Lake Carnegie is located at the south end of campus and allows students to experience nature in a unique way. I remember when I first went to the lake during my first year, I was amazed at the picturesque scenery and the variety of activities in which one can partake such as rowing, fishing and running. The best part of the lake is that it is open to local community and the public, so if you ever happen to be on campus, this is a must-visit destination!
In my free time, I enjoy running around campus, and my favorite trails are the ones next to the lake. Coming to the lake allows me to disconnect from the academic pressure of classes and nurture my relationship with the outdoors. If you are looking for a fun activity, you can rent a kayak with your friends or have a picnic! As someone who grew up in a city, I never had access to such an open space like Lake Carnegie, so I have been taking full advantage of the lake's proximity.
I enjoy taking 5-10 minute breaks during my runs to hear the sounds of nature and appreciate my surroundings. You would be surprised at the different number of bird chirps and animal noises! Coming to the lake has improved my mental health and serves as an escape to nature. Recently, I took “ENV327: Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton” and learned about the notion of nature deficit disorder, which sustains that as humans spend more time indoors and are further disconnected from nature because of technology, we become more vulnerable to negative moods and reduced attention spans. In order to combat nature deficit disorder, we should take advantage of the outdoors, and Princeton is an ideal place for that! Beyond the lake, the campus is rife with green spaces, ginormous trees, and let's not forget the idyllic Prospect Garden. Whenever I feel stressed out about an exam, or struggle to balance my extracurricular activities, spending time in these green spaces, especially Lake Carnegie, has allowed me to maintain a sense of wellness.
I encourage prospective students to ponder on the relationship between campus and nature when researching colleges. When I committed to Princeton, I overlooked the campus location in terms of the outdoors, but the lake has become an integral component of my undergraduate experience.