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My Top Four Outdoor Spaces to Study & Unwind

Though finals season may have you hunkered down in a library, studying for hours on end, spring is upon us. Personally, I can’t stand to stay inside once the weather starts hitting the 60s after weeks of freezing cold. Being too restless to soak up some sunlight may hinder my concentration and productivity, but an appropriate mix of time outdoors and intense studying at WALC is definitely more beneficial than no fresh air or movement. If you’re feeling claustrophobic studying in a library on a beautiful spring day, some time outside is just what you need to reset. Here are some of my go-to spots around campus when I want to study in the sun or completely clear my mind after a long day of stressing out:

  1. Engineering Mall Lawn (by the Engineering Fountain, ME building, and MSEE)

This spot is super convenient because of how close it is to my classes and the Starbucks in the MSEE building. It’s got a nice patch of grass to lay out on and study (I can usually catch some wifi from the surrounding buildings) or to throw a frisbee around with friends. There are a few good trees to sit against or nap under if you’re looking for shade.

  1. Horticulture Park

This area is just at the edge of campus but can feel like you’ve gone into a totally different world. When you want to really reset and clear your head after a long study session, this is a good spot to go. There are plenty of trees for hammocking, as well as paths to take a relaxing stroll.

  1. Happy Hollow

The name is very fitting, Happy Hollow never fails to lift my spirits. You can take a stroll through the hollow – which I’m convinced is home to some fairies – or hang out in the park/playground area. There are some spots to hammock as well. It’s nice seeing families there and watching the kids play around – or playing there yourself. It makes me nostalgic, because it feels like being a kid again, playing at my park back home. Being a bit further from campus, there aren’t many students around, making it a perfect quiet spot for a picnic. Overall, really nice vibes and definitely worth the longer walk to go check it out.

  1. Clapping Circle

Though the clapping circle is usually more crowded than I would like, it is a pretty convenient spot if you want to study outside. I usually like studying at the Union or the HSSE library in Stewart, so it’s just a quick walk there if I want to take a breather. Similarly, if I’m studying at the clapping circle, it’s just a quick walk to PMU to grab a bite to eat or the HSSE library to print some notes out.

I know finals are important and stressful for us all, but spring is my favorite season, and nothing is worth wasting it by staying inside the whole time. Especially when being cooped up instead of enjoying the warmer weather will probably do more harm than good. Even if studying outside is too distracting for you, it’s still the best place to be when you’re taking a study break. Another great thing about studying outside is being able to work with a group of friends and not worrying about disturbing the people around you. I hope these spots give you some ideas for where to take your next study session or break, and good luck on your finals!

Katherine Raykova is a junior at Purdue University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and English Literature. She is originally from the suburbs of Detroit, MI. In her free time, Katherine enjoys gardening, reading, and studying astrology & tarot.
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