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What Do You Do To Be Present?

“Maybe sky-watching can be my spark. Or walking! I’m really good at walking!” – 22, from the movie Soul

Students are ambitious. On top of the piles of course work, we’re trying to figure out who we are and will be for the rest of our lives. Even then there’s the push to stand out—to be something special, to have a unique personality, style, ability, or passion. Maybe I’m putting words in every other students’ mouths, but I have definitely felt a pressure to prove I’m worthy of the place I take in the world. And let me tell you, it’s exhausting!

When I’m in the middle of this headspace, it’s hard to get out of it. But lately, going for walks and listening to music has allowed me to be easier on myself. It’s a time to simply be, rather than be something or another. It’s something I do for myself that is not in pursuit of a long-term goal. My passions are important to me, but too much of anything is not a good thing.

During my walks, I’ve taken pictures of the sky. Not because I professionally pursue photography, but simply because I can. I hope you enjoy them both for what they are and the message that they bring.

I encourage you to think about how you feel pressured to be a certain way or do certain things all the time. You deserve a break—one that makes you feel truly refreshed. What does that look like to you?


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