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Embracing the Outdoors Without Falling Behind

For the few months a year that Chicago is not bitter cold, it is important to embrace the outdoors. However, with the quarter system, classes are in session until the middle of June, so you are forced to spend the entirety of spring with your head in a book. It is important not to ditch the library every day to go hang out at the beach, but it is just as important to allow yourself to see the sun every now and again. To survive the spring, here are a few places on campus where you can enjoy the sunshine but still be productive.

1. The Lakefill

The second it becomes warmer than 40 degrees, every single Northwestern student heads out to the Lakefill to hang with their friends and, most importantly, post a picture of it on social media. The Lakefill is definitely social, so it can be a bit distracting, but if you head there with your backpack, find a bench or a tree to lean on, and put on headphones, you can get a lot of work done. If you’re feeling it, you can even post a Snapchat story or two of the amazing views.

2. Norris University Center

Contrary to popular belief, there actually is much more to Norris than Starbucks. When it gets warm outside, the tables outside the ground floor and by the garden on the first floor are amazing places to study. Not only do they allow you to study outside, but the view of the Lakefill is definitely easy on the eyes. And if you need a study break, you’re only a few feet away from that iced vanilla latte you so desperately need for a caffeine boost.

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

3. Anywhere with Natural Light

On days when it gets too hot to do all your studying outside, all you really need is a window to brighten your day. The periodicals section of the library is a great place to concentrate, but it tends to get a bit dark. Instead, try an area with a little more lighting, like Core. Or, if you want to venture to north campus, Mudd has a ton of windows and great lighting. Sometimes you just need some natural lighting to brighten your mood.

4. Kellogg Global Hub

You make look a little out of place if you are not dressed the part, but the Kellogg Global Hub is one of the most beautiful buildings on campus. And the best part is that it has a ton of natural light. If you choose to sit on the steps right in the middle of the building, your view is of the lake and the city. If you choose to go a little higher, you have a view of Lakeside Field and of the lake. Anywhere you go in that building, the amazing views will remind you of the beautiful spring weather.

Northwestern has so many great places to study, but it is important to change up your go-to places when the outdoors becomes an option. Chicago is known for its harsh winters, but don’t forget how amazing the spring can be.  

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