One of my favorite places on campus is the Arboretum — a beautiful place to reconnect with nature. After looking at pictures of the Arbo from Conn’s website, I knew that when I arrived on campus, visiting it would be one of my first priorities. When I first visited the Arbo, it was during mid-year transfer orientation; I went alone to see this captivating sight. At that time, it was winter and the water had frozen over. Trees were naked and revealed their skeletons. The frosty air nipped at my nose and I gravitated to the serenity.

I got to revisit the Arbo during springtime thanks to ArboFest, a sort of precursor to the highly anticipated Floralia. There was live music, dancing, people relaxing on the huge lawn, and perfect weather. While listening to the live singers perform, I sat with my friends, chatted and laughed. What made the whole thing special, besides hanging out with friends, was being in nature and sharing that moment of sheer bliss. After the music was done, everyone started packing up to leave.

I asked my friend if she would join me on a walk on one of the trails. Walking around, what really shocked me was the Arbo’s transformation from when I had seen it during winter. The water in the pond had liquified; the buds on the trees had blossomed; the sun was out. Spring was back in action. Just minutes from the center of campus, I felt completely sheltered from outside distractions.

Every day, I’m surrounded by invasive technology and I forget to relish simplicity and be in the moment. For some reason, nature always puts me in a pensive mood — and I love it. I loved being able to talk to my friend while she and I strolled along the trails. I will forever cherish the Arboretum, because it is the one place on this campus that never fails to remind me to stay grounded despite life’s pandemonium.