When I was a freshman, my MOI course was The Power of Nature. In that class, I learned how humans have become detached and unconnected with nature through the excessive use of technology. What we didn’t cover, however, was what effects the detachment had on our mental health. So, I conducted a little experiment. Whenever I found myself feeling depressed, anxious, not myself or even just needed a break from life, I would take a walk around campus, trying to reconnect with Mother Nature. What I found was interesting. My energy increased as well as my concentration, my grades improved and I began feeling much happier. Going on walks also forced me to get out of my room, which allowed me to catch up with the occasional friend.
We get so wrapped up in our school work and trying to find ways to be successful that we don’t leave much time for ourselves. Studies have shown that spending time outside improves mental health and that those who lack exposure to the natural world have a higher number of psychological problems than those with a large amount of exposure. Nature has been proven to be a great stress reliever, and now that the weather is starting to improve, it will be easier to spend time outside. If you struggle to find the time to reconnect with Mother Nature, try exercising outside instead of the AWC, studying in front of the library instead of in it or encouraging friends to hang out of doors instead of in your rooms.