July 21, 2019 | 83° F

Stay studious in spring, top on campus outdoor study spots


At last, spring is rapidly returning in all her glory and we’ve seriously been missing her. After a cold, long winter — marked by even longer nights in the library, consider rewarding yourself with a scenic outdoor study session that’ll not only boost your mood, but your GPA.

The benefits of bringing your homework outdoors are richer than you may realize. A recent study from the Association for Psychological Science cites improved short-term memory, restored mental energies and sharper creative thinking as a few of the advantages to studying outdoors, as well as boosting your immune system and relieving stress.

If that’s not enough to lure you back to nature, a 2000 study of schoolchildren in California evidenced that after at-risk students at 11 different secondary schools spent time learning in outdoor classrooms, they scored a whopping 72 percent higher on exams testing the material they learned outdoors than those did in traditional settings. 

No matter what campus you call home, you’ll be amazed at the amount of cozy little nooks of nature the University truly offers. 

Woody’s Cafe - Busch

Unknown to most, but celebrated by the inside few, Woody’s is nestled behind the Library of Science and Medicine. Use a meal swipe or pick up a study snack from their impressive selection of candy to prep for your next assignment. This is a good place to camp outside in the knowledge that you can always retreat indoors in case of April showers.

Fountain outside Lucy Stone - Livingston

An excellent corner to people watch, don’t let the heavy flow of afternoon foot traffic deter you from settling down at the tables by Lucy Stone. When the warm weather warms decides it’s here to stay, don’t fret if you forget your sunscreen, the chic umbrellas will protect both you and your textbooks. The calming sounds of the bubbling fountain will relax and motivate you to power through as finals season slowly approaches.

Deiner Park - College Avenue

One of the coolest parks at Rutgers is also one of the most secluded. Idyllic for the learner who prefers to study in total quiet or the stressed student who just needs a quick break from the whirl of the Ave., you’ve come to the right place at Denier Park. It’s as simple as hopping off at the Student Activities Center bus stop and hooking the ramp down Frelinghuysen before you realize you’re strolling on a concrete park overlooking the Raritan River. Loaded with picnic tables and low walls, you’ll definitely catch some rays if you spend time over here.

Wood Lawn - Cook

Bring your Frisbee, your puppy and your notebooks, too – there’s room for it all and plenty to spare at the bountiful Wood Lawn hill. This rolling grassy hill is crowned by the Wood Lawn Mansion, which houses the Eagleton Institute of Politics. Sit as close as you can to the top of the hill to enjoy a sweeping view of green trees, Hickman Hall and Gibbons, intertwined with plenty of stone pathways and you’ll remember just why Cook campus is so charming.

Antilles Field - Douglass

Does it get any better than Antilles Field? We didn’t think so, either. You’ve probably never heard of it, and that’s exactly the point. The crown jewel of all study spots is a pure hideaway, settled behind Voorhees Chapel and stretching on endlessly. The white marble steps tumbling out of the hill are just as tempting to settle down upon as the expansive lawn itself, and you are directly across from the river. Pack your bag and prepare to be dazzled, for the study spot of your dreams is waiting.

Janine Puhak

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