Take care of yourself, and look at some pretty trees while you’re at it

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Kyle Putt, Graphics Manager / The Bucknellian

Ricky Rodriguez , Senior Writer

Pumpkin Spice. Scarves. Crunchy leaves. Small jumps over puddles. ‘Orbit’ by Nao. Tender-smelling candles. Gold jewelry. Smiling more. Windy breezes that are cold enough to wake you up for your 8 a.m. Monsters, Inc. Hot chocolate. Blasting Taylor Swift. Romanticizing the perfect work set-up. Actually organizing my Google Calendar. Calling my grandma and telling her I love her. Cooking food that reminds me of home. Being kinder to myself. 

These are some of the things Fall reminds me of. This is what the beautiful trees that adorn our campus make me feel: warm, cozy, and a sense that I (a person whose first encounter with snow was my first year here) can survive the harsh winter. 

I’ve made it a priority to take as many walks around campus as possible this year—not just because my time on campus is almost done but also because the changing leaves remind me that things do get better. Things—people, relationships, our (whole) selves—are meant to transform and go through various periods in order to grow. Periods we struggle with because we have no idea what the hell is going on but always end up being rewarding. 

Considering senior year is very, very stressful, these walks have helped me clear my head, run into people I love seeing on campus and, of course, take those cute insta pics. Like, come on. Have you seen how beautiful that tree outside the ELC is—orange and mightier than ever. That’s my favorite tree. 

On the topic of senior year and the uneasy feeling all seniors are feeling at this point during the school year, I want to encourage all seniors to do everything they can to practice self-care and find joy. Yes, the job search is important. Yes, grad school applications will not get done on their own. Yes, your friends want to go out and it could be a very fun night. 

To be honest, those things can wait. Making sure your mind, body, and soul are being taken care of should be your highest priority. It is difficult to take care of yourself when more than one thing is tugging at you for attention, but finding a balance between fully enjoying the present and preparing for the future is crucial in keeping sane. Especially at Bucknell. 

So, some of my recommendations to lessen the stress of it all:

  1. Delete the Gmail app from your phone. Set aside a time to look over emails a day but don’t let that little app trigger panic attacks. 
  2. Don’t scroll through LinkedIn if one of your biggest stressors is getting a job right now. Especially if you’re going to compare yourself to others. 
  3. Get a hold of a simple journal and write/draw all the things that make you happy—a world only you have access to. 
  4. Listen to the playlists Spotify makes for you—some of them are actually really bomb. 
  5. Get more sleep and put your phone on do not disturb when you’re ready to wind down. 
  6. Take more walks! Take pictures! Especially with friends.
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