By TORIE DIMARTILE – STAFF WRITER
DESPITE ITS SMALL SIZE, STUDENTS HAVE DISCOVERED QUAINT SPOTS ON CAMPUS THAT FEEL JUST LIKE HOME
The crisp fall weather often stirs in students’ hearts a longing for home.
There is nothing quite like enjoying a hot drink in the comfort of one’s own living room, nestled into a favorite chair with the warmth of fall decorations on the mantle as a welcome back to all that is familiar.
As service meetings, sports practices, and classes move forward in a steady hum, students often feel the need to step out of the Centre flow and find a quiet spot that brings about the same delight as walking through their own front doors. Though small, Centre’s campus is filled with places that are little retreats and the perfect spots for some rejuvenation.
At one point or another, students all have moments where they would rather be turning the corner of their neighborhood than turning the pages of their textbooks. Sophomore Jeffrey Podis can name several things that he misses the most about his home in Tennessee.
“I miss all the different food restaurants. Within a block in Nashville, you can eat Chinese, Japanese, Vegetarian Thai, and Italian. Or you can go downtown and try fifty different burger places,” Podis said. “On Belmont Boulevard, there are fifteen different coffee places. They all have different menus.”
Though Danville may not have the culinary diversity of Nashville, it still manages to bring Podis a little comfort. The benches near Chowan in the Bingham parking lot bring back the calming atmosphere of parks in his hometown.
“Nashville has lots of parks and the spot near Chowan is the most like a park on campus aside from the festival lawn,” Podis said. “Also the sounds of the cars on the overpass make for a subtle, ambient noise to help with relaxing.”
Sophomore Becky Barefield similarly misses certain things about her hometown but still finds comfort in areas around Centre’s campus.
“What I miss most about home is my yard, probably. I love being able to walk outside and throw down a blanket and just read. I can’t do that here because [people are] always mowing and I have really bad allergies to the grass. So going out to the bench in front of Crounse is really similar to relaxing at home in my yard,” Barefield said. “It’s also really quiet so I can sit out there and ‘hide’ from everything around me for a little bit, just to think and do some reading. It’s peaceful.”
Some Centre students miss the natural environment that comes with the notion of home, while others miss the company after a long day.
“I really miss my cats,” junior Kristen Means said. “They help me de-stress and I look forward to seeing them when I get home. I like cuddling with them, too.”
Although Centre may not have furry friends waiting for its students on their dorm futons, Means finds some of the comfort of home in another place. She spends time working on homework on the balcony of Pearl Hall, overlooking the soccer fields and towering trees by Hillside.
“I really like [the spot] because it’s peaceful and I love getting to look at the nature. Where I live in Pennsylvania, there are lots of trees. My mom loves to garden and my dad tends to our trees too. We use our backyard to play football and volleyball,” Means said. “And the view off of Pearl balcony kind of reminds me of all the nature back home.”
The next time you find yourself walking to class missing your house, your neighborhood, good home-cooking, or your loving terrier, take a moment to soak in the beauty of campus and find a secluded, unknown, and peaceful spot to relax.
Maybe it’s the benches tucked in the back of Pearl by the tables where it’s cool, green, and quiet.
Or maybe it’s the garden by Old Centre and McReynolds Hall with its enclosed brick pathway, sprawling plants, and vibrant flowers.
Or maybe it’s the comfy couches on the fourth floor of Crounse where some students like to nap.
Places such as these make Centre’s campus peaceful, beautiful, and truly a home away from home.