UConn Enjoys First Signs of Spring

A person sits on a bench by a lake

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.