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'Almost like normal': Warmer weather encourages students to spend time outdoors


Students embrace the spring weather on the quad on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.

With recent temperatures reaching as high as the 70s and the spring weather slowly rolling in, some UNC students have decided to take advantage of this unusual February weather by spending more time outside. 

Malika Amoruso, a first-year biochemistry major, said she spent the last week riding around campus on her bike, studying at McCorkle Place and trying outdoor yoga with her hallmates. 

She said she is delighted to see how a small glimpse of spring weather has turned the University into a completely different campus.

“There were a lot of students on the main quad by Wilson Library,” Amoruso said. “That was kind of crazy to see — it was almost like normal.”

Along with using the warm weather to socialize with her peers, Amoruso said she has also incorporated the outdoors into her hybrid class schedule.

“I love being outside and taking classes, even though you have to be a little more vigilant about what’s going on around you,” Amoruso said. “It’s just nice to feel the sun, and it’s kind of cool to see other people walking around you.”

Halle Evans, a first-year environmental health science major, said she has also used the recent high temperatures to take her classes outdoors. Evans said she cherishes the unexpected warm weather, something she isn’t used to in her hometown.

“I’m from Illinois and during this time there is snow on the ground,” Evans said. “This weather at this time is nothing like I’ve grown up with or been used to, and I love it. It makes me more motivated and just happy.”

Jaime Halton, a first-year neuroscience and exercise and sport science major, said he spent the warm weather week exercising and having an outdoor study group with his friends.

“We’ve been studying in the Pit, enjoying the sun while we have it,” Halton said. “We sit in our little circles and shout questions, trying to see who can get the answer the fastest. There’s a lot of other study groups out here as well — I didn’t even know there were this many people on campus.”

Dr. Leslie Montana, a Counseling and Psychological Services psychiatrist, said the recent warm weather not only provides more options to safely socialize with peers, but also promotes mental well-being. 

As a self-proclaimed proponent of ecotherapy, Montana said she recommends that students use the outdoors to alleviate stress and connect with nature.

“Research shows that spending two hours outside every week has huge benefits for us,”  Montana said. “Just that 20 minutes outside can help reset our brains. It can benefit us a lot more than scrolling the web or getting on TikTok.”

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