Going to college is full of firsts in a young adult’s life. Living alone and setting your own goals and limitations without adulteration, just to name a couple. In this transitional time, it can be frustrating and confusing to get settled into a new area on your own and being the new guy to boot. All that stress can cause freshmen to do things that make upperclassmen say……pfft, freshmen. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do around campus to ease your mind and keep you from getting too stressed out, all without a car or costing you a dime!
As you might have noticed on your way into Storrs in the early fall, this is a place of wonderful agricultural potential and natural beauty. As the leaves begin to turn, there are few better times to be out and about on the hiking trails sprinkled along the fringes of campus. One of the most well known nature reserves is to the south, near Mansfield Apartments, known as the Moss Sanctuary. There you will find a loop that encompasses a pond where ducks and geese have been known to take a pit stop on their migration routes.
You can get to the entrance of this reserve by taking the green or the yellow bus to Mansfield Apartments.
Another great trail is up near Horsebarn Hill. In the woods behind the dairy cattle barn, there are a few trails that are easy and beautiful. To get to these trails, take any bus that stops at Whitney Hall. From there head north on Storrs Road and turn right, downhill towards a small loop near some pasture. The woods behind the pasture have a few trail entrances but if you’re not sure, much of the staff in the Young Building might be able to help you find a trailhead.
A unique feature of Storrs UConn is the William Benton Museum of Art. It’s located relatively close to the library, but it is easier to spot the café called The Beanery on the ground floor of the museum. There are two gallery spaces: the permanent one, full of fine art from many periods of time and the contemporary, which is always changing. The space is big enough to accommodate installations of all sizes, mediums and styles so you never know what you might find. If student art is more interesting to you, a stroll through the Art Building across from Storrs Center is often rewarding, as you can see the work that students are doing, as well as two other small gallery spaces that change often.
Nature and art not your game? How about sports? The Adventure Center and the Student Recreational Center have equipment rentals, but might require a deposit. Also, many of UConn’s home games for a variety of sports are free for students. You can find out more about schedules and ticketing for free events at the Student Union, where SUBOG can help you with any questions and certainly more information about free things to do.
UConn also has a huge, honestly overwhelming number of clubs. No matter what your hobbies or interests are, there is at least one club that might peak your interest. Try to pick clubs that are relevant to your major if you want a good resume booster or pick a club that is completely alien to you! College is a time for trying new things and clubs are a great liability-free way to get exposed to lots of great things.
As a final note, you might grow to hate those UConn Daily Digest emails that get sent to your inbox incessantly, but don’t discount them. They often promote free events so you can get out and meet new people who are also broke with no car!
Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.