I don’t know what it is about this place. It’s a lovely campus, where students are constantly strolling around together either to class or to Einstein’s to grab a latte and chat about their plans for the weekend. Everywhere I go I hear sounds of laughter, enthusiasm and the buzz of people talking. But some people need a place to escape, just as much as they need to be around all the mild chaos of college students scattering about. That’s why, in my time at CNU, I have scrounged for the best places to just catch some alone time. And whether on campus, or just a short walk from campus, I believe I have found some superb locations:
The Arts Garden in the Ferguson Center: It’s a treasured secret of those who claim the Ferg as their main stomping ground. As you walk into the main academic hallway, just a few paces down the hall on your left will be the door to the Ferguson’s version of the secret garden. It’s just a quiet, quaint little outdoors space placed in the middle of the vast artistic chaos of the Ferguson. It includes benches and plenty of flora to make you feel refreshed and reinvigorated.
Second floor of The Freeman Center: I’m in a club that meets in the Freeman every Tuesday and Thursday. Due to the fact that it meets rather late, I usually have quit a bit of time between dinner and club meeting. Oftentimes I find myself torn between wanting to work in the library, and wanting to go back to my room and just … sit around in solitude. Then I remember that I can experience the comfort and isolation of my room, along with the less distracting environment if I just relax in one of the many cozy corners of The Freeman Center. I highly recommend it.
Panera: The Panera in CNU Village is an excellent place to go if you need to focus and study and must avoid going to Einstein’s for the day (because you WILL see someone you know). Usually it’s packed during lunchtime and dinnertime, of course. However, a mid-afternoon visit almost always guarantees calmness and quietness. That paired with a cup of hazelnut coffee and cheese danish, and you’re ready for a fine afternoon of relaxed study time.
Lionsgate Bridge: If you’re really, really feeling like you need to get off campus and experience a little fresh air, then a trip to Lionsgate is an excellent choice for finding solitude. Just take your bicycle, go down the Avenue of the Arts and along the Harvey Trail next to the Mariner’s Museum, and you’ll find yourself at Lionsgate on the picturesque bank of the James River. On a lovely fall day, it’s a perfect place for doing some light homework, yoga, or just having a picnic with your best friend or significant other. And the close proximity to the great campus of CNU makes it very easy to visit on just any day.