U of T has many students, many libraries, many squirrels, and many quads. As we begin to cautiously believe that spring might actually be upon us, we also share the desire to pass our days in parks under the sun. The quads provide a great place to bring a packed lunch and revel in the warm weather with friends. But, there is an art to the quad picnic — here’s what you need to know.
Choose your quad. Between the colleges, Hart House, and even some of the libraries, there are ample quads to choose from at U of T. If you haven’t done so yet, you should definitely do a comprehensive quad hop and check them all out to determine which one is best in your eyes.
If you like perfectly cut grass and ornate footpaths, Trinity College may serve your needs. If you want to throw a football around, your best bet to join a game is the spacious UC quad. If you want to eat in serene silence surrounded by gothic architecture, Knox College is the quiet corner of campus for you.
The twitterverse was generally partial to the Victoria College quad when I asked, but share which one you prefer with me on twitter at @lifeatuoft:
Take in the scene. Usually we experience the quads by running through them to meet friends or get to class. During your picnic, take a moment to look at the things you don’t always notice, like the plaques in the Sir Dan’s quad or the flowers in the Hart House quad.
Check for convocations. Also weddings. Especially in June, there will be much convocating ensuing at King’s College Circle and if you are picnicking near the college that’s graduating that day, your picnic may be interrupted by many excited soon-to-be alumni in gowns. On the flip side, if convocation people-watching appeals to you, this may be a welcome distraction.
Bring a blanket and all the other things you ought to bring to a picnic. This is just your basic picnic advice. Bring a blanket lest your legs get covered in grass and dirt. Also bring cutlery, napkins, lots of food, and some friends, too. (Unless you want to just eat all the food yourself. Which I respect.) Also, use straws with your drinks to avoid bee-related disasters.
Do Mother Nature a solid. While enjoying all the greenery, you should also be as green as you can. Use reusable containers, try to minimize garbage, and don’t leave any mess behind.
Don’t throw shade. It’s not nice. And speaking of shade, consider sitting in it! There are many pretty trees to shield you from the sun. In any case, wear sunscreen. All the cool kids are doing it.
The classiest picnics are picnics that are actually classes. If you’re a summer school student, try to convince your professor to take class outside for a day. Classrooms in July are undoubtedly the place to be, but sometimes, a breath of fresh air can breathe new life into course material. Alternatively, make a study group with your peers and meet up in a quad instead of a library to enjoy the warm weather while getting work done.
Beware of summer school students. Don’t let them distract you from your frolicking with their reading. Conversely, if you are a summer school student, beware of students who are taking the term off and will distract you from your reading with their frolicking.
Beware of squirrels. Guys, this is serious. The squirrels on campus are mostly our adorable friends — they even have their own facebook page. But they also have a tendency to jump out of garbage cans and to eat muffins and pretty much any other scraps they can find.
Say hello. Share a picture or update on social media so the U of T twitterverse can applaud your expert picnicking and watch your klout score soar. Tag @lifeatuoft for a retweet!
Do you have any quad picnic tips or questions? Want to school me on which quad is indisputably the best on campus? Let’s talk on twitter at @lifeatuoft.