Let’s face it: the start of the spring semester hit us like a train. Classes are now in full swing, and the endless papers and lab assignments are beginning to pile up. Although I am a sucker for the impressive views from the tables of College Library, a change of scenery is always welcomed. After doing some exploring and asking around, I have compiled a brief list of underrated spaces around campus. You may just want to check them out the next time you need to grind out your work!
The first location on my list is the Educational Sciences building. Located across from Grand Central Apartments, this hidden gem is steps away from the hustle of campus. Take the elevator up to the 12th floor and find the single set of stairs that leads to the mysterious 13th floor. There you will find glass windows that show a breathtaking view of both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. The space itself is quiet, peaceful and rarely crowded. If you need a break from the tightness of College Library but want a beautiful view, the 13th floor of Educational Sciences is the way to go.
Next is the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. You may or may not have heard of this place, but trust me — it’s worth visiting! The first floor holds an abundant amount of plants that make you feel like you are sitting in the middle of the forest. Tranquil sounds of the many waterfalls focus and relax your mind. Hungry? Three unique restaurants for every taste are located conveniently in the building!
If campus buildings aren’t your thing, State Street has a variety of cute coffee shops. One of my personal favorites is Grace Coffee. Its chill atmosphere and to-die-for crepes lead to great inspiration! However, there is bound to be a spot that you will fall in love with — from Colectivo to Fair Trade! So push yourself to explore a little this semester. Who knows? Your grades might thank you for it.
Editor's Note [02/12/2020, 11:30 a.m.]: The 13th floor of the Educational Sciences building is not open to the public. It is a space for the WCER community for business-related purposes. In the upcoming weeks, the 13th floor of the Educational Sciences building will be inaccessible to students and non-WCER persons while large-scale events are being held. This is expected to extend into the spring and summer of 2020.