Off Campus, Off the Map

College can be a very exciting time filled with new people and experiences, but it can also be stressful, and you can feel as if every day you’re thrown a new curve-ball. If you are living on a small college campus it can feel as if you need to breathe some air that is not weighed down with deadlines, espresso shots, and filtered through freshman dorm buildings that may or may not have mold. So it can be very healthy and relieving to step off campus for a bit. One of my favorite memories since coming to college has been going to Pilot Mountain and hiking with a small group of friends; watching the sunset. 

For me, it helps to have very spontaneous friends; we are constantly adventuring to places off campus like restaurants, activities such as ice skating, and of-course hiking trails. This time in particular, we hopped in two cars and drove down the highway with the goal of making it in time to see the sunset at Pilot Mountain. We were bundled up, with three cameras in hand to put these memories into an archive of photos from other adventures. 

The trees were losing their vibrant leaves, creating a Monet landscape in front of us; the frigid air tickled our noses. We took the quick hike around the knob of the mountain, stopping at the top to overlook the scenery below (and to yell at a few cows). The warmth of the sun as it went down below the horizon resulted in our own saturated filter, and the spirit of adventure never left us.


Standing at the top reminded us of just how big the world is, and without being too cliche: just how many open possibilities there are. Surrounded by friends that support and love me and surrounded by the creation of this world that takes your breath away while also replenishing it, this moment was filled to the brim with pure joy. 

The world extends far beyond our college campuses. Although, I love college for so many reasons, it can be nice to put the world in perspective for a minute. That can mean going for a hike, or simply a walk, or trying something new. Anyways, explore. Surround yourself with people who will instill in you a spirit of adventure and who will love you fiercely. Smile at the sunsets. Welcome the cold air. Say hi to the cows you pass on car rides. And go see the world, it is more than your calculus test on Monday.

Photo courtesy: Emma Martin