By Ashton Pike
To college students, the beginning stages of fall in mid-September typically signal that midterms are right around the corner, and most students’ facial expressions are an accurate depiction of their internal stress. During these times when it is near impossible to stay positive while simultaneously pulling all-nighters and consuming ones weight in caffeine, the cooler weather brings some new aspects to campus life that make the stress a little more bearable, if only for a moment. So as the temperatures approach numbers that do not involve having to decide if it is worth the risk to wear a gray t-shirt, students find themselves actually beginning to enjoy the walks to class without the worry of dreaded backpack sweat. It is times like these when taking the scenic route to class is just the thing one needs to boost their mood from the pressures of being a full-time student.
If you bleed red and black and do not have a fear of an immense amount of stairs, the bridge connecting the fifth floor of the Tate Student Center and the second floor of the Miller Learning Center provides one of those views that could give any Bulldawg goosebumps. “Walking past Sanford Stadium on a beautiful day is something that is even better than I imagined as a kid. I’m always in awe of the stadium; it makes me feel a part of something bigger than myself, and I feel so proud to go to school at UGA,” said Parker Greenway, a junior biology major from Snellville. On the way to class, this spot offers a truly breathtaking sight with a view of the huge, concrete sign that reads ‘Sanford Stadium’ in large, carved-out letters. The students passing are not dressed in all red and standing in the sacred student section, but rather they remain outside the gates, leaving Sanford vacant and hypnotizing to the eye of a true fan, making it well worth the extra time and extra stairs.
If Sanford Stadium is the number one location in every students’ heart, North Campus is probably a close second. The squirrels roaming through the grass have become a part of UGA, just without the semesterly tuition payments, and the fountain by Herty Field can be found on essentially every students’ Snapchat story as school commences. “I truly don’t know what it is, but walking by the fountain calms me. I’m super obsessed with Georgia Football and Herty Field was where the first UGA game was ever played, and I love being able to ponder on the rich history that UGA has,” said Meleigha Millman, a junior marketing and sport management double major from Lawrenceville. Along with the sight of Downtown Historic Athens lining the horizon, these factors make North Campus a prime location to take the long way to class. It gives students the refreshing blast of the vibrant colors and calming sounds of nature, and the emotional Bulldog Pride for their campus to help even the most stressful of weeks become more endurable.
Farther away to the other side of campus, East Campus does not only have one of the most delicious dining halls, but it also has some of the most exquisite sites that make having class on the other end of campus worth the long trek and insanely crowded buses. Behind the Lamar Dodd School of Art, a more secluded pathway lined with stones and surrounded by vibrant greenery is perfect for a moment of relaxation prior to or after class. Elizabeth Rivers, a sophomore furnishings and interiors and consumer economics double major from Atlanta, frequents this long way to class and said, “There’s something about the serenity of being in such a natural and beautiful green-space, but there’s a certain tension because it’s surrounded by buildings and roads, and for a moment you feel secluded and the stress of school is at least briefly alleviated.”
By taking fifteen or more hours, being a part of a campus organization, working a part-time job or participating in an internship, it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day and that there is zero time for relaxation with everything that is on your to-do list for the week, but every now and then, it is important to just stop – whatever it is that you are doing that seems too important to put off any longer – and just look around. Sam Batson, a junior genetics major from Lilburn, said, “Sometimes it takes me seeing the trees standing still to know that my life isn’t really crashing around me, and everything is still okay.” Instead of having a facial expression and fast-paced walk that blatantly portrays the loss of sanity from the stream of lists of things to do running through your mind, slow down the pace, look up and look around, and absorb the beauty that is the University of Georgia.