Coming to a school like UMass, there are bound to be places on campus that you do not visit regularly. There may even be places around campus that you never visit!
The way that UMass is set up is very similar to a bullseye ring. The library, our beautiful 28-story red-brick tower, serves as the heart center of campus. Around the library, the inner concentric ring is all of our academic classes and the outer concentric ring is all of our residence halls and administration buildings. Most of the time, students are in the inner ring of campus, taking classes and studying. That inner ring is broken up even further; imagine slicing it like a pie or a pizza, with each area of study contained in each “slice.” So, if you are a history major, you will likely spend the majority of your time in the humanities and fine arts “slice” of the campus.
What this means is that you will not typically be running from one side of campus to the other (definitely a good thing), but it also means that there are academic “slices” that you will not know as much about. My roommate and I are science and business majors. We spend the majority of our time in the science and business areas of campus! But what about the arts, languages, or computer science areas? We wanted to explore!
In order to explore all of the buildings and areas on campus, we developed a new type of exercise… the fun run! While we could have definitely made a more creative name, we truly have had fun on all of these runs. Basically, a fun run is a typical outdoor run, but instead of traveling along the road or the Amherst rail trail, we jog and adventure around the campus. Some of our fun runs have ended up bringing us to other residence areas, remote athletic facilities, a huge university sundial, and to the engineering buildings. This way, my roommate and I got to exercise, explore, and spend time together, which is a win-win-win! Finding ways to see new sides of the campus made the school not only seem a lot smaller, but also allowed us to see our university home in a new way.