Your Students Need to Go Outside Right Now

No, there is no emergency.  But yes, your students need to go outside right now.  Because this may well be the prettiest day we have had thus far this fall, and it would be a crying shame not to get out and enjoy it, even if just for 30 minutes.

Today is cool but sunny, a great day for long sleeves but not cold enough to really need a jacket.  The leaves on the trees are finally bursting out into their prettiest colors.  And in between advising appointments and what I am hearing incidentally from other students, there are some big tests coming up later this week (I’m looking at you, Accounting 111!) and also some sort of cold/sore throat thing going on as well, and students are starting to get wound up about upcoming course registration.

The temptation with all those pressures could easily be to hunker down and get to work, stay inside.  But I will argue that your students might do better if they postponed that for just a few minutes to take a break.  I’m not a doctor, buy my prescription to get out of the study funk or the paper-writing funk or the I-feel-a-little-puny funk, is to get out and take a walk.

And do it with a completely open mind.  Not worrying about the test or the paper or the throat or registration or anything else in life.  With an empty mind and eyes that drink everything in.  The color of the trees, the feel of the breeze, the smell in the air.  And maybe by emptying out all the worries and cares and being mindful of what an extraordinarily beautiful day it is, your students might be in a better place to face the rest of the week.

You have probably all heard the saying “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.”  And right now, today, this day is gorgeous.  It is a gift to be enjoyed.

If your students have 30 minutes to spend, they can make a couple of loops around campus.  If they have a little more time, a gorgeous walk would be to go down past Winston Hall to the entrance to Reynolda Gardens and take the path all the way up to Reynolda Village and Reynolda House.  Again, do it slowly, thoughtfully, really looking at what they see and hear and smell.  And having some time to be alone with their thoughts.

reynolda road fall 2013I’d blogged a few days ago about how Reynolda Road was not looking as gorgeous as it has in years past, and how the canopy of trees wasn’t quite splendid enough.  This is a hastily snapped picture, but the road is looking great now.  I still recommend your students take a walk and enjoy, but if they have any errands to run and have a car at their disposal, a drive down Reynolda Road around sunset tonight is going to be spectacular.

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