Ds Scholarship

Appreciate natural resources on campus

Zohair Khan

The East Lagoon on Northern Illinois University’s campus is a beautiful spot for students to enjoy the outdoors.

NIU’s campus has vast natural resources, and students should appreciate it more.

Between the hustle and bustle of classes, work and extracurriculars, a lot of students don’t take the time to appreciate and use the natural spaces on campus, even though they should.

“People just don’t take advantage of (the resources they have),” Christine Lagatolla, assistant director of Outdoor Adventures said. “It’s free to take a walk, and it’s great for your health.”

Simply taking a walk around campus will do the trick, and it’ll improve your health, too.

Getting a dose of fresh air daily can give you more energy and relieve stress and anxiety, according to Beneden Health.

Enjoying the natural resources around campus can be as high- or low-tech as you want it to be — walking might be the easiest option, but it’s not the only option.

For a more rigorous use of outdoor spaces on campus, students only have to go as far as the East Lagoon.

“We use the lagoon, (and) primarily it’s become our paddling place, so we keep our boats out there for people to rent,” Lagattolla said.

Through the Outdoor Adventures program, students can rent kayaks, canoes and standing paddle boats to use on the lagoon, according to Lagattolla.

Of course, getting outside and active can be difficult for some students, especially if they’re not the outdoorsy type. However, students don’t have to be outdoorsy to appreciate the outdoors.

“It really comes down to breaking a stereotype,” Lagattolla said. “It really comes down to the individual and their health, that’s what matters.”

Even in the busy life of a student, there’s time to enjoy the outdoors. Walking to and from class totally counts, and trying to incrementally increase the time spent outside will improve your health and get you to enjoy the outdoors.

Taking a 20-minute walk in nature can improve general well-being and some brain functions, according to Men’s Health.

Clearly, taking time to focus on your health and the outdoors has proven benefits.

No matter how it’s done, students should take their health into their own hands, and appreciate the natural spaces available to them on campus.

Outdoor resources and programs are available for a reason, and we should use them.

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