Written by Dylan Deppe. Media by Rachel Koehnemann.
We’re starting to get down to the nitty-gritty of things. Most students agree that spring semester is harder than the fall semester. While you can easily place their bets on the phenomena known as allergies, losing a graduating senior you really liked, having to pack your dorm or apartment up, and what you’re going to do for a summer job, most people ultimately don’t know why.
Since we can’t easily place our finger on why spring is so stressful, we can’t really make it less stressful. So, what do we do? We need to find a way to cope with that stress. My way of doing this is to go take a walk.
It might seem like a big deal to take into consideration, with all the stuff we have to do, and all homework and projects due tomorrow, but hear me out. It might do you some good to get out of your dorm and just get all of those things out of your mind for an hour or two. Depending on where you’re at, and whether it’s raining or not, the weather is probably great. Give yourself a treat with some sunshine, soft grass, bird chirps and a cool breeze.
Another benefit to walking around is the possibility of the people you might run into. Nature is cool, and I love to go walk in the middle of nowhere, but don’t forget that there are people out there. Also, many, if not most, of them have much more pressing issues than we do. They have multiple jobs, kids to feed, taxes to pay, sick relatives, broken vehicles and who knows what else. You don’t have to talk to them, but it should be humbling to know there are bigger problems out there than term papers, group projects, a bad relationship or someone who doesn’t like you. Walk around your local neighborhood, look at their houses and maybe start a conversation. You might make a friend or two.
Guess what? Walking is also healthy. Walking is a form of aerobic exercise, which is basically cardio stuff, so your heart will literally be thanking you for taking a walk. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and self-esteem.” But wait, there’s more. They also say, “When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well.” Are you at the point where you feel like the stress is starting to take a toll on your physical health? Go take a walk. The rest of your body will probably thank you, too.
Does it still sound like a tall order? If it does, just think about all the benefits there are. Walking is good for you, the weather’s probably great, and you could possibly meet a new friend. You’ve probably worked really hard, so get out there for a while and enjoy yourself.