Viewpoint: The Struggle of Studying in the Sun


Karley Betzler

View of the Hixon Forest Park trails.

Karley Betzler, Sports Reporter

The sun soaked field, between Eagle and Coate Hall, hosted an explosion of blankets and minimally-clothed bodies. Students rollerblading along the surrounding sidewalks; hammocks gently swung between the nearby trees, and various games of volleyball sprung up with or without the use of a net.

While most of the students had a laptop, book, or notebook popped open in front of their relaxed figures, many were not studying. Admittedly, I was one of the students who thought about studying and was soon distracted by the incredible weather. I mean, I can’t really be blamed for not studying; the problem lies in the warm weather.

Honestly, I’d rather be unproductive and enjoy being outside as opposed to locking myself in a stuffy, dark room somewhere and feeling guilty about not being outside while it’s nice out. I have been deprived of warm weather for months, so how can I be expected to not take advantage of it? Also, my intentions of studying should be noted. I, like many of my observed peers, had scholarly intentions. It’s truly not our fault that summer is creeping up on us.

Summer brings many things to a college student’s life and, for some of us (not you people who take summer classes-keep rocking on), school is not one of them. Summer break is just that, a break. So, when warm weather comes along I automatically associate it with summer and, therefore, a break from school.

Another distraction warm weather brings with it is all the fun activities. Like, how am I expected to not hike the bluffs when it’s completely beautiful outside? As much as I would love to be able to do homework while walking my way up to the Rim of the City, it’s pretty much impossible. Even simply sitting outside is satisfying when the weather is incredible. So, really, even though I want to get my homework done, the pull to be outside is most likely going to win every time.

I’m not the only UW-L student who struggles with the want to be outside and the need to study. UW-L Freshman Erin Zajc commented, “It’s nice outside, so I want to be outside and enjoying the weather, but then I can’t focus on what I need to get done.”

UW-L Freshman Carissa Beiberdorf noted that she was hoping for cold or rainy weather the week before finals, so she could study more and be less tempted by the nice weather.

The thing it all really comes down to though is this: I want to be outside, but I need to study and if I study outside, then I won’t actually get any work done. So, my conclusion is that something needs to change. Whether that be the weather becoming less wonderful, which would be heartbreaking for many people, or locking myself inside and pushing through the “I should be outside” guilt. Or maybe, hopefully, I will find the perfect balance that allows me to both soak up the sun and the knowledge my professors are trying to spread.