Summer is a beautiful time on campus when many people would be coming to visit. While that isn’t really a possibility right now, we have a lot of options for students who are interested in learning more about UChicago. If you’re curious about how you can get to know our school while social distancing, you should check out this page for information on model classes, info sessions, and other events!
Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions about some of my favorite places on campus. In order to answer some of those questions, I thought that I’d devote this post to highlighting some of my favorite places at UChicago. As an alum and someone who now works for the University, I’ve gotten to know our campus well, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite spots with you today!
- Botany Pond. Fun fact: the UChicago campus as a whole is a botanic garden! And one of the best parts of that garden is Botany Pond. This small pond is located right at the entrance to the quad, so it’s a place that I would walk past almost every day on the way to class. It’s a great place to go to just chill out for a minute and enjoy nature, especially during the spring and summer. Botany Pond isn’t directly in my path to work anymore, but I do like to go hang out by the pond from time to time. In recent news, Honey the Duck, one of the most famous inhabitants of the pond, just had some new ducklings! There’s actually a livestream of the pond going on right now, which you can check out at the link above. And who knows? Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of Honey’s ducklings!
- Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. One of my favorite places to walk past on campus is the Mansueto Library. It’s a dome-shaped building made almost entirely of glass, meaning that you can see in and out of the library through the walls. I studied here a few times during undergrad, but I tried not to do so very often so that actually going inside would remain a special experience. Also, as I’ve mentioned in one of my past posts, Mansueto was used as a stand-in for Erudite Headquarters in the movie Divergent, which is one of my favorite fun facts about our school. If you want to get to know Mansueto a little bit better, you can check out a 360° tour here.
- Arley D. Cathey Learning Center in Harper Memorial Library. Yes, I am including another library on this list. I am a nerd, what can I say? I really loved studying here during my time in undergrad. Harper is one of the best examples of the gothic-inspired architecture of our campus, and that gothic look is on full display in the learning center. What you might not be able to tell from pictures, however, is that the Cathey Learning Center also has the most comfortable chairs of any place on campus, and it is one of the warmest rooms on campus during the winter. I had to be careful of going here to study because it’s very easy to get a little too comfortable in the chairs and just fall asleep.
- Cobb Café. People have very strong opinions about the coffee shops on campus, so I’m honestly a little nervous to include any coffee shop on this list, but hopefully no one will be too upset with me for not including their favorite. Many of my classes were in Cobb, which has a café in its basement. They have a great selection of food from local restaurants, so I loved to just go downstairs, get something to eat, and chill out before my next class. It is definitely one of the quirkier cafes on campus; they often have indie music or an old movie playing (or both). To this day, when I’m working in my office, I sometimes enjoy walking over to Cobb Café to grab lunch.
- Myers-McLoraine Pool. As you might know from reading some of my other posts, I swam for UChicago when I was in undergrad. There were definitely times (namely when we had hard practices at 6 in the morning) when the pool was my least favorite place to be. But, on the whole, it holds a lot of my favorite UChicago memories. It’s also just a great space in general, in my opinion. Some of my favorite features are the large windows that span from the floor to the ceiling that let in a ton of light. A lot of competition pools are bit darker and not quite so open, so I’m thankful I got to train there all throughout college.
There you have it: some of my most favorite places on the UChicago campus! There are a bunch more that I could talk about, but hopefully this gives you some insight into some of the places you might want to visit when our campus is finally able to open back up again. I know that I’m certainly excited to return to the locations that are closed the next time I get a chance. In the meantime, I hope you are all staying safe and that you get to visit some of your favorite places in your hometown (wherever that might be) very soon!