Although Utah is known for its winter weather and activities, as spring arrives, students at Westminster College said the warmer season opens up more opportunities to get outside.
Salt Lake City is home to endless opportunities for adventure and activities such as skiing, climbing, backpacking, hiking, camping, hiking and more, according to the State’s official tourism website.
Westminster sits nicely in the heart of Sugar House, with the mountain foothills minutes away from campus, making it accessible for students and the community to get outdoors and into nature.
“Going outside lets me connect with the intrinsic sense of belonging to the world around me,” said Chloe Moon Davis, a junior sports management major. “I need to get outside at least every day. And days that I don’t get to be outside, I tend to get a little stir crazy.”
Davis, who also works as a Gearhead for Backcountry, said she grew up in a household where being outside was an important ritual, and since attending Westminster, she has been able to continue her passion for the outdoors because of the campus’ proximity to the mountains.
She said now that spring has arrived and it has gotten warmer, she has a lot more motivation to climb, hike and run outside.
Davis is not the only one who said she was able to find peace and a sense of energy when spending time in the outdoors. Westminster junior marketing major Emma Heyn said she feels that as spring arrives, her productivity goes up.
“Already this spring, since it’s been getting warmer, I feel so much more motivated and productive to get outside, run and get things done,” Heyn said.
Sean Meehan, a sophomore anthropology major and sponsored professional climber, said he feels the most himself when in the outdoors.
“When I am outdoors, I feel fulfilled,” Meehan said. “It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. It could be shitty, awful, raining, hailing, or I could be stuck on the side of a cliff, but I would rather be there than anywhere else.”
Similar to Meehan, Alex Bochner, a senior environmental studies major, said being outdoors allows him to feel refreshed.
Bochner said he is passionate about outdoors activities including snowboarding, climbing and backpacking, and that the outdoors centers him and makes him feel connected to where he is.
“I feel like in cities, it is really easy to get caught up in stuff that doesn’t matter,” Bochner said. “Being outside helps me simplify my life and feel more connected to myself, my body and nature around me.”
Ellen Behrens, a professor of mental health counseling, licensed psychologist and wilderness therapy professional, said simply being in the dirt and in the wild can change lives.
“Wilderness therapy has been proven to be one of the most beneficial ways of therapy for individuals who happen to struggle with substance abuse and have come to a point in their life where they simply can’t do anything else,” Behrens said.
Lasana Trawally, Westminster student and track and field runner, said he feels like springtime makes the campus more beautiful and full of energy.
Trawally said when he is outside he feels free and at peace and simply spending time in the outdoors allows him to restore his energy.
He said there seems to be a certain energy about the Westminster’s campus, as the weather changes from winter to spring and how the outdoors brings a sort of peace even in a therapeutic way.
“As I have walked around campus, I have been really excited to see all of the flowers and birds,” Trawally said. “Westminster is such an outdoorsy school, and I can feel that the students on campus are more energized as the temperatures rise and summer gets closer.”