As midterm season continues for me, I find myself needing more changes of scenery. I’ve had mountains of homework assignments and big midterm projects for about three weeks now, which seems to be a common experience among Tufts students right now. The one thing I hear repeatedly from other students in the same busy situation is how helpful it is to explore new places. While it’s great to get into Boston or off-campus whenever possible, it can also be greatly beneficial to explore new study spaces or hang-out spots on-campus. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to find a great deal of new spots, both on and off-campus, that are easily accessible and provide a welcome change in the midst of a stressful time. Below I’ll talk about three of my new favorite places and how I came about them, which I hope will be helpful to know about:
1) Off-campus - MFA and SMFA: I talked a little about the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) in a previous blog post, and mentioned that I wanted to visit the actual Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) as well. Last weekend, three of my suitemates and I booked our tickets to the MFA ahead of time and ventured into Boston for a quick day trip. We got free tickets to the museum through Tufts and had access to the free shuttle that took us there. In less than an hour, we’d arrived in a completely new setting. We explored the Fenway area, including some of the food and coffee. We saw beautiful drawings, paintings, and sculptures in the MFA, which left us all feeling much calmer and more refreshed. The Fenway area is one of my new favorite spots because it is both so fun and so accessible to Tufts students.
2) Off-campus - CambridgeSide Mall area: Cambridge in general is very accessible from Tufts. This past weekend, I went to the CambridgeSide Mall area of the town in particular (pictured in the blog photo), and walked around outside. There are many restaurants that offer minimal contact take-out, and stores that you can enter if you feel comfortable. My friend and I mostly wandered around outside because the weather was beautiful, and we discovered a gorgeous view of the Boston skyline, as well as an extension of the Charles River. We got pizza from a place called Blaze, and ate it outside on a park bench, surrounded by seagulls, geese, ducks, and too many other random birds that I simply cannot name. It was delicious pizza and beautiful scenery—I couldn’t have asked for more.
3) On-campus - Miner Hall and Paige Hall: These two buildings on Tufts campus are some of the prettiest I have been in. They are located on the uphill side of campus, and neighbor each other. These buildings have probably the most amount of natural sunlight of any of the Tufts academic buildings, which gives me such a higher motivation to study. Also, because they are uphill, they overlook other parts of Tufts campus, which is a very fun view to have while grinding out four or more hours of work. Plus, both of these halls have outdoor seating and picnic tables, which are becoming very helpful now that the sun is coming out, and staying out, longer. As I’ve discovered, Miner and Paige Hall are great options for changing scenery while still remaining at school and doing work.
These are just three examples of locations that are accessible to Tufts students. Though there is a lot of work to do and little flexibility in places to explore during the pandemic, there are definitely exceptions like these. I have been thrilled to discover new places off-campus that can be reached by shuttle, walking, or biking; even taking a short trip to a new place can be key in reviving motivation and excitement. The on-campus study spaces, like Miner and Paige Hall, have always been there, but I’ve just now discovered how pretty they can be, and how much that can help with studying. I’m looking forward to finding even more new, fun places nearby!