It’s that time of year again in Williamsburg. The weather is warmer, the sun stays out longer, and the trees are in full bloom. William and Mary students emerge from hibernation, eager to take advantage of the campus in spring. Compared to a month ago, it seems like the student body has doubled in size as we all try to spend as much time outside as humanly possible.
On warm spring days like today, it feels like a crime to be holed up in the library. But with my to-do list ever growing, I had to get some work done. Of course, I’m lying to myself. I know I can never get a much work done while outside; I just get distracted far too easily. Nevertheless, I boldly ignored my voice of reason and promptly set out to find a study spot where I could enjoy the weather (and trying to get some resemblance of a tan). With my books, iPod, and sunglasses in tow, I ventured out of my dorm into the mid-morning sunshine.
My first destination was in the heart of Old Campus – the Sunken Garden. This infamous spot is a favorite of students, and even at 11am I had to search for a spot of my own. I set down my bag, pulled out my highlighters, opened my book … and quickly decided the grass was too soft and the sun was too warm for anything other than nap. There’s no better feeling than closing your eyes to doze off in the warmth of the mid-morning Virginia sun. My sweet escape didn’t quite last … I was awoken fifteen short minutes later by a close call with a rogue Frisbee. Maybe the Sunken Garden wasn’t the best spot for me to study.
In a second attempt to be somewhat productive, I made my way to the Terrace. The chairs and tables there allow for outside studying without the chance of dozing off. I grabbed a coffee from the Daily Grind, scouted out a table, and once again cracked open my book. I made it a whole two sentences before my friend Liz walked by on her way back from class. We hadn’t caught up in a while, and we were both hungry, so naturally this encounter resulted in an impromptu lunch date. Somehow my poor book was pushed aside to make room for a chicken salad sandwich and a large iced tea.
After lunch, with a full stomach and book in hand, I left the Terrace. It’s the easiest place to run into friends, which is great for socializing but not so great for my Marine Science homework. Clearly, I needed to find a spot away from people. I decided to make the trek to the far end of campus by the Keck Environmental Lab. It’s nestled behind one of the large freshman dorms and sits right on the edge of Lake Matoaka. There, I have a favorite picnic table, which is placed right next to the dock in the shade. It’s quiet, secluded, and absolutely beautiful.
So here I sit. At my favorite picnic table by the lake. The sun peeks through the tree overhead, and there’s a light breeze blowing from across Matoaka. The only sounds come from the rustling of squirrels in the leaves around me and the occasional splash of fish looking for a snack at the end of the dock. The chances of me making any headway on my Marine Science reading is essentially zero, but that’s ok. With upcoming due dates and other commitments, it’s easy to get caught up in your to-do list. That’s why when a Virginia spring day is calling, you’ve got to give yourself a break. Today, I soaked up the sun, reminisced with a friend, and got a little time to myself. And that’s something we all could use every once in a while.
The work will have to get done eventually. But for now, my picnic table awaits.