The sun is out; the flowers are blooming; it finally doesn’t feel like a polar vortex whenever you step outside. Spring is arriving in State College! These warm and sunny days are a welcome change for students who have spent the last couple of months cooped up in their dorms or apartments because of the weather and limited in-person classes.
Warmer weather means more opportunities for students to venture outside their apartments and spend time outdoors. Whether you do so with friends or by yourself, getting outside for even a small portion of the day and soaking up some much-needed vitamin D will be beneficial for both your mental and physical health.
If you want to get outside but still need to focus on your classes or assignments, don’t worry; some of the best study spots on campus are outside! There are numerous well-known and hidden spots around campus that provide a nice change of scenery for your studying. VALLEY has a few suggestions for outdoor study spots that you can take advantage of when it’s sunny.
Old Main or HUB Lawn
Go to either of these places on a warm, sunny day and you will see crowds of students playing volleyball, throwing frisbees, suntanning or just hanging out. The lawns are a great place to go with friends for a group study session, or if studying alone works better for you, the lawns are also a good place to sprawl out with a blanket, some headphones and all the study materials you need.
While it is a bit of a walk, the Arboretum is one of the most beautiful places on campus, especially in the spring. The foliage and fresh air provide a nice backdrop to do some serious studying. You can bring a blanket and sit under one of the beautiful trees, or lay out on the lawn. There are also several benches and small tables available around the Arboretum so that you can settle down and get focused.
Hintz Family Alumni Center
One of the best lesser-known study spots on campus is the Hintz Family Alumni Center. Located behind Sackett Building, the Alumni Center has numerous benches, or you can bring a blanket if you’d rather sit and study on the expansive lawn. There is also a little duck pond with benches available so that you can sit and watch the ducks swim about – and sometimes you may even spot a turtle!
The Peace Garden
Situated between Old Main and the HUB, the peace garden provides a quiet spot in between the hustle and bustle of the other lawns on campus. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for someplace a little quieter to get your studying done. With gorgeous trees that overlook the area, the garden is a picturesque place to read a good book or even crack open the textbook you’ve been avoiding all semester.
Each of the housing areas on campus have quads that provide an excellent place to study. You can either sit out on the grass or try and snag one of the tables that sit near the dorm areas. Outside most of the dining commons, there are additional tables that you can take advantage of on sunny days. Penn State has also started putting more tables and chairs outside of certain dorm buildings, which provide a great change of scenery just steps outside your door.
Some honorable mentions for study spaces on campus include the Biobehavioral Health Building, the Business Building, the bridge connecting the Huck Life Sciences and Chemistry Buildings and the Bridge at Westgate. While these spots aren’t outside, they do have large windows that provide amazing views of campus, especially in the spring.
Where’s your favorite outdoor study spot on campus? Tweet us @VALLEYmag and let us know!