Friday, October 30, 2015

Duke Freshmen, Stop and Smell the Roses!

The Blomquist Garden of Native Plants has many beautiful paths to explore.

By Cici Xie

So, you're in your first year at Duke, and you’re about halfway through your first semester. You’re probably starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with juggling schoolwork and other responsibilities. I get it. And I have three words for you: Visit Duke Gardens!

"How am I supposed to do that?" you ask. You have back-to-back classes starting at 8:30 a.m. and you don’t even have time to eat lunch before you have to go to a club meeting and then you have to go to practice, and by the time you’re back in your dorm it’s already 9 p.m. and you haven’t started your paper that’s due tomorrow and you have a quiz in math first thing in the morning, not to mention two midterms the day after, and you haven’t called your parents in who knows how long, and you’re running on nothing but 4 espresso shots.

Breathe. I get it.

Sarah studying in the Terrace Gardens.

I promise you that if you can make time to come to Duke Gardens, it will be worth your while. Take Sarah, for example. I found Sarah sitting next to the terraces working on an assignment for her creative writing class.

“I think everyone should take like one day out of their week to come, even if they aren’t nature people, because I think the Gardens offer so much for different kinds of people," she said. "And if you’re a social thinker, the Gardens offers an outside perspective more so than the regular quad would. And obviously if you like nature it’s just a great reset.”

 Faye on her way to class.
If that’s not convincing enough for you, here’s what Duke senior Faye said when I asked what she would tell freshmen:

"There’s way more to the Gardens than you probably see on a regular basis. I just started exploring the gardens more this year, and I found so many places I never knew were here. So I would definitely say even take a Saturday and just, like, go on a date in the Gardens, make your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever take you around in the gardens. Go exploring. Go find every little nook and cranny of the gardens and just spend the day here.”

Consider visiting the ducks in the Asiatic Arboretum.

So yes, I know you’re crazy busy and you can barely find time to sleep. But next time you have to have a club meeting or you need to write a paper, consider doing it in Duke Gardens; I promise that you’ll feel much better.

Blogger Cici Xie is a Duke sophomore majoring in behavioral economics.

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