If I Could Escape…

The autumn air is refreshing and crisp. The leaves are rich with red, orange, and yellow hues. The porches and paths are lined with pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. But instead of enjoying the beautiful weather, we are all bundled up indoor, stressed out and ready to hurl our laptops and notes out the window.

Sophomore slump has become quite the plague. After a draining freshman year and summer, I started feeling trapped in limbo, not knowing where I’m going, how my classes will shape me for my future career, what my future career would even be, and so on. With such a short mid-semester break, it almost seemed like there is barely a break. However, there are actually little things you could do to escape the mental gates CMU has built in all our minds.

This past weekend I found that exploring the outskirts of Pittsburgh or the less urban areas could be extremely refreshing. Desperately needing a recharge, I decided to revive my old fall tradition of apple picking and traveled a bit out of the city to a local orchard and farm. As a little girl, I always loved climbing the trees to reach the highest, juiciest cluster of apples. There is something so peaceful and calming about standing on a sturdy branch, enjoying a crispy, juicy, fresh fruit, and staring out at hills of nothing but green pastures and colorful maple leaves. Not only is the atmosphere more relaxed, everything feels fresher and cleaner against your skin. I always loved walking down the rows of the orchard, trying different types of apples, and seeing children and couples enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Even though I was only there for a little over an hour, it allowed me to divert my attention, de-stress, and detach myself from the technological and complicated world that engulfs us constantly. It also allowed me to spend quality time with people I care about and reminisce about home for a bit.

Next time you’re stressed, find that simple pleasure to take your mind off of things for a little bit. We spend all our waking hours dealing with challenges, problems, and hardships that life likes to throw at us constantly. It is often forgotten that sometimes the most basic and simple things can be a great source of therapy. For me, it was picking my favorite fruit. For you, it could be painting. It could be reading a book. It could be going for a walk. It could be painting your nails. Regardless, find it and indulge in the simplicity of life every now and then. You may find the peace and strength needed to continue pushing on.

Have a great mid-semester break, Lady Tartans!