Like most of the Northeastern region of the United States, a substantial portion of the year (and thus a large chunk of the school year) is filled with cold days and often cloudy skies. Campus, although ever-beautiful, is for quite some time characterized by different shades of blues and grays. Although this matches the Dead Poets Society, dark academia feel of campus perfectly, I’ll admit that at some point all I can think about is when spring will finally arrive.
The return of spring signals the return of many of my favorite things on campus: the blossoming of the Magnolia trees all over campus, the sweet smell of flowers growing in Prospect Garden, the time change, the end of the school year, and (perhaps most importantly) the return of Junbi’s lavender honey matcha.
The first day of real warm weather during the spring semester is always one of my favorite days out of the whole year. Princeton students that have been hiding from the colder weather for months suddenly reappear on campus grounds as though awakened from their winter, indoor-studying slumber. People can be scattered all across Cannon Green, outside of Firestone, and in Prospect Garden.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, especially because student events and people touring Princeton never really stop, life returns to campus.
On the first warm day of this year, my friends and I formed a part of this revival. After leaving a study break with the Princeton University Mentor Program where we planted succulents and painted their pots, we decided to study outside. We found our spot sitting on top of a large stone sculpture near Cannon Green that gets a perfect view of some of the most iconic Princeton buildings–Whig and Clio, East Pyne, the Chapel, and Nassau Hall.
Our study session, however, did not last long. Under the bright sun and in the gentle breeze, we ended up laying down and watching everything around us. Rather than reading and coding and working on assignments, we put our efforts into creating the perfect sunny day playlist and enjoying the songs. After a while, we moved to sit at the base of a nearby tree and continued to soak up the sun. To our left, one of the campus photographers carried out a picture-taking session, and crowds of guided tours passed by us every few minutes.
We let ourselves breathe.
As the months go by during the school year, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of our day-to-day lives as students. But when the days get warmer and the grass gets greener, it is the perfect morale boost and fuel towards the end of the year.