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2012 Fall Issue 4 (October 12, 2012)

Student Wellness Advisor Tips

October 15, 2012
By Cameron Smith

I stared down a furry animal the other day. It was too far away from me so I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. So, being the logical college student I am, I decided to seize the opportunity. I found myself graced by the presence of a small, fuzzy, creature.

It turned out to be a “dog”. I use dog in the loosest sense of the word here. In the long line of canine evolution since the ancestral wolf, this thing was as far away as possible.

We’re talking the strange looking guy standing in the corner at the family reunion. The one nobody knows but he must be related to someone right? He’s got the same last name as your third cousin after all. And he does seem to know your great aunt Angel (but really she’s just too nice to admit she has no idea who he is). Just a confusing situation all around.

But for all of his inbreded-ness, the one thing that struck me about the little squirt was how happy he was. Fella’ was shaking so much he couldn’t physically stand. He ended up wiggling around on the sidewalk after his back legs failed to keep him upright. After stopping, meeting my new friend Ernest, and exchanging pleasantries (a belly rub for Ernest and a rather forward series of licks for me) we went our separate ways. As I walked away I realized why Ernest was so happy.

Ernest doesn’t think too much. That’s the secret to his happiness. He’s blissfully blissful about every situation that he finds himself in.

When Ernest and I were bonding, he wasn’t worried about where his nemesis (a particularly self-righteous red squirrel) was lurking. All Ernest cared about was me, the friendly stranger with a goofy smile and a goofier laugh. And all I cared about at that moment was the ridiculous animal in front of me.

It’s easy to lose perspective when you’re dealing with a Carleton course load. But when all of this stress is piled up and bearing down on us, it’s important to take a moment and stop thinking.

Do as Ernest does and care for and live in the moment that you’re in. Try and relax every once in a blue moon. Not only will you feel better, you’ll feel more able to tackle the work in front of you.

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