Don't skip the Nature Park, a special student escape


When picking out a school, there are a ton of different aspects that run through a high school senior's mind. Academics, location, greek life, clubs, student life, the opportunities and, of course, the campus.
One of the things that DePauw is able to pride itself on is the beautiful campus that has many different architectural structures and landscapes. But apart from all of the buildings and houses and dorms, DePauw also has a nature park attached to its campus that is five times the size of the academic campus itself.
This is one of the strong suits that DePauw had to offer that none of my other school choices did, and therefore helped to seal the deal in my case.
Being on the cross country and track teams, I run in the nature park every day for practice with my teammates. We are no strangers to the Prindle Institute for Ethics, the Bartlett Reflection Center, the quarry and the 10 miles of trails.
So when I come across a fellow student who has never made their way to the nature park, never seen the quarry, or has never even taken a study break to go for a walk on the trails, nothing astonishes me more.
I totally understand that some people aren't really into nature, or maybe the half mile walk out to the welcome center is a bit of a stretch for some, but if there was an opportunity to get away from campus for a little bit and just have some alone time, there is seriously no better place to do it then the nature park.
If you are one of the students who hasn't made his or her way down, give it a chance. It's so funny to hear my friends talk about the nature park, I often hear things like "oh my gosh, it doesn't feel like Indiana!" or "how is that so close that I've never been there?" I couldn't agree more. The nature park has a lot to offer us.
I have gone down there for study sessions, alone time, runs, walks, sunsets, to take pictures, to get myself lost. The nature park is a little getaway that is in the backdoor of this campus and we are so lucky for it. The bottom line is, not enough students take advantage of it.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything on campus, our busy lives, our grades, our social lives and a million other things. It is a complete privilege that we have access to a place that allows us to escape the craziness and overwhelming stress here.
The nature park humbles me every time I step foot into it. The quarry is so much bigger than I am, the way the sun shines on the spring flowers at this time of year, and the trails that are quiet and waiting to be explored. That nature park is specifically for DePauw students and is one of the most wonderful things our university could ever offer us.
It is a gift to be able to go there anytime we want, therefore if you ever have an extra few minutes, an afternoon, whatever amount of time, let yourself get lost in the trails and explore the natural beauty of DePauw and it's fairy-tale like nature park.
- Brinker is a freshman from StevensvilleMich., with an undecided major.