Don’t neglect the outdoors | The Triangle

Don’t neglect the outdoors

Photograph courtesy of Montgomery County Planning Commission at Flickr

As the temperature has heated up, hundreds of students have crawled out of their reclusive states brought on by the frigid winter and flocked to Drexel’s common spaces on campus. It makes me happy to witness such an event, and reminds me of the importance of spending time outside.

All Drexel students are constantly busy, making it easy to get trapped inside for hours, glaring at a computer screen or drooling over a textbook. However, when the weather permits, it is important to not forget to step outside, even if just for a few minutes. It is the easiest way to boost your mood and health.

Although I always curse the sweltering sun whenever it shines brightly on me, I can’t deny that sunlight has its health benefits. Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins humans should receive every day, and it has even been suggested that it can protect from cancer and depression, among other illnesses. To get a proper intake of the vitamin, just step outside on a sunny day and expose your arms and legs for 10-15 minutes. That’s all it takes for a quick health boost, so bring that homework outside and sit in the sun.

Simply sitting outside is great, but you can also do your exercise outside instead of in the gym. While Drexel students have access to one of the best gyms in Philadelphia and there is nothing wrong with utilizing a gym, there are plenty of physical activities that can also be done outside. Play volleyball with friends, take a jog through a park or go for a bike ride. Sunlight will boost your mood, more so than the lights inside of the gym.

Luckily, both Drexel’s campus and Philadelphia offer plenty of spaces where people can enjoy being outside. Drexel Park is one of my favorite places to bask in the sun and have a beautiful view of the city. The Schuylkill River Trail is another excellent place to go, especially for those looking to go for a run or bike ride.

When I was a child, I would spend as much time outside as I could before my mom would yell at me to come back home. It was important to spend time outside to improve my social skills, get exercise and do something more productive than sitting in my room alone. These benefits are important not just for a child’s growth, but for anybody’s. Being a busy college student weighed down by work and stress might make some want to retreat inside and hide from the world, reversing all of the effects that outside childhood play had. Step outside and be reminded of the golden years before you had responsibilities.


Although many students will be stuck at Drexel all summer, there is no excuse to not spend time outside. I understand that we all pay a lot of money for our dorms and apartments, but there’s nothing more valuable than all of the benefits of spending time under the summer sun.