Get Outside: Using BU’s Campus to Your Mental Health’s Benefit
Where to spend time outdoors on Campus and how to reduce stress by doing it.
By Julia Goujiamanis
Photo by BU.edu
Spring can be stressful, with finals, and graduation for seniors, looming nearby. Figuring out summer, post-grad, and next year’s plans while balancing finals preparation can be overwhelming.
Although wintertime and any seasonal depression may be over, the pressures of college can linger year-round. According to the American Institute of Stress, 8 in 10 college students experience frequent bouts of stress, and the American College Health Association found in 2021 that 48 percent of college students reported moderate or severe psychological stress.
Getting outside and taking advantage of spring weather is crucial to combating these stressors, according to a USDA Forest Service article on the wellness benefits of the outdoors. Being outside in green spaces can provide faster psychological stress recovery, and increase focus.
Here are three ways to get outside on campus, so you can still enjoy the benefits of spring weather without traveling too far:
Take Advantage of Blue Bikes
We see them racked together on sidewalks across campus, but how many of us actually make use of them? Biking is a simple way to get exercise that doesn’t require much additional time or effort as it can be used to get from place to place more efficiently. The city even provides a discounted membership to make them affordable as well; so whether heading to class or elsewhere on campus, they’re a great resource.
Watch the Sunset
There are several places on campus to spend some time decompressing by taking a few minutes to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. One of these spots is the dock on the Esplanade; a simple stroll down the path across the bridge by BU Beach can get you there in minutes. It’s a beautiful spot to look at the sunset on the Charles River and take a few minutes to meditate.
Head to the Park
Although BU’s city campus provides great opportunities and experiences, it prevents us from spending much time among greenery. Yet, green spaces are key to a city community’s function. According to the National Library of Medicine, urban greenery minimizes several forms of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gasses.
Additionally, they promote general well-being for the community, in terms of both physical activity and relaxation. This is all the more reason to take advantage of the spaces we do have, as students.
One tucked-away gem, hidden within the backstreets of Brookline by West Campus is Amory Park. A short walk from the Amory train stop, the park provides the peace and quiet lacking on Comm. Ave, and is the perfect area to stroll around or pet some dogs.