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Four Years at the Mount

Senior Year

Spring arranging

Kyle Ott
MSM Class of 2015

(3/2015) It is a little hard to picture the freshness and beauty of spring as I sit here huddled in Terraceís Brute Lounge. Outside the temperature of the air happens to be lower than the number of years that I have been alive. Inside Iím huddled in a blanket, nursing the final vestiges of a cold with a plate of leftover Pizza Hut and some cranberry juice. Despite this, there is a certain something in the air that seems ready to break at any given time, a sense that at any moment the cold is going to give way to something warmer and more pleasant.

With the coming of spring, there is of course the issue of spring cleaning. Everyone and everything seems hard set on selling the idea that once a year, we need to change our lives around and somehow get rid of the things that have made us who we are. While I am always one for self-improvement, I canít help but be a little appalled by this concept. Getting rid of everything that came before and sweeping our lives clean seems like it would do a great disservice to the lessons we have all learned throughout the year. I would therefore like to submit, for humble consideration, the concept of "spring arranging." Instead of cleaning out the past I say embrace it, enjoy it, and with a little work, learn from it. As always, please take all of the advice I give with a grain of salt, and pick and choose what works for you.

Reevaluate Your Relationships.

The average spring cleaner will tell you that itís time to start cutting cords or mending fences respectively, that spring is the time when you should cut relationships that have been detrimental to your success and repair ones that you have allowed to atrophy. This isnít necessarily a terrible place to start, but it does paint the complex breadth of human relationships with some pretty broad strokes. This year, instead of doing the drastic thing, why not take some time and reevaluate your priorities and how those relate to the people closest to you in your life? Perhaps there is an old friend that you usually kept in touch with, but who recently doesnít receive the attention they perhaps deserve. Consider shooting them a text or a phone call once a week this spring just to catch up. Even if you donít have the time to devote to being with them, the constant communication can be a nice reminder of their importance in your life. You could also take some time to devote to learning from your mentors. We can get so wrapped up in the never-ending race of life that we often forget that we never stop learning, and that a lot of the lessons we glean come from the people we know. So this spring, donít cut; calculate. Choose to reapportion your time and give it to those who have helped mold you and shape you in a positive way.

Get a Healthy Amount of Exercise.

Normally the idea of going for a vigorous workout gets lumped with New Yearís resolutions and gym advertisements, but I think it can certainly be a part of any good "spring arranging" routine. However, there is always the chance to combine something that is good for your physical well-being with something that will be good for your emotional life as well. Part of the benefit of living where we do is that there is a plethora of amazing opportunities to enjoy the beauty and majesty of nature. In addition to our lovely mountain, there are several lovely national parks, a system of waterfalls, numerous bike trails, and plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. With so many different ways to stay active, spring is a great time to get some exercise. And, with an entire world just waiting to be enjoyed, why not bring friends and family along for whatever expedition you decide to embark on next? The world is your gym, so trade in the treadmill for a hiking trail and your gym shorts for some sturdy walking poles, and enjoy the world you have been given.

Take Time to Reflect.

The father of philosophy, Socrates, is famous for saying: "The unexamined life is not worth living." It is an oft-quoted expression that has been repeated a great deal, but it has stood the test of time so well because it continues to be as relevant today as it was in ancient Greece. Self-reflection is often the difference between learning who we ought to become and staying the person who we are right now. Numerous studies have shown the importance of getting to know oneself, so I wonít reiterate the benefits here. I will, however, mention that for the purposes of "spring arranging," nothing is more important than the study of oneself. Taking two to five minutes in the morning when you wake up and doing the same thing when you go to sleep is a great way to frame your day.

Well, friends, as always, I hope that you have found something useful and informative. Remember to keep yourself and those closest to you in mind this spring and to always take the chance to improve.

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