Roundtable: Favorite spot outside on campus


With a good number of UConn students living off campus this semester, the Life section thought it would be fun to reminisce about its favorite places to go outside on campus. Although Storrs, Conn. might be in the middle of cow country, it still has a lot of beautiful and relaxing places to explore. 

Fizza Alam, CC  

A serene scene at Swan Lake. (Photo courtesy of Rafael Medina)

At least when the weather is nice, which is for a short and valuable time, I think getting outside in Storrs is a must-do on anyone’s Husky bucket list. For me, a little known bench near Swan Lake was my sanctuary between those awkward gaps in between classes. Now that I’m not on campus, I’ll let the cat out of the bag. To the right of Austin and across the street sits a bench facing the lake. I would sit there and call my mom to recap my week. It was a great experience. 

If you aren’t a sitting-on-a-bench type, as the leaves turn, experience Connecticut at its most beautiful by going for a walk. My usual route was on South Eagleville road as I walked from class to my apartment. I would take this time to destress and listen to music. Sometimes I would pass Mansfield locals with dogs or groceries. It’s always nice to interact with town residents. Remember: they know the town better than anyone. 

Jordana Castelli, CC 

The one good thing about being in the boonies is the scenery that surrounds us. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest farm girl, but something about UConn’s cows touches a sweet spot in my heart. My favorite part of the spring and fall is parking at the Dairy Bar, heaving up that small hill and feeding grass to the cows.  

Horsebarn Hill has always been a grounding place for me. When the weight of the world is on my shoulders, I instantly feel better after surrounding myself with animals. Every time I visit the cows, they seem content and calm. Their happiness when they munch on grass and roam around reminds me that the best pleasures in life are the simplest. It’s a breath of fresh air for me. The colorful sunset and the mountains in the distance put everything into perspective. It reminds me that every problem has a solution, and that most are not even worth worrying about. It’s important everyone finds their little outdoor space they love, and thankfully I found mine at Horsebarn Hill!  

Gino Giansanti Jr., CC 

The cobblestone sidewalks and canopy of New England deciduous trees: a scene to gush over. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

As a Connecticut boy, I can’t help but gush over the fall foliage that’ll fill our campus in a few weeks. While there’s probably not a single view in Storrs without at least one tree, my favorite spot on campus would have to be the courtyard in between the Benton and Wood Hall. It’s not exactly a sitting area, but I love walking along the cobblestone sidewalks under the canopy of New England deciduous trees. I know it sounds pretty corny, but just picture it: You’ve finished your last class on the Friday before Thanksgiving, you’ve decided to treat yourself to a Dunkin’ pumpkin spice latte while  taking the leisurely route back to your dorm. You walk through the courtyard and a cool fall breeze rushes by, sending another layer of leaves onto the ground. C’mon, doesn’t that just put you in the fall mood? 

If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it’s that you end up missing the little things the most when something ends, and my walks on the UConn campus will surely be missed this semester. 

Lesly Nerette Jr., CC 

Students gather by Mirror Lake. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Chafouleas)

Back before COVID-19 called on its world tour, I was in the countryside just as many of you are now. When we didn’t have to be socially distant and wear masks, I would often hang out with my friends all around campus; being a transfer student at the time, there was nowhere I wouldn’t explore. But, when I wanted to be alone, I’d go to Mirror Lake.  

Mirror Lake holds a special place in my heart as my favorite spot on campus because of the lake (of course) and its surrounding area. The grass would always be a nice place to just sit and ponder what I would do next. I would go early in the morning to watch the sunrise hit the lake’s reflection with an array of colors. If I wasn’t going to admire Mirror Lake’s  beauty, I would take my caboose over to Storrs center to get some cookies from Insomnia since it was a hop and a skip away from where I lived. What I wouldn’t give to be back just one more time. Tell COVID to pack up the concert and scram! 

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