Tips for Grads: Discover UW’s hidden indoor gems

By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student

With temperatures dropping and workloads piling up, it’s easy to spend the day in autopilot mode to get through everything that needs to get done while trying to forget that you can’t feel your fingers (are you wearing gloves outside yet? You should be). But I’m here to encourage you to shake up your daily routine and to take some time to unwind and recalibrate as we head into this last month of 2022. It might be just what you need to give you the energy to finish this semester strong!

So make a plan to take a break and go look at something other than your books and your notes. If you need some ideas, here are just a couple of the many hidden indoor gems around campus worth a visit:

  • The Botany Greenhouse at Birge Hall: UW–Madison is home to an incredible greenhouse with a variety of rooms for different plant species. Take some time to hang out with the koi who live there, sit on a bench, and enjoy the greenery from the comfort of the indoors.
  • The Discovery Building: Another beautiful spot to go be with some plant life is the first floor atrium in the Discovery Building, which is home to a Mesozoic garden that I can spend (and have spent) hours staring at. In general, the Discovery Building is a really refreshing space to walk around and take a breather.
  • Nancy Nicholas Hall: Home to the School of Human Ecology, Nancy Nicholas Hall is just an inspiring building to walk around and explore. Don’t believe me? Check out the bathrooms in there. I’m absolutely serious.

Did I leave out your favorite hidden indoor gem? Let me know!

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.