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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Poll: What’s the best spring smell?

Lucy Atkinson
Siberian squill flowers burst up along the East Lagoon, filling a patch beneath the trees with bright blue. What’s your favorite spring smell? (Lucy Atkinson | Northern Star)

As April’s first morning light painted the sky, NIU stirred with soft whispers of spring. 

Spring is a season of fresh starts, speaking to every Huskie on campus that fresh air is here. It is no ordinary breath, but an inhalation of everything beautiful about campus.

Every day brings a new scent, from dew by the East Lagoon to freshly-cut grass near Northern View Community. But what exactly is the best smell on campus during the spring?

Let’s take a breather…


The sense of smell is underrated. The crisp smell of fresh rain on NIU’s campus is a gift we seldom appreciate, the scents of Earth’s dampness and awakening of new blooms.

The smell serves as a gentle nudge to all students, emphasizing the environment also requires hydration. The rain acts as a messenger of life as it reawakens the earth after a long sleep.

To lift oneself up in the eyes of Zeus and breathe in what God has given us is a gift on its own.


Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels or even Cast Iron; the allure of a fresh brew of coffee is simply irresistible to students.

The moment the doors swing wide, an inviting aroma drifts out, promising a warmth that becomes a comforting routine for many students. 

Yet, much like a pie cooling on a windowsill, the scent of pastries, coffee and snacks lures students toward the café’s cozy embrace. Students and staff alike, we all float toward something we crave.


This smell kindles a cherished nostalgia, a familiar scent from childhood that greets the senses with spring’s unique, harmonious tune. 

It’s as if each blade of grass is noted within nature’s symphony, a fragrance that whispers new beginnings: a telltale sign of beauty through destruction.

This fragrance is like a breath from the Earth itself, infusing the air with vitality; a vibrant breath meant to be inhaled and fill the soul with a sense of peace and home, no matter how far away from family.


If you haven’t already, venture to the east side of campus, find solace on a bench by Still Hall and take a deep breath. The flowers are here to encapsulate all who wish to reminisce on smell alone.

Carrying the simple yet delicate perfume of blossoms across all of campus, the air is alive with the promise of spring. 

Its aroma attracts pollinators and humans alike. We find ourselves breaking the earth to spread this aroma to others. It is no wonder we find each blooming flower as an offering of affection.

So, what’s your favorite spring smell?

This poll has ended.

What's the best spring smell?


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Results from last week’s poll: What type of poetry is best?

Haiku — 50%

Sonnet — 33%

Acrostic — 0%

Limerick — 17%

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