A few weeks ago,  I went camping. I will tell you right now, I am not a camper. My idea of camping is a nice cabin with running water. A friend of mine was planning on heading out to the Sandias for one of the last warm enough weekends to go camping. I thought this would be a lot of fun. The week was particularly rough and I needed to a break. However, my friend was referring to the “real camping,” like with a tent…

My inexperience, however, was overshadowed by the degree of stress I had that week. This was about two weeks before Thanksgiving aka professors assigning projects before a much needed break. I had a chemistry test and two projects due. I was on edge to say the least. I was basically addicted to my phone too. I think I sent more emails that week than texts. All of my extracurricular activities snuck up on me too. Suddenly, I had more research meetings than I honestly ever though I would have as freshman.

These of course were great opportunities that I was fortunate to have but when they all pile up they hit you like a ton of brick. Ultimately, I needed a break but no like a trip to the store or off campus but a break from everything. Therefore, a trip to literally the middle of nowhere sounded amazing. Plus, it was something fun to think about as I was taking on a large homework load.

The day before, I packed my backpack. I knew it was going to be cold. I brought three pairs of pants, three jackets, gloves and a hat and I one hundred percent used everything all at once. I also took two water bottles and none other than homework. We left around noon the next day. It was a little funny because it was only a thirty minute drive to peace and quiet. At one point we saw the tall buildings of Albuquerque and the next I saw the beautiful mountains I missed back home. It was such nice day and the drive was amazing.

We settled in on this small opening with a fire pit already set up. I was taught the lifelong skill of pitching a tent and walked around enjoying the scenery. There were two things that just mesmerized me:

  1. How silent everything was
  2. How weird it was to see snow on half the land and the sun on the other

During this whole trip, I started to realize how pretty everything was. It was the most relaxing thing I have done in a very long time. I was so calm I even took a nap completely out of the blue. After the whole trip, I was much more grounded and ready to take on the rest of the semester.

That night, after the nap, we made a fire and looked at the stars. I will tell you right now it was so so so so cold. I am fairly sure it was the very last day possible where camping in a tent was viable in that weather. But once the sun came up, it warmed up pretty quick. It was a good and refreshing experience. We made are way back to campus and it was much easier to finish up my homework before the week began.

It was so weird to reflect that UNM is in a huge city compared to my hometown. The population is five times larger than my city and it is constantly busy. Right outside of this metropolitan is a true sweet escape. A thirty minute drive and 24 hours reset my whole mindset and was a great refresher. With the break coming up, don’t forgot to take a second for yourself and appreciate nature.

Enjoy the break because I know I will,

Anna