face it, we’re home to pretty much every chain restaurant and convenience store in the country (Starbucks, Chipotle, Noodles, Subway, the occasional tattoo parlor or Hair Cuttery…I mean, come on).
The frosty days of winter and the sizzling heat of summer only accentuate College Park’s biggest vices – strong winds straight out of the Wizard of Oz, heavy traffic, angry drivers and even angrier walkers. But there’s something about the brief months of spring that transform this place from a traffic-congested hotspot into a livable, breathable, lovable community. There’s no doubt about it, spring has a thing for this city. And now, a few of spring’s favorite things to look out for as College Park slowly thaws back to life.
1. The Scenery
It may be difficult to see during winter when everything is dead and brown, but our campus is actually jam-packed with trees. They hover over the sidewalks, line McKeldin Mall, and sprout up randomly around buildings and dormitories. Once spring is in full bloom, take a walk down the side of the Mall and look up at the flowering green archways that hang above you. It’s like a scene right out of a romantic movie, you won’t want to miss it.
2. The People
It’s hard to explain why, but the campus always seems so much fuller once the weather gets warmer. People are outside throwing Frisbees, napping by the fountains, playing music. Everyone gets much more creative with their free time during spring. There’s something about this season that brings people out of their shells, and it’s an inspiring thing to watch as you walk to class or sit down to do your homework. Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to land a front row seat at an impromptu Quidditch match.
3. The Attitude
As the warm spring air wafts into College Park, it carries warm feelings with it, and scatters them under the noses of every student, professor, and everyone in between. We breathe in spring air and something about us changes. We smile at strangers and wave frantically to people we’ve barely met. We scream our friends’ names at the top of our lungs from across the Mall, just because we want to say “Hi!” People are bright, fresh, and happy. Of course, this is just my theory. But before you dismiss it, step outside on a sunny day and see if the three exams you’re studying for suddenly seem less impossible.