Ithaca College’s Outing Club provides students with opportunities to spend time outside regardless of their experience levels. The club, which has existed since 2018, holds weekly events as well as different outings where transportation and gear is provided for students who attend.
The Outing Club’s dedication to providing opportunities for outdoor experiences is admirable especially since activities like hiking and camping can seem daunting or overwhelming to those who may not have had any previous experience in these activities. The Ithaca area is incredibly beautiful and offers so much in terms of outdoor activities that students should take advantage of. The Ithaca College Natural Lands offer 560 acres of forest at students’ disposal. Spending time outside can be incredibly beneficial for students’ mental health and well-being and a Cornell University study found that spending as little as 10 minutes outdoors can contribute to higher levels of happiness and can lessen the effects of stress on the body.
Not only is the club a useful resource for students looking to spend more time in the great outdoors, but spending time outside is beneficial for students’ mental and physical health. College is stressful. There are an abundance of deadlines and assignments that pile on students’ plates and it can be easy to forgo self-care activities.
Changes in seasons contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Ithaca College students are not excluded among those experiencing SAD. The cloudy, dreary days of the Ithaca winter begin sooner than students expect, so it is important to take the limited time that is available to soak up some vitamin D.
Ithaca College is unique in the sense that the campus is surrounded by nature. Between the Natural Lands and local gorges and hiking trails, students have more than enough opportunities to take advantage of the nature around them. It is in the hands of the students to stop and smell the roses.