I found a way to get lost in the woods today and I was actually pretty good with it; it’s the most enjoyable time of year here in Oswego. I must have spent a little more time immersing myself in it as I frantically tried to find the main trail to get back to my car in time to do my 3pm radio show.
It’s a powerful metaphor for me and an important one for students here at SUNY Oswego to consider while they are in college this fall. Take advantage of the moments that are offered to you despite the stress you will have to endure. Finding a balance between the two will make the difference between a pleasant semester and a wasted semester. You only have eight semesters here, there is no reason to lose one.
Back in the woods I was walking through a muddy area and thought about some of the metaphorical mud that I had to overcome here at SUNY Oswego in order to make each semester enjoyable. The first thought that came to my mind was the fall semester of 2020, the semester that has been the most plagued by COVID-19.
I had to make the most of nature here in Oswego to make the fall semester worth it without the usual social atmosphere that comes with the community or the many sporting events I usually attend on weekends. I was not afraid of getting lost a bit. I spent weekend afternoons fishing in the Oswego and Salmon rivers. I would also go to Fair Haven State Park to see the sunset and try to catch the largemouth bass coming out of Lake Ontario. The sunset didn’t go away with COVID-19, so I tried to chase after as much as possible.
I’m also thinking about the first semester where I was introduced to live sports coverage and sports writing here. It was fall 2019 and I was finally able to cover the sports that had sparked my interest in my freshman year. Suddenly the Friday and Saturday evenings were spent at the Marano Campus Center with gray pants and a colorful tie. I had to find a balance between stress and pleasure. The smile on my face as I made my way to my car in the four degree weather and a rapid snowfall collecting on the ground was all I needed to know I was enjoying my time.
So, students, find out what can make this semester the best it can be for you. Join a new club, text someone you never have had before, or watch the sun set towards the lake in the evening. Find the only place that is yours and suddenly you are mentally centered every time you step on it. First year, I used to go to the Shineman Building Observatory Lounge on campus to work while watching the waves of the lake. Every time I was there, I was focused.
Find out what Mug Night at The Ferris Wheel is all about or find out what the Ice Cream Flavor of the Week is at Byrne Dairy. This is my challenge for you. I just had to get lost in the woods again to realize what my advice would be this week. Be ready to find your place during this beautiful fall weather.