62°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Get out! Spring is waiting just around the bend

It’s that time of year again, where the whiff of high dew points and the sound of mourning doves singing revives your dopamine levels, opens the floodgates for your dewy eyes to come out of hibernation and gives your mind the factory reset you longed for all winter. That’s right, it’s springtime! It’s time to open the bedroom curtains and windows, stay away from the hornets’ nests and spring into action by getting outside any chance you can. Everywhere you look, there’ll be something new to do. 

Some may be wondering how to pass the time outside when running on such a hectic schedule, because truth be told, UMass Boston has yet to reach its zenith as a place to spend outdoors. That same group may be credulous that this place has few outdoor activities to offer—and again, there’s an argument there—but there comes a point where one has to open up their mind and recognize the beauty and leisure this harborside campus has to offer.

That doesn’t mean you have to get creative or attempt to escape from seeing through the looking glass to make the most of your free time. On the contrary, though, it doesn’t hurt to go in that direction. Even if one can’t find the simplicity in spending time outside at UMass Boston, that yellow brick road on campus—AKA, the Harborwalk—can lead many in the right direction, because there’s an entire metropolis full of scenic paths, beautiful parks and serendipitous adventures just a few miles down the road, waiting to be explored. 

Of course, the road not taken is still a smart decision, as staying within the confines of Columbia Point is arguably the best place to begin. For starters, take advantage of the atmosphere around you. UMass Boston is still eliminating its reputation as a “commuter school,” but that doesn’t mean people can’t find peace in the simple things this aesthetically pleasing bubble provides. The campus already gives a head start; beach chairs on the front lawn and benches scattered all around are just a couple examples of how UMass Boston offers its dwellers a space to relax or indulge in freedom. The addition of the quad—albeit, delayed to a pulp—will provide a bigger haven to the established slew of opportunities for students. 

The opening of the quad’s basketball court should be the talk of the town, too. Open all day, the outdoor venue is located next to Clark Athletics Center, adjacent to Motley Residence Hall East. It gives students a chance to get a workout in, especially with games of all kinds permeating Clark; if you can handle colder weather, playing outside may be the more ideal option. If basketball isn’t your cup of tea, other sports like American football, baseball or soccer may be more up your alley. Don’t be afraid to bring a ball of your own and toss it around with some friends, whether it be in front of the Campus Center or when the quad’s courtyard opens. 

UMass Boston Recreation also ensures students’ athletic and outdoor endeavors are met. People can register for a number of activities through the recreation portal on the university’s official website. According to the portal, accessible via umbrec.connect.umb.edu, students can pick their poison when it comes to what suits their interests. Intramural sports are the perfect way to integrate with the student body, with flag football and soccer offered. If committing to that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always the alternative of renting lawn games from the rec department: spikeball, kickball, wiffle ball and cornhole to name a few [1]. 

Granted, if you don’t feel the need to get involved with UMass Boston recreation, there’s more than enough fill-ins, which include clubs and activities non-exclusive to school. The Cohasset Sports Complex off route 3A has pickup soccer games every Monday at 7 p.m., per their website [2]. If you want to get more physical, there are numerous Rugby teams to sign up for, including the Wolfhounds, Anchors and River Rats.

If organized sports aren’t appealing, as said before, that yellow brick road is your friend. The Harborwalk is the perfect place to ride a bike, go for a run, skateboard, longboard—really any form of transportation. Except driving, of course—and flying. Not to mention, you can always pop a squat, take in the breathtaking view of the harbor and do anything you please, all while gaining some vitamin D. 

There’s no better place to be in the city than what lies at the end of the Harborwalk though, the renowned Castle Island. Fort Independence is the perfect place to trek to if you’re looking to make a day out or grab a bite to eat at Sullivan’s. The same goes for other hotspots in the city like the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, as well as some niche spots like Pope John Paul II Park, which is down the street off Neponset Avenue. 

The willow trees in the Public Garden are a sight to see when they blossom, and the garden in general is a go-to if you want to get your steps in or burn some calories. Pope John Paul is home to Neponset trail, as well as a massive field open to the public for athletic or recreational purposes. Picnics are nice in any and all places outdoors, and you can always find infinite jest in talking to friends or reading.

Needless to say, exercise—no matter how one may define it—can become a healthy habit with warmer weather on the cards. Seasonal depression is a thing of the past with winter on the back burner, and with the Northern Hemisphere climbing toward summer, there’s brighter days ahead. There’s no better way to spend them than in the great outdoors. So the ball’s in your court; do yourself a favor and get out!

 

  1. UMB Recreation
  2. Monday Night Pick Up | Coho Sports Complex (cohassetsportscomplex.com)

 

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor