I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds that life on campus can induce claustrophobia. The academics, time constraints and being surrounded by the same 2,000 students every single day can get old.
We talk about the “Davidson Bubble” on campus a lot, but what is Davidson like when you remove the rigorous courses, time commitments and students? That’s what I got to find out when I spent this past summer living in Davidson.
After everyone else left, I stayed and earned a new perspective on this place we call home for four years. Being on campus without most of the students and the heavy workload gave me a fresh outlook—I became more aware of all that our little town has to offer.
The charm of Davidson, North Carolina, originally drew me here as an eager high school senior, but once I was on campus, I did not get to explore the town quite as much as I had imagined. But over the summer, with all my free time and curiosity, I became a regular at the Davidson Farmer’s Market (be sure to try the ziti from Beverly’s!), found great neighborhoods for afternoon walks, and tried more of the local restaurants in Davidson and the surrounding towns.
My new relationship with the town changed my overall mood. I appreciated my home-away-from-home that much more. Whether it was walking along Lake Davidson, spending an evening with friends at Alino’s Pizza, or tanning at a nearby pool, I found myself feeling much more relaxed and comfortable in Davidson than I ever had before.
This past fall semester, I was studying abroad in Copenhagen, so I was not able to put my theory to the test, but in the first weeks of the current spring semester, I have actively been making sure to spend more time in the Davidson community and surrounding area. Whether it’s simply making a trip to the Summit Coffee Shop on Main Street before morning classes or making the trek into NoDa (North Davidson Street in Charlotte) to check out a new coffee shop and the art scene of Uptown Charlotte, exploring the communities around me has greatly improved my wellbeing.
I learned a lot about my home away from home during my summer at Davidson, and highly recommend all my fellow Wildcats get involved with the community in some way and prioritize some “you” time—whether that’s off campus or not—to help navigate the difficult semesters at Davidson College.