Written By: Benjamin Alexander Wellman III
A warm spring morning, the fresh air passes my face as I inhale. The smell of pollen illuminates the changing of the seasons. Suddenly, a cool breeze tickles my skin and startles the treetops. Skwaak! A goose lets out a disagreeing holler at another in the gaggle. The hustle and bustle of the passing students almost goes unnoticed to me in my lost world. I gaze at my notes every now and then and occasionally jot down a thought.
I think that my favorite thing about UNF is how absolutely beautiful our campus truly is. Most take it for granted on a daily basis but as I walk past the colorful array of life I can’t help but want to sit down and relax. Some of my favorite spots to just hangout and chill are outside.
One of the best places to sit back and watch life happen while you study or wait for class is on one of the benches by the green, particularly under shade. This spot is great for a peaceful outdoor sitting when the weather is nice. Oftentimes it is calm and there are people playing games or eating lunch. Sometimes there is a crazy man that rants about various religious topics, it’s quite hilarious really. Other times it’s at capacity with news crews, candidates, supporters and protestors full of questions, concerns and urgency. There is always something going on at the green. I feel like a fly on the wall when I sit on that bench.
Another great outdoor hangout is in the bamboo garden, or at least that’s what I call it. It’s the pathway and garden between buildings: 39A, 4, and 1. The bamboo trees are strikingly high. The mini-pathways lead to a select few benches that are secluded but you’ll be lucky if they’re untaken. There, you are covered in a perfect spatter of chopped up light. Also a perfect place to enjoy the quiet as there is really only one other bench and not much else going on. This area is great if you like small nooks, hidden from the busy hustle and bustle.
The Starbucks patio on the side of the library is a great place to enjoy your coffee and review your notes before that test if you are not so into nature but like the outdoors. The same goes for any patio outside at the Student Union, particularly the Boat House patio on the second floor. When it is cool outside the patio outside of Sbarro’s Pizza is very nice. These areas are great if you’re looking to socialize with friends or form study groups. These areas are also great if you want to be outside but need a good table to spread your mess out on.
It is certainly no doubt that UNF has many areas available to students to relax, study, socialize or just hangout and these are just a few of the outdoor areas on campus I enjoy. There are many wonderful aspects of our well-cared for school and UNF’s commitment to beautification does not go unnoticed. Thankfully UNF can keep up with my high demand for new outdoor stimuli and is constantly adding new areas for me to explore. And that is what I love most about our school; it truly is a beautiful campus.