With Thanksgiving break so close yet so far away, this time of year calls for the beginning of a very stressful time for students. As homework, exams, projects, and papers pile up: the doomed end of the semester reality sets into our minds. Many students feel as if they’re drowning in work with just a few weeks in the semester left. Getting bogged down by the chaos and assiduity of the end of the semester will fail to put students in the right place they need to be in to focus on studying for finals. Now and then, students need to take a break, catch their breath, and clear their heads before diving into work. When living on campus, it’s hard to find spaces to be alone to get some much-needed quiet time. Because of this, we compiled a list of the top five hidden gems on campus to escape the stress and hardships of being a student.

1. Botanical Gardens

Located right on West Campus, the Merion Botanical Gardens are the perfect place to clear your head. A beautiful green space, surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna, provides the backdrop to a perfect afternoon of alone time. Nestled in the shadow of the Merion Gardens residential apartment building, this park is isolated from the liveliness of campus and the hustle and bustle of the city.

Photo taken by Aidan Dowling
Photo taken by Aidan Dowling

2. Pavillon outside Claver

This spot truly is a hidden gem; if you didn’t know where to look, you’d miss it. Hidden next to the home to the honors program, on the Merion side of campus, is a secret pavilion with a bench. This spot is the perfect hide-out, unknown to most students.

3. Stacks

The third floor of Drexel Library is the perfect place to seclude yourself and take a much-needed break. It also can serve as an ideal study spot. The walls of books provide an escape from the outside world. A journey to the third floor can give students a feeling of peace, quiet, and the right mindset to focus.

Photo Taken by Abby Williams

4. Lapsley Lane

Known for its picturesque scenery, Lapsley Lane is more than just a prime location for graduation photos or an alternate route to class. This street provides the perfect walking trail to clear your mind. Especially this time of year, Lapsley is exceptionally scenic as it is aglow with the colors of fall. A stroll down the beloved street surrounded by its lavish buildings and warm-toned nature allows for a mind-clearing walk-out. 

Photo Taken by Abby Williams

5. Hall of Fame patio 

Hidden between Hagan Arena and Barry Hall is the Wynne’s Hall of Fame Patio. This patio, encapsulated by trellises and vines, transports students away from the campus and provides the perfect break from reality. 

Photo Taken by Aidan Dowling

So the next time you need to take that much-needed study break, consider visiting some of these underappreciated hidden gem locations of Hawk Hill! After all, finals are approaching, stress is running high, and your self-relaxation will need tending. We hope we gave you some suggestions for your next journey outside the dorm!