Peterson: Spring is finally here, get outside and enjoy the sunshine

The time has come, warm weather has once again entered Minnesota and spring is finally here. Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato need to make going outside and enjoying the weather a priority, especially after such a long and masked winter. 

With COVID and social distancing rules affecting the indoor activities that are available, the warm weather offers a plethora of new and fun ways for students to socialize while still acting responsibly. 

Our campus is perfect for some of the most popular hobbies college students take part in, with the biggest having to be hammocking. This leisurely activity gives students the opportunity to do homework, read a book, or relax and take a well-deserved nap while enjoying the fresh air.

If you take a walk around campus you can easily spot some popular places for hammocking. The lawn by the library is filled with trees, giving students a nice and shady spot to tie up their hammocks. Another popular place on campus would be around the Performing Arts Center lawn.

With the snow melting away, the fitness hiking paths around campus are opening back up for students to utilize. Depending on how far you’d like to walk, run, or hike can determine which path you take. 

The first is 1.3 miles starting from the Otto Rec Center, wrapping around the first loop, and back to the rec center. The second, slightly longer at 2.25 miles, also starts at the Otto Rec Center then wraps around all loops and ends back at the rec center. Each map of the trails can be found on the MNSU website.

If you’re looking to unleash the athletic side of you, there are plenty of options available. There are sand volleyball courts around many of the dorm buildings on campus, including McElroy, Julia Sears, and Crawford. There’s no need to worry if you don’t have a volleyball to use, the front desks at each of the dorms allow students to check out equipment for a designated period of time with proof of a student ID.

There are plenty of other athletic courts for students to take advantage of as they become available. The softball and flag football fields, soccer fields, and basketball courts are opening up more with the Campus Recreation office and university approval. Students can also rent out equipment needed for these fields and courts.

The Student Events Team on campus is also looking to host more events outside to attract their audience. Despite the stricter rules this semester and still having some events inside, they are ready to come back full swing in the fall when the restrictions are planned to be lifted.

There are many ways to enjoy the long-awaited warmth, all you have to do is find what appeals to you.

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