Students should take advantage of outdoor study spots

By Alyssa Gautieri

Staring out the window at the shining sun and blooming flowers as you sit in a stuffy classroom with fluorescent lights and white walls — does this scene sound familiar?

I bet you don’t have to imagine this scenario because chances are you’ve experienced it. And if you’re an upperclassman like me, you’ve experienced it too many times.

As the semester’s end approaches, students have a harder time focusing during class. While the craving for a break from schoolwork plays a large role, the desire for sunlight and fresh air also has a lot to do with student’s lack of concentration in the classroom.

As finals near, excessive amounts of schoolwork begin to pile up. With little to no free time, I only get to spend the quick 10 minutes in between classes enjoying the fresh air and the scent of blossoming flowers.

We all know that natural light and fresh air can help keep us awake and allow us to better concentrate, so why don’t we take advantage of the College’s many outdoor study areas?

As students, we should all make more of an effort to utilize the campus’ outdoor seating.

I know what you’re thinking: You have no time!

Well, for students constantly on the go, having class outside is the most convenient way to spend some time outdoors.

In order to increase productivity and improve students’ health, professors need to start embracing the spring weather and hold more classes outside.

Benches around Lake Sylva, Bliss Hall and Green Lawn, picnic tables surrounding the Library and open grass field in the Science Complex — the campus has outdoor seating scattered across campus to support studying outside, yet most professors are against it.

Every spring I ask my professors to bring us outside, and I usually get the same response: “Students will be too distracted outside of the classroom.” I would argue the exact opposite, though.

Alumni Grove is a great outdoor study spot. (tcnj.edu)

Students appreciate the change of scenery and are likely to focus more among the campus’ nature. Instead of being in a sweaty and unstimulating classroom, students will be able to take a deep breath of clean air and concentrate on their professor’s lesson with a clear mind.

For professors who choose to take my advice, students will also appreciate your flexibility. On the rare occasion that my professors have agreed to take my class outside — which has happened three times in three years — my respect for those professors drastically increased.

Professors that are willing to take their students outside for a class period prove that they care about their students’ well-being.

I understand that most lessons require technology, and professors use that as a valid excuse to avoid outdoor classes. But has our world become so technology-driven that we cannot spend even a portion of a class period enjoying the scenic environments the campus has to offer?

Every professor — whether teaching chemistry, mathematics or marketing — can make the effort to bring their students outside for at least a half an hour at some point throughout the semester.

If just one professor reads this and is motivated to bring their students outside — or one student is encouraged to persuade their professor — then I can deem my efforts a success.

Students share opinions around campus

“Do you take advantage of outdoor study spots?”

London Morse, a freshman accounting major. (Mia Ingui / Opinions Editor)

“Of course, we’re outside right now.”

Trisha Basak, a freshman English and secondary education dual major. (Mia Ingui / Opinions Editor)

“Yes, obviously.”