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Renewing My Appreciation for Gonzaga

Admittedly, I was not super jazzed about returning to school after the month-long winter break. I missed my parents, I missed my siblings, I missed my dogs, I missed my cat (although he probably does not miss me), and to a degree that I am slightly ashamed to admit, I missed watching “Botched” at 1 AM without thoughts of homework preventing me from fully absorbing the cultural excellence of reality television.


This is not to say, however, that I did not miss Gonzaga while I was at home, particularly toward the end of the break. I just found it painfully difficult to return from the cozy comforts of home to the miserably cold, snowy abyss of Spokane, where all that seemed to await me was a semester of O-Chem and a gray, dog-less existence from January until my birthday in late March.


It is so easy to latch onto the negative, particularly when our environment reinforces this perspective. Depression and anxiety are realities for many of us, and while daily conversations tend to favor the surface-level topics over the stigma-laden, it is so important to recognize these issues within ourselves, as well as in our peers so that we can continue to foster the supportive, positive atmosphere that defines the Gonzaga experience. Consciously creating time for friends, art, journaling, and listening to my nerdy podcasts (highly recommend “How Stuff Works” and “Stuff Your Mom Never Told You”) has helped me recapture my spark and renew my appreciation for the following Gonzaga staples.


1. “WTF Cheesecake” and Other COG Masterpieces

While the Late-Night Cog creations continue to puzzle me (who wants sketchy-looking quiche at midnight??), we should be grateful for the daily excellence of the Cog’s lunchtime dessert assortment (shout-out to the Blondies), as well as the infrequent but always joyous appearance of the “WTF Cheesecake”, as my friends and I have taken to calling it. If you can move past the weird, bluish “smear” on the surface, you’ll find that it’s like a high-quality blueberry Nutrigrain bar, but on steroids. So good.


2. Snow Can Be Fun

I promise. Bundle up in multiple layers, make a cup of hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in a book, homework, an essay, or Netflix if the need for relaxation upends productivity – and sometimes, it should. While trudging through the snow on the way to an 8am is not necessarily enjoyable, trudging through the snow for the purposes of a photo shoot is much more appealing. My friends and I love to do mini seasonal “photo shoots”: we began with pumpkins in the fall, and now hope to do a “winter wonderland” shoot before spring officially arrives.


3. Wild Walls is Cool

My roommate and another friend recently took me to Wild Walls for the first time, and while I was once again reminded of my measly upper body strength, I had a blast. The music was great, the people were great, and I managed to complete my first “route”, which was oddly but wonderfully satisfying. If you want to embrace your strong, independent womanhood, I would highly recommend climbing a wall!


4. We Have an Art Museum!!

Although I am certainly biased as an Art major, the second floor of Jundt is an awesome place to do homework: there is a study area with an insanely comfy couch, a microwave, and high-ceilinged windows that overlook the Centennial Trail and the pond. I also love walking through the museum when I have time (or really, the need) for a sophisticated, self-reflective outing, during which I can refocus my thoughts and tune into my inner art connoisseur.


There are so many ways you can begin to appreciate our beautiful campus. All you have to do is keep an open mind towards everything Gonzaga has to offer!

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