by Darnysha Nard, Staff Writer

Waking up early on a crisp fall morning – honestly, there is nothing like it. As I enjoy the view of my parents’ backyard along with fresh brewed coffee, I remember just how important it is to cherish these moments. These simple moments are too often rushed, rather than relished.

Over the weekend, I enjoyed my break by going back to my small town and visiting my parents. I arrived home Thursday and was greeted with silence. My parents were still at work and the dog, Bella, was too busy with her toy to realize I was home. At the sound of the door slamming shut behind me, Bella quickly noticed that someone was home and that someone was me. With her tail wagging vigorously, she gazed at me from down the hall and galloped toward me and jumped up, almost knocking me down under her 70 pounds of doggy happiness and fur.

Of course when my parents got home from work, I did not receive the same greeting, but they greeted me nonetheless. As I sat on their burgundy, worn, leather couch, I remembered how important it is to slow down. I relaxed into the couch as Bella walked over to me, and peacefully rested by my feet. My parents were talking loudly about their long day at work while my dad cooked dinner and my mom prepared lunches for the next day. It was nice to finally be home, to be surrounded by the ones who love and engulfed into a slower routine – even if just for a weekend.

While the stress of midterms is mostly behind us, grad school life still consumes much of our time. Enjoying a time of rest allows you to reengage with parts of your life that once left you breathless with excitement and not anxiety. For me, it took half a tank of gas and a cozy house in the middle of fifteen acres. For you, it could be reading that book that is collecting dust on the shelf or baking sweets as the aroma fills your home and soothes your soul. The beauty of finding yourself is realizing that you were never truly lost, just hidden within, waiting to be rediscovered.