Springtime At Swat

Hey everyone, Charlotte here; it’s finally spring! I’m more than a little excited; I must admit. The Swarthmore campus this time of year is absolutely gorgeous, especially for someone who loves flowers and fresh air as much as I do. I didn’t realize before how incredible it is to attend a school located in an arboretum.

Flowers outside of Underhill Library!
Flowers outside of Underhill Library!

Dozens of outside locations around campus become warm and welcome study spots, if you can avoid falling asleep in the sun or being distracted by the various spontaneous games on Mertz Field and Parrish Beach (see featured image). When I first came to Swarthmore, I was surprised by the friendly and open nature of these pick-up games; students of all class years and interests join together to enjoy a short (or long) break. Just today I saw Swatties playing volleyball, playing spikeball, and slacklining. I hadn’t even heard of the later two until coming to Swarthmore. Although I still haven’t tried playing spikeball, I can safely say that slacklining is a lot of fun and much harder than it looks. And it already looks pretty difficult.

Spotted: Swattie slacklining!
Spotted: Swattie slacklining on Parrish Beach

In addition to the white lawn chairs on Parrish Beach (see above), there are many other outside study nooks. Outside of McCabe Library and the Science Center are wooden chairs and tables, and all across campus I have seen students studying on benches, rock walls, and even the grass. Of course, many students also work inside in the various libraries and common spaces; each has its own unique feel.

Typical day in Science Center Commons
Typical day in Science Center Commons (featuring a fellow Swattie giving another a back massage)

Personally, I am partial to three different study spaces depending on the time of day and what work I have to do. Science Center Commons is a great place to get a bite to eat, relax, and chat with friends while working. Passing through I always see someone I know, and even if I don’t, students are quick to introduce themselves.

Underhill Library
Underhill Library

Underhill Music Library is another favorite spot, even though I claim no musical talent. The huge windows, cozy chairs, and open space provide a comfortable and relaxing environment conducive to both studying and sleeping. I enjoy writing poetry here (or outside!) overlooking the Crum Woods.

Two of my friends taking a study break one evening; yes, he made a mini bed with two couch chairs.
Two of my friends taking a study break one evening; yes, he made a mini bed with two couch chairs.

Finally, when I need a quiet space I enjoy working on the second (silent) floor of Cornell Library, the science library on campus. Many students enjoy background noise while working or group study sessions, but if you are in need of a quiet location, this is the place for you. There are small private desks, larger tables, couches, and even a computer room. (Ideal quiet nap place!) I particularly appreciate the large windows.

Cornell Second on a not so busy day (normally most the desks are filled)
Cornell Second on a not so busy day (normally most the desks are filled)

There are dozens of other places to study or relax, but it’s too nice of a day to stay inside and blog anymore. I’m off to grab a coffee and lawn chair on Parrish Beach; until next time! I’ll leave you all with another picture of flowers.

Pretty distraction on the west side of Parrish
Pretty distraction on the west side of Parrish

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