By Milena Nutrobkina, Chemical Engineer, 2020-2021 SCS Student Advising Leader:
It is hard to believe that winter is over, March has passed, and Spring has finally arrived! Spring brings warm weather and the ability to spend time outside. We are also two-thirds of the way done with this semester. Taking both Spring and exams into account, it becomes a great opportunity to study outside. I have provided four well-known, as well as not so well-known, places to study outside below. We will start with locations in the southern part of campus and move north.
• Arboretum: The first location is the arboretum. It is located south of the FAR/PAR residence halls, which is far from the main part of campus, but definitely worth the trip during the Spring. You can study underneath the blooming cherry blossoms during this time of year, or next to the small lake where you can sometimes spot a turtle or two. Throughout the rest of the year, and when there is no pandemic, the arboretum hosts various events at the idea garden, Prairie Hosta Society, and Japan House. These events pose as a resource for students to learn and get engaged with different cultures. Overall, the arboretum provides not only a calming place to focus but also resources to be more culturally aware.
• Lincoln Hall Courtyard: Next, we will move to the main quad. If you do not know yet, there is a secret location in Lincoln Hall that you’re able to sit outside in the comfort of the building. This small, quiet, and beautiful courtyard is located in the north part of the first floor of Lincoln Hall. The courtyard is filled with trees, surrounded by gravel and small boulders, and a couple of stone benches to sit on. This courtyard is essentially soundproof from the interior and the quad. I highly recommend visiting the Lincoln Hall Courtyard to study, eat lunch, or simply relax.
• Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Outside Area: To the east of the main quad lies the Krannert Center. There is a relatively large, multi-level outdoor area attached to the south end of the center. It is also filled with a couple of trees, gravel, and plenty of places to study at. Krannert Center’s outdoor area is nearby to several coffee shops including Café Paradiso, Espresso Royal, and Starbucks. furthermore, in the mornings, you can get donuts or an acai bowl from nearby food trucks. It is a great location for when you have some time between lectures but still want to stay close by to campus.
• Boneyard Creek at Bardeen Quad: Lastly, we will explore the Bardeen Quad. In the middle of the engineering quad, runs the Boneyard Creek, which has stair-like structures surrounding the sides of the river to sit on. Spring is my favorite time to study here. The river has some beautiful trees where you will be able to find a nice, shady spot to study under. Many environmental engineering students study this river to understand the natural phenomenon that applies to other parts of the world. The boneyard creek is also a great spot to put up a hammock, take a midday nap, or observe the ducks and geese!
As Spring proceeds, go outside and explore other areas on and off-campus. There are many wonderful outdoor areas on campus that provide a calm place to focus on exams, essays, and projects. I have enjoyed these study spots throughout my time at the University of Illinois, and I hope you do as well!