A Breath of Fresh Air

by Nicole Crashell on May 8, 2017

A while back, I wrote a post for this blog about how to survive—and more importantly, enjoy—attending Lawrence in the winter, when it’s cold and there’s snow as far as the eye can see. Now that it’s May, it’s my pleasure to finally be able to write about the many ways to enjoy yourself—and maybe less importantly, to study—in the beautiful weather of spring term.

There are a lot of “official” Lawrence-sanctioned seasonal activities. The Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG) definitely sees an increase in volunteers once things warm up, because there’s a lot to be said for an excuse to spend time outside that also looks great on your resume. The LARPing group (Live Action Role Play), which is called the Knights of the Foam Sword, and the LU Capture the Flag group are also popular ways to get involved and enjoy the fresh air, all while getting to know new people and having fun in a way that’s completely disconnected from school.

If volunteering and community service are more your style, then Appleton has a lot of opportunities as well. In particular, students enjoy signing up to volunteer at the local animal shelter, where you might get a chance to walk dogs, or working at a larger communal garden across the river from campus (Riverview Community Gardens).

And for people who enjoy completely unstructured activities, of course, there are plenty of ways to spend the long spring days. One popular choice is simply sitting outside on the lawns outside of the dorms or around Main Hall (known as Main Green) with friends. It’s not uncommon to see blankets spread out on the grass, or even hammocks strung up between the trees on afternoons after classes are over. Some people think it’s harder to get work done outside, but it can also be great to change your learning environment once in a while—and if you’re outside, you can watch a few people slack-line between the trees during your study breaks.

On the quad, between the group houses, the LU Ultimate Frisbee team can often be found practicing or just playing around throwing a frisbee between friends. And then every spring the Events Planning Committee puts on LU-aroo, a party complete with cookouts, great music, and some pretty awesome live (and sometimes local) talent. Kohler, the tower-shaped dorm near the quad, has even been known to throw rooftop parties to celebrate the nice weather and the end of the school year.

What may be the best attraction of the season, however, is the sheer number of people who walk their dogs through campus. Last year I made friends with a group of students who took advantage of this, sent out a plea to Appleton residents to bring their dogs, set out a blanket on the Main Green, and waited. Throughout the afternoon we pet five or six dogs and met their owners (and got a little sunburned, oops). We hope to repeat the event this year, and if you’re on campus, you’re welcome to join us!

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