The Pleasures of the Outdoors

Opinions_Dembkoski Nature_Ginevra Walker

Flickr / Ginevra Walker

Kaetlyn Dembkoski
Staff Writer

There are some factors that come with considering which college is the best choice. Can it be grades, names and achievements of professors or awards that the school has accumulated? While many colleges around the country focus their efforts solely on maintaining high academic achievement or looking the best in terms of online reviews, some of those colleges fall short on looking good when considering the campus in general.

This does not mean the buildings or the roads, but instead the wildlife and nature around the campus. One of the factors that drew me to UNCG was the beautiful campus, from the gardens situated everywhere to the copious amounts of trees planted along the main roadways.

Despite the numerous locations by which we have access to the outdoors, even beyond the trees and shrubbery we pass while walking to class, many students do not actively venture out towards nature. As students, we most often find ourselves too busy to take the time to go to places like the Greensboro Arboretum or even to the gardens surrounding the music building.

Those who do not take advantage of the beautiful landscape around campus are greatly missing out on benefits nature offers us, especially as classes begin to get more difficult as the school year progresses. Nature freely gives everyone around it many relaxing and calming aspects that are not the same with any other man-made luxury.

For one, nature is a space that can instill a sense of not only beauty but calmness. Nature takes the bustling frenzy of our world at school and quiets it for a period of time. Rather than drowning in schoolwork and exams, the outdoors lets your brain relax and cool down from the craziness that it has had to deal with just by walking around for a bit.

While the events in the outdoors sound commonplace, like birds scavenging for sticks or squirrels scampering around for food, these simple things give our brains time to destress in trying times, such as starting new classes. This is not to say that nature is the only means of relaxing, but instead is one possible outlet. Everyone has the ability to sleep, meditate or do something else low maintenance.

Most campuses around the United States would benefit from adding a greater variety of wildlife to their walkways. Unlike other campuses, UNCG has prioritized much of their time to make their campus look as physically appealing as its classes, buildings and students are to the academic landscape of the school. Taking advantage of your surroundings is incredible easy. We simply need to look around as we walk to class to experience it.

Whether you are new to campus or just do not get out very often, there might be many locations where UNCG has created miniature gardens are all over campus that are new to you. There is the Japanese-themed wildlife environment surrounding the music building, where you can find two bridges, a runover fountain with fish inside and numerous bamboo plants.

Over in the Bryan School’s courtyard, there is a serene location with benches, tables and diverse types of flowers and bushes. Even venturing out to Foust Park, the plant life flourishes around the paved walkways of graduate’s names. This is just a taste of the vast locations that the campus has populated with nature.

It may sound cliché, but with classes just getting in the swing of things, taking a short walk, watching the animals scurry around or even just sitting outside on a bench watching the leaves fall can calm and soothe our rampant minds while we take a break from working. The wonderous thing about nature’s interaction with us is that we do not have to force it to happen; simply going outside once in awhile allows the outdoors to have its effect on us.

We do not need to constantly work. Even though other tasks may require a period of time allotted to them, due to nature’s continuous interaction with us, we cannot avoid it and can return the gesture simply by stopping for a moment and opening your senses to nature’s beauty. So, the next time you need a break from your troubles and work, step outside for a bit, take a seat and let nature do its work on you.

Categories: Columns, Opinions


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