Even though PC is a fairly small campus, we often feel as though we stretch our legs from corner to corner every day whether we are walking to class in Harkins or Feinstein, participating in a research experiment in Al Mag, or visiting a teacher’s office hours in Koffler (might as well be in China). However, there are a handful of quiet, quaint hidden gems that many students don’t know about. These spots vary from great study locations to peaceful relaxation areas and grounds for fun to be had. I will give you a rundown of some of my favorite hidden spots on campus in no particular order. P.S. On my personal blog, I have found that lists work well for me. I will continue that pattern on this blog as well (Hence my Restaurant Review Post).
- Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies. Shhhhh, this will be our little secret. Not many people know about this ideal study location, but it has recently become my go-to quiet getaway with an old victorian vibe and valuable history behind it. It is nestled in the heart of Aquinas Hall, the home of many sophomores and some freshmen. On the first floor of Aquinas, there is a study lounge that will definitely do the trick. The Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies, however, is unlike any other spot on campus. It has unmatched serenity and so few distractions that it is hard not to stay focused. If you are looking for a library alternative, try this out.
- The Waterfall. This is an area so small that I stumbled upon it very accidentally. To be honest, I was a freshman attending a teacher’s office hours and got slightly lost on my way back up to McVinney. I came across a beautiful waterfall in between Dore Hall and Hunt-Cavanagh (buildings 23 & 24 on the campus map). Especially in the spring, the waterfall is flooded with not only water, but blossoming flowers. Besides the once a week lawn mowing, there is rarely a sound on this part of campus. Sometimes, while walking from lower campus, I will take this route just to walk by this spot. Although I know it is a much longer path than the alternatives, it is always worth the extra few feet.
- Harkins. You may be thinking, “I go there every day for class and it is in no way hidden.” You’re right. But, how many times a day do PC students look up at Harkins and appreciate its beauty, structure, and size? Speaking for myself, I would say this is a rare occasion. I was too busy daydreaming while walking to my 8:30 marketing class earlier that semester, contemplating what the appropriate amount of time and distance was to hold the door for the person behind you, that I never looked up. I had never appreciated Harkins until a beautiful day weatherwise but a gloomy day for the livelihood of my PC ID. A few hours earlier, I had turned my room upside down but eventually found myself thinking those dreaded words, “I lost my ID”. To the Card Office in Harkins I went. I departed Harkins with my freshman orientation photo still haunting me. Once I deflected from that photo, I noticed the one next to it. Harkins is pictured on PC students ID’s since it is what I consider the centerpiece of our campus (even though it isn’t directly in the center). It triggered something. Pictures always helps to distract me so I took this photograph of Harkins. Now, everytime I enter the doors, I try to hold the door for the person behind me, even if they are beyond the distance of door holding guidelines, and kill the time by looking up at one of my favorite hidden gems, Harkins.
- Lower Campus and the Smith Center for the Arts. Unless you have lived in either Fennell Hall or Suites, you probably have not been able to fully appreciate the beauty and light spirit of the lower quad. While living in suites, my roommates and I would often walk through Harkins just to look at the art on the walls and overhear acappella rehearsals. If you don’t often get the chance to take a “longcut” through Smith to overhear Acapella, I suggest attending one of their shows. You will not regret it. Outside of the Smith Center is the lower quad. In the springtime especially, it is common to see a football being thrown or homework being done on the lawn. These are two perfect places to catch up on your theatrical side or master the art of frisbee.
Don’t be afraid to explore our campus and everything it has to offer. Consider this your “playground”. You will grow to appreciate all of these hidden gems for what they are— very unique, one of a kind parts of Friartown. Just like these areas, you too are a unique part of Friartown. Go explore and you will be happy you did.