Finding your way around campus can be difficult, especially after attending classes online for a year and a half. Whether you’re a senior or a freshman, looking for that perfect place on campus to sit back and relax is always a challenge, whether you’re lingering around the library or chilling in the student union.
Minnesota State University, Mankato has a variety of popular hangout spots outside where students like to play games, hammock, or even — gasp — study for class. The campus mall, located outside of the Centennial Student Union, hosts tons of great hangout spaces. There are tables and chairs spread around the mall for studying and enjoying a meal. Throughout the year, there are different rallies and events that take place in the mall, often with free items to be handed out to students. Grabbing a choice seat on the campus mall gives you a front-row seat to a lot of campus action.
Of course the icon of the campus mall is the fountain, beloved for its water streams and surrounding lounge-ready lawn. This section of the mall is aimed more for relaxing in between classes or completing homework, and gives students a refreshing view.
In recent years hammocking has gained popularity with college students for its affordability and portability, including campus. MNSU has many suitable places for hammocking. Outside the Memorial Library there is a small lawn filled with trees throughout for students to strap their hammock around. This lawn remains fairly quiet and offers an abundance of shade to cool you down, or help you relax after a frustrating day of Econ 101.
Another great campus hammocking spot is the Performing Arts Center lawn. Students regularly tie hammocks to trees and pillars and hammock the afternoon away.
If hammocking isn’t your thing, no need to worry. There’s a sand volleyball court on the PA lawn and plenty of space for students to rent out a spikeball net and play a game. The Crawford and Julia Sears dorm lawns have sand volleyball courts as well.
Spending time outside isn’t always ideal for students, especially in Minnesota. The CSU contains the vast majority of the popular hangout spots on campus. Jazzman’s, located on the main level, is a well-known coffee shop where students stop to grab lattes and dark roasts before continuing on with their class work.
Going down to the bottom floor of the CSU, the Hearth Lounge offers a calm and quiet place to study, nap or just relax. This lounge is famed for its impressive fireplace, but even more for the piano sitting in the middle of the room, which anyone is welcome to play.
Whether you enjoy spending time inside or out, MNSU is filled with social spaces to kick back and unwind, all that’s left is finding which one suits you best.