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EDITORIAL: Students should stop to appreciate fall beauty on campus

As life gets busy, it is important to get outside and appreciate nature

The autumn season offers a perfect opportunity for students to revel in the beauty of Rutgers' campuses. – Photo by

Being a college student in the fall is often filled with varying degrees of anxiety over social and academic pressures. It is easy to get so swept up in our work or in expanding our social lives that we neglect things that are important for our mental well-being.

One thing that we often overlook is the natural beauty in and around New Brunswick. As Rutgers students, we have access to really beautiful scenery on campus and right off campus. Whether you are on the College Avenue campus, the Cook and Douglass campuses or just around New Brunswick, there are a plethora of beautiful spots to enjoy.

Although College Avenue can be busy, there are several places to head to if you want to escape the chaos. If you want to get off campus but not go too far, Buccleuch Park is a great option. The park has various pathways that make walking around easy. The park is also big enough that you do not have to worry about it being crowded by others.

Another nice spot on College Avenue is Voorhees Mall. While this place might be the heart of academic chaos, as it is where the main academic buildings on this campus are, the space itself is beautiful, and we should take advantage of the scenery.

Sitting in Voorhees Mall simply feels like the college experience you see in the movies — people playing frisbee or laying out on the sweeping, green quad. The old, stately buildings, the statues, the greenspace: It all feels like an idyllic college setting. Sitting there for a few minutes, before or after class, is well worth it.

Cook and Douglass campuses also have many beautiful spots, from Passion Puddle to the green space near the Mabel Smith Douglass Library. These locations are removed from the business of College Avenue and can provide a more toned-down environment that would be great to explore.

It is also worth pointing out that the best way to enjoy this type of beauty is to entirely disconnect and unplug. Modern technology, while important, can be distracting. If we are constantly connected and looking at our phones or computers, we can never fully appreciate the beauty of every moment.

To this end, it might be a good idea to fully disconnect which could mean disabling notifications or silencing your phone and just existing. It might even be a smart idea to not listen to music in these moments of recuperation — music, while amazing, also has the potential to take us away from the current moment.

It is better to hear nature: birds chirping, the wind whistling, squirrels playing. The sounds and the sights immerse us in nature. When we listen to and watch nature, we become a part of it, something that might seem simplistic, but such an immersion allows us to transcend the typical boundaries of daily life and gives us access to feel things differently and recuperate from stress.

It might seem insignificant or silly to write about beauty around campus. But paying attention to the beautiful things around us, in our environment, has profound impacts.

In fact, in 2019, The New York Times reported that scientists found that we should all spend 120 minutes outside every week. The benefits of being outside, especially in green spaces, are profound: Our risks for high blood pressure, high-stress levels and certain diseases, such as asthma and diabetes, decrease when we spend time outside, according to the Times. 

On some level, for students who missed out on part of their college career at Rutgers due to the pandemic, the natural landscapes of campus can hold sentimental value.

Students at Rutgers who significantly lost out on time on campus are either juniors or seniors: their time here is coming to an end. Appreciating and exploring the beauty of Rutgers might help those students feel better connected to the University.

As students, we live busy lives. There are always more assignments to complete and more engagements than we probably have time for. But that does not mean we should sacrifice appreciating our space. Being in New Brunswick, we have access to some really lovely spots. Especially as the weather has gotten nicer, we should take advantage of them — not only for sentimental and mental health reasons but also just to make our daily existence a bit more beautiful. 

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 154th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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