I grew up amid the shadowy, pine-crusted forests of Western Pennsylvania. My house sits at the end of a dead end street, with no neighbors for nearly a quarter mile. “And pa built the house himself,” I tell people, despite the fact that it looks like a vinyl-sided Pizza Hut. For the first eighteen years of my life, I could look out my bedroom window and bask in all the sylvan grandeur of lilac, oak, and infant fox. But as I sit here now, typing away on this gosh darn robot, I am met with the view of Walsh’s east-facing façade. A two-lane road. A cemetery! “Oh to be young and live in a tenement,” I say to my mother over the phone. “You’re weird,” she tells me, “But I understand. We all need nature.”
We do need nature – we need lagoons and thickets. Wildflowers, beaver dams, and galactic full moon chasms. While it can seem like Boston College is far removed from all things natural, this is certainly not the case. There is hope for you transcendentalists out there, hope for us all.
There are plenty of trees and grassy areas on campus, but we needn’t limit ourselves to such domestic manifestations of greenery. Foremost, we have the Res. Go there alone. Think. Let it become your Walden. The crescent of forest surrounding the Res is also worth exploring – if your imagination is good enough, you can refashion all of the hobo shanties you come across into delightful little Eeyore huts.
Both the student-run Outdoor Club and the Plex’s Outdoor Adventure Program offer a host of well-priced outings. Hike the Blue Hills! Raft the Deerfield! Ski America! Over spring break, I went on a weeklong rafting trip in Oregon with the Outdoor Adventure Program, and, no, I just haven’t been the same since.
If you follow Lake Street past the daisy-laced pastures of Brighton Campus, you will find yourself not at a lake but Chandler Pond. It’s full of wildlife and lovely nonetheless.
Try taking the Blue Line to Wonderland or Revere Beach. While many find these environs somewhat questionable and disenchanting, you are still at the cusp of the Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic ever-sublime.
And if you live on Newton, lucky you! You are but steps away from all the good, clean fun of the Newton Woods.
So now you know. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the dorm room dead grass bookworm blues when all this nature, all these opportunities for campfire orgies and transcendental meditation, are at your disposal.