Snapping shots, stopping stress

Many law students have their own unique ways of relaxing and decompressing after a long day. For some, running at the gym is the best kind of medicine. For others, dancing or singing takes the edge off. For me, taking photos is the best way to dissociate myself from the stress that unfortunately accompanies the end of the semester and finals.

Lawrence is a little city with a huge history and wonderful architecture. It’s easy to find photo-worthy buildings, especially on the University of Kansas’s main campus, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. For me, though, the best places to take photos are in Lawrence’s vibrant downtown, and in my own home – a 104-year-old beauty, surrounded by even older homes with even more history.

For those of you who don’t know, Lawrence was established in 1854 and was a center of antislavery sentiment. Lawrence’s strong push to keep Kansas a free state created many enemies among surrounding territories. One of Lawrence’s most well-known events took place in 1863, during the Civil War. William Quantrill, a Missourian Confederate guerrilla, led a raid in Lawrence and burned most of the houses and buildings in Lawrence and killed between 150 and 200 men and boys.

The raid delayed the opening of KU until September of 1866. The townspeople lacked funding because they were forced to rebuild their city rather than pay for the university. Downtown Lawrence today has many reminders of the raid, and Lawrence embraces the tragedy as part of Lawrence’s and KU’s rich history. Today, Lawrence has a quirky, quaint, quiet (except on game days) downtown that is lovely to look at and even more enjoyable to photograph.

Laura Hill, 3L, is a KU Law Student Ambassador. Contact her at