Survive UF with Outdoors and Art Gatorwalk

As a University of Florida student, you are in one of the most exciting times of your life! But with that excitement comes a whirlwind of new adjustments to being a college student. You’re not even a quarter of the way through your first Fall semester and you’re realizing that that What Is The Good Life? course you took during Summer B did not prepare you for the hell that is CHM2045.

Don't burn out. Don't burn out. Don't burn out.

Exploring the variety of outdoors activities and arts UF has to offer is one of the best ways to stay engaged and inspired.

As Florida's state museum of natural history, the museum is dedicated to understanding and preserving biological diversity and cultural heritage.

The Florida Museum of Natural History, just across from Southwest Rec, is a world class institution committed to inspiring people to value the richness and cultural heritage of our diverse world. The museum is the largest in the Southeast and is one of the 10 best university museums in the country. Pretty cool, huh? It is home to hundreds of live butterflies from around the world, a plethora of natural and cultural history, as well as representations of some of Florida's most unique habitats.

If you're feeling bogged down with homework and stress, head to the Butterfly Rainforest to stand in the midst of a rich tropical forest. Surround yourself with the sounds of waterfalls, the colors of flowering orchids, and free-flying butterflies and birds. The Butterfly Rainforest inside the Florida Museum of Natural History is a must-see.

Albert and Albert agree- the Butterfly Rainforest is a must-see!

Not a fan of bugs and birds whizzing past you? Stroll on over to the Harn Museum to see how they engage and inspire through art. You can even check out a real-life Monet!

The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art spans over 112,800 square feet and houses African, Asian, modern and contemporary, Ancient American and oceanic, and photography art collections.

If you're interested in wandering among paintings, sculptures, prints, ceramics, photographs, and culture, The Harn is just right for you. They collaborate with the international art community to bring relevant and engaging art programs to the University of Florida.

The Harn Museum of Art opened in 1990 and has since served a wide and diverse audience- including Albert and Alberta.

Bring your artsy roommate and her hipster boyfriend to the Harn with you. The art may spark critical thinking and in-depth dialogue about regional, national, and international issues.

Take a break from browsing art to enjoy lunch at Camellia Court Cafe on the ground floor of the Harn, just below the galleries. You can take in views of the beautiful landscaped gardens surrounding the museum in between bites of a club sandwich spoonfuls of crab bisque.

Also, Camellia Court Cafe accepts UF meal plans.

The menu at the Camellia Court Cafe includes a yummy ham, brie, and sliced pear sandwich with spinach.

After a light lunch at Camellia Court Cafe, take a stroll back towards campus. Lake Alice is not far away.

Lake Alice is a small lake on campus that harbors a population wildlife creatures, most notably- alligators and soft shell turtles.

Watch your step very carefully around the banks of Lake Alice. The alligators, turtles, and birds don't like being disturbed from their peaceful existence at this slice of serene paradise.

Lake Alice, just a short walk from the Harn and Museum of Natural History, is an ideal place to set up a hammock for the day. Not only are there endless quiet hideaways to swing in an Eno between clusters of trees, there is also a maze of trails and boardwalks that intertwine around the lake.

The dirt path and short boardwalk, designated Natural Area Teaching Lab Trail on Lake Alice's north side meander through the woods, where you can expect to see a variety of wetland plants and animals. Other trails include: Upland Pine Trail, where you can see pines and wildflowers in Spring; the Old Field Trail with abandoned agricultural fields; and the Hammock Trail with a variety of plants.

It's great to be a Florida Gator! It's not uncommon to catch a glimpse of live alligators sunbathing in the grassy patches around Lake Alice

Bring a book that inspires you and a backpack full of granola bars to Lake Alice. You won't regret taking a day away from your Calc I homework to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and cool breeze.

If quiet meditation is what you need but laying outdoors in a hammock is not quite what you're about, step inside the Baughman Center. The Baughman Center is on the southwest side of Lake Alice.

Designed to bring the picturesque outdoor setting inside, natural materials echo the serene Florida surroundings.

The Gothic-inspired pavilion, with it's soaring windows, travertine marble floors, and hardwood paneled ceiling, make for a breathtaking and peaceful contemplation space. The Baughman Center is open for private, contemplation on weekdays.

The Baughman Center has been ranked third on the Florida Architecture: 100 Years, 100 Places list published by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

It's undeniable that the University of Florida has much to offer when it comes to the outdoors and art. However you decide to tackle the stress of Chem 1 and Calc 1, stay engaged and inspired through the Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum, Lake Alice, and the Baughman Center.

Staying focused and relaxed is the key to avoid burn out.

At the University of Florida, Gators accomplish remarkable feats with innovative thinking and inspired collaboration. We get it. You're in enthusiastic pursuit to be the very best in the classroom. Just don't forget to take some time to invest in yourself. Wander the museums or slowly sway in a hammock outside.

Exploring the variety of outdoors activities and arts UF has to offer is one of the best ways to stay engaged and inspired.

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