OctoberWest Homecoming is Perfect for Stress Relief

Hello every one. Last week wasn’t quite normal at Embry-Riddle. Last week was OctoberWest and Wings out West – our homecoming and private air show. October West LogoThis event involved many different activities. Some of those were the career fair and some others for entertainment such as the hypnotist Bruce MacDonald, inflatable games, fireworks, etc. I most liked the inflatable games and then right after that the fireworks.

The week of OctoberWest was really stressful for me. We began training for wrestling twice a day three times a week – one training in the afternoon and one in the morning. Also I had a very long test in Basics of Aeronautics on Friday.

I finished my test Friday around noon. By the time I was done, I wanted go home to sleep. But something in the back of my mind told me that the fair was going to be something very fun. I hesitated about if I should go or not, then I thought “I will have to wait one year to have this fair back again” so I decided to go.

I went back home for lunch and rested for some time. Around 5:30 I left my home for Embry-Riddle. When I got there at the parking lot, I saw many students walking towards the softball fields wearing jackets. I thought they were overreacting, “The weather is not that cold,” I thought. I got out the car, and uff!! Yes, it was cold. I didn’t want go back home to get a jacket so I just kept walking toward the fair.

The first thing I heard was the music. I could see many inflatable games, some OctoberWest 2015gigantic plastic balls where you supposed to get in and roll around, free food tables, people hanging around, and even a DJ. It was awesome!

First, I went to a game that was like a wall with circular targets on it. You had to kick the football, soccer ball or basketball toward the targets on the wall. It was fun just being there with other students, some of them international (by the way they are good in soccer), talking to them, getting know each other a little, and playing together like we knew each other for always.

After 30 minutes of kicking the ball trying to hit the target I got hungry. They had buffalo wild wings and submarine sandwiches. I took some food and I went to sit. While I was eating I contemplated the view all around the event. I was glad I came.

I ran into a friend who invited me to try a game. This game was a horizontal ladder attached from one side to the other side. The point of this was to try to cross from one side to the other using the suspended ladder. I thought it was so easy that I didn’t want to try it. My friend insisted, so I gave it a shot. I realized it was very difficult as soon a put my hand on the ladder. My best try was get to the middle but that’s it. OMG!! It is something incredibly hard to do.

Next we went to “Spark ball.” I have tried spark ball one or two times, but the guys that were playing it looked like professionals. This game is for 2-person teams, so I had to get a partner. I looked around, then I saw a guy watching the game. I went to say hi and got him on my team. We played for a while against the team that looked like professionals. At the end we lost by only 2 points. My partner and I were very proud of ourselves, we actually got some points! The undefeated team asked us if we wanted to be part of the spark ball club on campus. I gave them my e-mail. Definitely, spark ball is a very fun game.

I saw some guys playing soccer so I went to play soccer for a few minutes until I heard the DJ say, “The fireworks will start in 5 minutes.” We stopped playing soccer and I went to find a place to sit down to watch the fireworks show. By this time it was very cool OctoberWest Fireworksoutside but I totally forgot it. Blue, green, yellow, red, and many different colors illuminated the sky for 20 minutes.
I laid down on the grass to watch them. It was very relaxing. I am glad that even though I was tired and stressed out from the long week I came to the fair. Even though, I knew I had a lot of things to do for the weekend, including of course homework, the fair took out all my stress, leaving me ready for this week.

This was a really good experience. Certainly I will come next year. Thanks for the fun OctoberWest.

Stop and Smell the Roses

All of us are guilty of getting too busy in our lives, we seem to lose precious time meant for our family, friends, and loved ones. One thing I have learned this year at college is to try to put aside some time each week to stop my busy life and enjoy the smaller things I have been given. Some use the phrase, “stop and smell the roses,” meaning to take in all the beauty around us and spend some time being thankful for the little things in life.

I know it feels as if we never have time; especially with school, work, homework, and studying. Stress comes easy to many of us, which is why we should set aside some time for ourselves. And never feel guilty for doing so, you are allowed to relax and enjoy all the things you have accomplished thus far.

My personal favorites are to watch a funny movie/TV show, call up a close family member or friend, or to spend extra time on my appearance for the day- it makes me feel special. I also cherish every holiday break we are given. Although I do work at the university and tend to get busy with my work, I always put at least a week aside to go see my family in California.

Over the Christmas break, I drove to California and spent quality time with my family and a handful of my close friends. I felt like I did not have enough time to see all my friends, but the time I was given was much appreciated and wisely spent. I had a great time sharing memories and laughs with my loved ones. It was a break much needed and even though it was hard to leave them, I am happy to be back home and back into my own responsibilities.

I think when we put time aside to appreciate life more, living our normal day-to-day life feels easier because we start to realize how lucky we are to be loved and how generous life can be to us. Yes, we all go through rough patches, but without hard times we would never be able to truly know when a great opportunity falls into our laps. We would not be grateful for all the good times we are given.

So next time you are feeling stressed, I suggest you take a big deep breath in and remember all the things you are grateful for as you slowly breath out. It’s a quick and efficient way to feel better on the spot. The other quick remedy is to laugh. Laughter is medicine for the stressed and sorrowful. 🙂