The warmer weather brought out students and others to enjoy campus, including this person at Mirror Lake. (Tanajah Fryer/UConn Journalism)
By UConn’s Spring 2023 Feature Writing Class
March 23, 2023
STORRS — An abruptly warm Tuesday afternoon prompted a tranquil atmosphere at the University of Connecticut, interrupted by nothing more than 9 mph winds and the back-up beeper of a FedEx truck.
Flaky brown wood chips revealed colorful yellow and purple buds of crocuses peeking through the decay. The flowerbed surrounded the perimeter of the Student Union quad, where students opted for fresh air at the center of campus, doing schoolwork while embracing the first signs of spring.
“I looked at the weather this morning and I was really excited to see it was supposed to be a high of what, like 57 or something like that?” Emily Jajliardo said, pen in hand and with a notebook in her lap.
Members of the UConn community are anticipating warmer walks to class during their final weeks of the semester. Sixty degrees in March is rare in Storrs, and students took advantage of the extra sun by lingering under it as much as possible. They occupied wooden benches, sipped on coffee outside The Beanery and filled up outdoor tables by the Student Union.
In the trees near Mirror Lake, sparrows chased one another while singing. A student sat on her black cotton jacket to avoid the dew on the grass. Her assignments were scattered across the green as she took notes from her laptop.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Ligouri said spring is her favorite season, especially at UConn. She’s looking forward to strolling through campus beside the blossoming dogwood trees and daffodils.
“Spring means laying on the Student Union lawn with my friends and finally having longer days. It’s still a little too cold and wet to do that, but it’s coming,” said Ligouri.
Her friend Adam Perry wore shorts without a coat, but admitted to being slightly cold.
“When spring comes, I try to be outside as much as possible. It’s hard to focus on school when it’s sunny and warm — I get antsy for sure,” Perry said. “I couldn’t wait any longer to wear shorts.”
As they walked away, squirrels manically zipped across the sidewalk, scavenging for food.
Three research scientists gorged on food from the UConn “Food for the Pack” truck, which offers burgers, fries and other food in front of the library for a cheap price. The food truck had reopened for its first day since the fall semester, having suffered a staffing complication that delayed its opening.
“I never really think about the sun until it hits my skull,” mused Philip Heck, one of the scientists who was there to install a laser for the Physics Department, between burrito bites. “Every cycle feels like a regeneration. It’s so nurturing and I’m getting excited just talking about it.”
Graduate student Kevin Watson jumped in. He was just glad to be able to poke his head out of the labs.
“You tend to forget about the outside world after breathing months of dry recycled air,” he said.