Beautiful outdoor spots on campus


Patrick Li

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is hosting a free screening of “Seeing the Beginning of Time” at the Savoy 16 theater Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. Following the film, a group of panelists will be leading a discussion.

By Andrea Flores, Longform Editor

It sounds incredibly cheesy, but the beauty on this campus never ceases to amaze me, even after three years here. When the weather is nice, I love to spend my days studying and hanging out with friends, soaking up as much sun as possible.

I wasn’t always like that though. During my freshman year, I spent a lot of time shut-in my dorm room, binge-watching Netflix in bed.

As relaxing as those lazy days were, something I would change about my freshman year is how I spent my free time, and I would trade those lazy days for days spent in some of the most beautiful places on campus. 

Our campus has so much beautiful nature to offer. Here are some of my favorite outdoor locations that everyone needs to check out:

The Main Quad, the South Quad, the Bardeen Quad, etc.

Before you call me basic, have you ever stopped on your way to class, stood in the middle of any of these Quads and just soak it all in? Even though most of us rush through any of these Quads on a daily basis, these are locations that need to be taken advantage of when the sun is shining, whether you lay out a blanket and study with friends, bring a picnic for a first date or quietly enjoy a cup of coffee. I will definitely miss these spots when I’m no longer at Illinois, since they’re such a staple of our campus.

The Arboretum in Urbana

In sixth grade, I took a field trip to an arboretum in the Chicago suburbs and it was probably one of the lamest field trips I ever went on. But the arboretum in Urbana is the opposite. Campus can get fairly busy at times and the arboretum is one of my favorite places for some peace and quiet. And it’s pretty great to just be surrounded by trees and nature; it’s a big change of pace compared to all the cornfields we’re surrounded by.

The Hallene Gateway

The grand entrance to the University is the Hallene Gateway at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Illinois Street in Urbana. Unknown to many students, the Hallene Gateway was originally the entrance to University Hall. The gateway has a great story for those willing to listen. In addition, the area surrounding it is beautiful. It sits on the edge of campus where many students are reluctant to venture off to. On a nice day, taking a walk around the alumni center area is serene. There are a lot of grassy spaces to sit down and read a book or listen to the sound of the large fountain.

The Round Dairy Barns

These historic barns are over 100 years old and were instrumental in popularizing round barns all over Illinois. The barns were the inspiration of Wilbur J. Fraser, the very first department head of Dairy Husbandry. Now, these barns are a great campus landmark and a piece of University history. If you get a chance, walk out to Urbana and visit the barns to learn a little bit more about their great history.

I’m definitely missing some spots, but these are just some of my favorite locations. Our huge campus has so much to offer, and I hope you now take advantage of these beautiful areas while the weather is still nice out. Being Illinois, it will, unfortunately, be winter before we know it.

Andrea is a senior in Media.

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