It’s that time of year when the cool fall breeze rustles the quickly changing leaves, and laughter and chatter rises from all around campus. It is also the time when students realize that they need a getaway from the stress and pressure of upcoming midterms, massive research papers, and all of the other responsibilities of a college student.
Tommy Neilson, a sophomore youth ministries and psychology major, has some suggestions of places for students to go during this time. He says, “On campus, I love to go to the Walton patio to hang out with people, to be outside in nature with my friends. Off campus, if I’m looking for more of an adventure, I love to go hiking at Valley Forge.”
These spots on campus have a significant effect on students. They are not just places people go to admire the scenery or hang out with friends. There is something transcendental about them; they help students cast aside their troubles and overcome their current circumstances. Connor Porter, a junior philosophy major, puts it this way: “Going to the gazebo near Doane, or just walking around campus, allows me to reflect and talk to God. In nature, I realize how minimal my problems are compared to the glory of God’s creation.” Porter also enjoys getting off campus by walking around with friends in Wayne or taking the train into Philly.
Sierra Schempp is a sophomore nursing major and student chaplain here at Eastern. Schempp enjoys walking and reflecting around the park at Eastern with people who are important to her.
As you can see from these student’s reviews and input, these places at Eastern are more than just average places. They have made a specific impact on each of these students. Places shape our identities; they become a part of who we are. The places we visit play a role in deepening an understanding of ourselves.
These are spots on campus where students have overcome struggles, experienced some of the most joyful of times and regained hope. That is why these spots are sacred. In each of these beloved spots, students have surrendered a piece of themselves. We as students should remember that a place is not merely a place, but a shelter and haven containing a myriad of memories that have been made eternal.