What Nora knows…about making the most of your autumn


Nora Verdier

Nora shares her wisdom in her monthly column “What Nora knows.”

My fall, like many others, has been filled with never-ending stress. English essays, college applications, tests, quizzes – the list goes on! As students, it’s exhausting keeping track of our busy agendas while at the same time maintaining our mental health.

Caught up in the whirlwind of school work, I find myself forgetting to take a step back and simply enjoying the beautiful season of fall. So, here is how I have been attempting to improve on this front for the past month:

First, I try to go to a different coffee shop each week. While this does not always happen due to extra homework or the pressuring due dates of college apps, I always enjoy when I do take the time to discover a coffee shop by myself or with a friend or two. It is not simply about the coffee, however – it is about the people I meet and the growing realization that there is more to Grand Rapids than EGR and that there is more to my identity than being a high school student.

In addition, I try to participate in activities I normally wouldn’t consider doing, such as taking yoga classes. While I seldom know anyone in my sessions and am mainly surrounded by incredibly fit soccer moms, I love meeting new people and starting interesting conversations, while at the same time doing an activity that benefits me both mentally and physically.

Caught up in the whirlwind of school work, I find myself forgetting to take a step back. ”

— Nora Verdier '19

Through doing activities I am interested in outside of EGR, I have been able to take advantage of the many opportunities our city has to offer and embrace what will most likely be my last year of living here.

Another strategy I have used to take advantage of our community and enjoy the season of fall is taking more “nature” walks. Being immersed in nature allows me to release the tension I hold throughout the week and have time to reflect while also embracing the beauty of my surroundings.

Using these three strategies has helped me become a happier and calmer student. While we of course need time to work on academics and focus on college applications, we must also prioritize time to decompress, and I think that embracing the beauty of this season and our amazing city helps us in doing so.