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Off the beaten path

You may have seen gatherings and even classes take place at the Performing Arts and Humanities sculpture garden, or on the steps next to the University Center. The library pond is open after two years of construction and students are already enjoying it.

It’s time to take a cue from your peers and experience what UMBC offers outdoors. It is great to visit a favorite hangout, but there are many more places to soak up vitamin D that you may not be aware of.

Ashleigh Kristensen, a junior majoring in social work, doesn’t get outside as much as she would like. She is a commuter student and all of her classes are in the same building, so it’s more convenient to stay indoors. She feels that the lack of seating on campus is another hindrance to her being in the sun.

She compared UMBC to her community college, stating we have less places to sit down outdoors.

“The way everything’s laid out is like they want you to keep moving,” she said.

In spite of seating issues, Kristensen has discovered cool places outside. One day while she explored the campus, she discovered the stadium tunnel near Commons Drive.

“I went through the tunnel and came out in a field over by the stadium,” Kristensen said. “It kind of made me feel like campus has other places to explore.”

Near the entrance to the stadium tunnel is a rock garden. Rock sculptures are nestled amongst trees along with a few benches spread out from each other. You can enjoy the scenery and feel like you’re in nature.

Danielle Caldwell, a senior majoring in education, is a commuter who spends long days on campus. As a result, she has had a chance to discover even lesser known places to hang out.

“For a campus that’s so big and has so many people, there are a lot of places you can go that are really quiet, and it’s not just the library,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell has taken naps near the library pond, taken a run through the stadium tunnel and hidden objectives in the rock garden for Humans vs. Zombies. She feels the most underrated outdoor space on campus is Pig Pen Pond near the research and technology park.

“That place is wonderful,” Caldwell said. “There’s an adorable little pond and there’s a cool bridge that goes right next to it. It’s such a peaceful place.”

Caldwell feels that everyone would benefit from going outdoors more often. 

“It’s a good experience to go outside,” she said. “You can get some vitamin D, and there’s a lot of benefits to going outside and sitting in the sun.”