The following post was published on Around the Grove, the student blog of the Universities at Shady Grove, on 10/28/2016.
One of the first things I noticed on campus was this quirky yield sign near the Shady Grove Road entrance.
But it wasn’t long before I found myself sitting in my car on the way to class, stopped in the middle of the road waiting for our resident flock to leisurely waddle their way across the asphalt.
I had to wait a surprisingly long time for them to cross, but just as I found myself growing annoyed at such a ridiculous setback, I realized just how funny these feathered friends were. They were completely unperturbed by the fact that they were stopping traffic; they just kept waddling at a leisurely pace, absorbed in their own business, keeping me, the supposedly superior human from going about mine. I had to let go of my frustration and laugh at how silly the situation was.
It struck me how similar geese are to people: we’re all very absorbed in our own routines, just like geese get caught up staring at the ground right in front of them, nosing around for some good eats. Geese walk along like they’re the most important beings in the world, not realizing just how silly they look. Seeing geese always reminds me to stop taking life quite so seriously, getting wrapped up in every situation and worked up about every unexpected road block (including large, road-hogging birds!) All of the things I think are the end of the world today are relatively small in the grander scheme of life, and it’s good to take a step back and have some perspective, humility, and humor about the trials and stresses we come across every day.
This lesson seems particularly apt as we hit the mid-semester crunch of tests, projects, papers, and other deadlines…It’s easy to get caught up in each assignment and overwhelmed by the enormity of everything that’s right in front of you. The reality is that these obstacles, tough and frustrating though they may be, are just one part of your life; you will get through them…You’ve gotten through so many semesters already!
So when you start to get overwhelmed, remember to take time to get your nose out of the grass and admire the beauty (and humor) around you.
Keep on waddling on, USG!
If you ever need help managing stress, you can visit the USG Counseling Center (located in the library) for free counseling or attend their Thursday afternoon free workshops on dealing with stress and anxiety. Consider it a long-term investment in your own well-being!