This story was co-written with Imani Stewart
Western Carolina University’s pristine location allows students to have quick and easy access to many of the best sights and adventures the Southern Appalachian Mountains have to offer.
With finals week approaching, stress is on the rise, but have no fear – there are plenty of places that can help get you through.
If the library’s a little too quiet and your roommates are a little too loud to get any studying done, there are plenty of beautiful spots around to have a study break or take your work with you.
“It’s important for students to take study breaks because it’s extremely easy to become overwhelmed when studying for long periods of time and it allows yourself time to relieve stress,” said junior, Emilee Hammer.
With final projects, papers and exams taking up the time of many students, many can’t make full day trips to enjoy these locations. Luckily, our small town of Cullowhee is home to several scenic study and getaway spots that are all a short walk or drive away.
“I like to study outdoors because it’s peaceful and if you can’t go hiking because you have to study, you can still be outside and study so it’s a great compromise,” said junior and Base Camp Cullowhee staff member, Mary Kindred.
In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, WCU is a short drive away from the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests as well as the most visited National Park in America, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In and amongst the reaches of the park and forests, you can find any adventure you’re looking for. These range from rafting and camping to fly fishing and hiking to summits and breath-taking views.
WCU has won the title of Top Adventure College against 32 other campuses for a third year in a row based on a polling-based voting process that is hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine. Western ranks above the rest in its “commitment to outdoor and environmental initiatives, the quality of the outdoor athletes and programs, and opportunities for adventure,” according to the magazine.
From the 6.7 miles of WCU’s hiking trail system to the many areas for outdoor recreation in close proximity to campus, there are plenty of recreational opportunities to take advantage of during the stressful week of finals.