Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Spend time on campus

Sharon Chang

When I came to UT, the campus felt large and intimidating. I spent most of my time studying in familiar places like the buildings I had classes in or my dorm room. Between attending lectures and completing assignments, college students spend a significant amount of time sitting still. However, the occasional change in setting may have a positive impact on students.

Since familiarizing myself with the UT campus, I’ve grown more comfortable wandering outside the borders of Speedway and my class buildings. Rather than experiencing college without exploring all of campus, discover its built-in benefits and step outside the walls of your comfort zone.

From screen time to study habits, students generally live sedentary lifestyles, sometimes as much or more than desk-based office workers. While changing location may not reduce your sedentary state, getting out of the house to complete your work can fight factors like restlessness and isolation.

Going stir-crazy and getting cabin fever are often two phrases used to describe the restlessness and irritability that accompany remaining in one place for prolonged periods. Confinement in one’s home can also trigger symptoms of cabin fever like anxiety and loneliness.

Finding different study spaces around campus can also improve academic outcomes in the classroom. Different environments can trigger mental associations with the material covered in a particular setting. By studying in various places, students could practice better memory recall by isolating mental associations across environments.  

Biology freshman Itzel Rodriguez found that studying on campus with peers increases her information retention.  

“I feel like at home I can’t focus,” Rodriguez said. “At the (William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center)  or the (Peter T. Flawn Academic Center), I can meet up with friends so we can help each other study.”  

The campus can also function as a space to take a moment for yourself. Marine science junior Natalie Perkins spends her time at Turtle Pond to people watch and enjoy a secluded study spot.  

“It’s nice to have somewhere to go on campus to get a little piece of mind,” Perkins said. “Take a second to, even if you’re just studying, be a little introspective … It makes it a lot less overwhelming.”

Outdoor spaces like Turtle Pond, the Honors Quad Courtyard and East Lawn are just a few examples of areas that offer an opportunity to relax and reflect. Spending time in green spaces on campus can help reduce mental fatigue in times of stress. Additionally, remaining on campus, surrounded by peers, can increase students’ sense of community and promote personal and social identity development

From breaking up restlessness to improving study habits and promoting community, spending time on campus holds many benefits for students’ college experience. Although the college setting is often viewed as formal, in reality, students can harness it as a personalized resource to cultivate a healthier lifestyle. Make campus your own, and see all that it has to offer.

Wood is a social work junior from Austin, Texas

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