With finals approaching, stress is unavoidable. Perhaps one of the best ways to tackle incoming academic stress is through walking—and specifically, walking uphill! In this article, I’ll be ranking and discussing the best hills to walk up around College Hill to relieve your finals-induced stress.
#5: Waterman Street
Coming in at number 5 is the uphill stretch from Main Street to Prospect Street on Waterman Street. The pro of using good ol’ Waterman as a hill stress reliever is that you can pass pretty RISD buildings on the way up. It’s also fairly steep. However, Waterman Street isn’t particularly fit for someone who wants to let out all of their energy in one go. Because of how curvy the hilly part of Waterman is, you don’t nearly feel satisfied enough after walking up the hill. In fact, you might feel a bit disappointed: “Well, that didn’t really release a lot of stress…” Still, the hill part of Waterman ends at Page-Robinson and the Campus Center, so it’s convenient to walk up.
#4: Brown Street
The uphill stretch of Brown Street from Angell Street to Meeting Street is a magnificent experience that many first-years living in North Campus experience many times throughout their first year. What makes this a great hill to walk up for stress relief is both its shortness AND the vanity boost it gives you. Being a short-but-steep hill makes this a perfect hill for someone in a rush who still wants to relieve some stress! Additionally, the incredibly reflective glass of the windows on the Bio-Med building allows for any vain stress-relief-seeker to also check themselves out while racing up the slope. The con, of course, is that people might judge you for checking yourself out; however, they’re also going to check themselves out once they pass you, so don’t mind them.
#3: College Street
Number three is perhaps the most famous steep hill on College Hill! College Street—in particular, the stretch from Main Street to Prospect Street—is hell. Many students have been known to wait 10+ minutes at Kennedy Plaza for a bus to Thayer Street because of how painful it can be to walk up College Street to get back to Brown’s campus. However, this pain is what makes College Street one of the most conducive to relieving stress. Walking uphill on College Street is definitely considered a workout, and it’s conveniently located next to the Rock, meaning you can take a stress relief walk as a break from studying. Perhaps College Street will make you forget the pain of finals. Unfortunately, this street is a bit overrated. “Oh,” someone might say to you once they’ve learned you walked up College Street to relieve stress, “That’s a basic hill to choose, huh?”
#2: The Paths from the Ratty to Wayland Arch
This isn’t really a hill… but it’s not exactly flat, either… I’m not really sure why, but walking up either of the two paths leading from the Ratty to Wayland Arch is worse than walking up College Street. Since these paths aren’t steep enough to activate the “hill-walking–mode” in you, but also aren’t flat enough to feel completely comfortable staying in “flat-walking–mode,” you’re left in this weird limbo state of effort-but-no-effort as you walk from the Ratty to the arch. But the pro to this is that the uncomfortable fatigue you’ll feel from this walk will make you grateful to sit down and focus on your finals! Additionally, this is such a central location to relieve your stress, and in order to make yourself feel better, you can also compare your pain to the pain on the faces of the many students you pass.
#1: Meeting Street
Of course, number one for being the best hill to walk up to relieve stress is Meeting Street! And I don’t mean the pathetic uphill stretch from Thayer Street to Brown Street. I mean the god-awful stretch from Main Street to Brown Street—the part that includes literal stairs at one point because it’s so steep! The part that is so awful to walk up that, at one point, someone had graffitied the word “rest” several times onto a part of the sidewalk, and a kindly chair was placed right next to this caring graffiti. At the end of this climb, you’ll definitely be wearing just a short sleeve because it will make you SWEAT. This, however, is what makes this hill the perfect hill to relieve stress on. You’ll be super excited to sit down once you start studying, and there are also so many pretty things to pass on the way, like RISD art and that one Christian Scientist church. The only danger, though, is that the fatigue you feel might lead you to your bed instead of your desk, so good luck!
Finals aren’t that fun and can be incredibly stressful to study for. But hopefully, you can now find a nice hill around College Hill to walk up whenever you wish to cool down (or sweat profusely)!