Why do we go to college? The simplest answer is that we want to get the best education we can. We focus our attention on a school’s curriculum and offered majors, as well as the quality of the facilities. Is the library old and beautiful? Are the science labs sleek and modern? However, college is not only a place that we go for education, it’s also our home for two-thirds of the year. It’s that special place where we eat, sleep, hangout, and relax.
At my own home, I certainly have my favorite spots. I love lounging in my room or spending time in my backyard with my dog. At my home away from home, CUA, I also have some favorite spots that are essential to my experience here. These campus essentials are comforting and welcoming and offer me a great environment in addition to my classrooms.
I won’t lie – campus would not be the same without Starbucks. Located centrally in our student center, the Pryz, it is literally always there for me. Whether it’s an early morning or late night, a good coffee goes a long way. However, even more than the delicious drinks, I love the environment here. It’s the perfect place to relax and get some reading done or meet casually with a teacher.
Another one of my favorite hangout/ study spaces is one of the most underrated spots on campus. It’s a narrow strip on the top floor of the Pryz facing floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a beautiful view of the Basilica, the green lawn and a stunning vision of one of our oldest buildings on campus, McMahon. You can lounge on a couch with a friend or sit back and get some studying done in a pretty private and peaceful area, all while checking out the view. On a sunny day you can feel the warmth through the windows. You may catch some students hanging out on the lawn or eating on the picnic tables.
St Vinny’s Chapel
On any Sunday night at 9:00 you are sure to catch a good chunk of campus piling into St. Vinny’s, the official chapel on campus. This mass is my favorite example of the sense of community you feel on campus. Immediately, you are welcomed by smiling greeters and then, as you find your seat, friends and classmates surrounding you chat with you about your weekend adventures. It’s the perfect way to start a new week. Upbeat songs and humorous homilies will instantly persuade you to come back week after week.
Kane Fitness Center
Another place I like to spend time is our student fitness center. With flexible hours and an impressive array of equipment, it’s hard not to go often. As cold winter winds have plagued campus the past few weeks, running on a treadmill is more appealing than ever. I love the fact that I can literally go from my dorm to the treadmill in (not even kidding) 45 seconds. You can even attend free fitness classes throughout the week as an alternative way to exercise.
While technically not on campus, the Brookland Farmer’s Market is located just across the street and is an awesome example of our close relationship with the surrounding community. You can pet a goat there, buy fresh apple cider, or shop at the surrounding artistic boutiques. I love being able to buy fresh produce and check out some cool art a step away from my room. A great weekend activity, the farmer’s market never disappoints me.
CUA has so many other fun, relaxing and interesting places to offer that one day you too may find your own little niche.
– Anna Hallahan