Whoops! I guess I'm a little late this week. I was in the middle of watching Last Man Standing, and I realized, "I didn't write my Saturday blog post!" At least you know that I'm not a robot now. So...you're actually welcome!
This weekend has actually been pretty full, which is why I want to talk about the importance of getting out when you're in college. I don't mean getting out like going to clubs and parties. I mean, sure that's part of the college experience, but it's not the defining characteristic. But just getting off campus with your friends is really important. It gives you perspective and takes your mind of the looming stress of Midterms.
Friday night, the honors college here hosted a formal that was open to the entire university, but since they're advertising isn't on top of things, the attendees were mainly honors kids. If you haven't been to Chattanooga, you should come before it becomes a major tourist destination. This is the one time I will encourage you to be a hipster and do it before the crowd. But our formal was in Coolidge park in a pavilion that had an enchanting view of the carousel right next door. My friends and I looked super fly and were ready to dance until we dropped. Except the music at the beginning of the night wasn't exactly "bumpin." I don't know what it is about the 90s, but you just can't really dance to that kind of rock music. Thank goodness, a new DJ stepped in and hijacked the music or else that would've been a long night. I honestly probably would've gotten into it. I can dance to anything if I'm in the mood. And college kids can be pretty harsh critics of lame dancing music, that's for sure. But once the night got going, there was no turning back. For me, there are few experiences that are more fun than just being crazy and dancing with your friends. There's no pressure to impress a guy. You know that really no one else is watching you, so you can be as weird as you want. Except when my roommate says to me "No, Hannah. Don't do that in public again. Ever." when I try to do the Apple Butt Dance from Sisters, but whatever. I did it anyways. The best part of the night was A) impressing everyone with my knowledge of "Hollaback Girl" lyrics and B) My roommate teaching me to swing dance. Yes, she got frustrated because I didn't pick it up IMMEDIATELY, heaven forbid. But I picked it up. That's a pretty satisfying feeling folks. So lesson No. 1, dance with your friends whenever you can, even if it's just a youtubed 80s mix in your living room. That can be fun too.
Saturday, one of my best friends urged me to come on a hike with her, her boyfriend, and another couple. I know what you're thinking, "Hannah, why would you want to fifth-wheel?" And I really didn't, and yeah, it had it's awkward moments, but because Rachael's a great person, she made sure I wasn't ignored. We went to Foster Falls, which is about a 45 minute drive outside of Chattanooga. It's not really a hike to the falls...125 yards to be exact. But it's pretty gorgeous, and the landscape is awesome. But there was a trail that we took that goes around "Climber's Loop," so if you didn't get it from the name, there were a lot of people climbing the side of the mountain. It was terrifying. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack just watching them. We stood watching a couple of guys climb. He was pretty tall about and was trying to hook himself when he started to fall. Thank goodness his friend was paying attention and balanced him. (Sorry, I don't know climbing terms). But all of us were about to throw up. I can only imagine how he felt. Apart from that, it was an actual hike. We took a trail that went to nowhere, tried another STEEP trail that again led to nowhere, and I was the first and only to fall and slip. I knew it would be me, if we're being honest.
But standing in this beautiful landscape where I actually felt like I was in a Twilight movie, it's just a reality check. If I can get out and do this, and I'm healthy enough to do it, if not coordinated, then life's good. All my stresses about relationships, grades, work, my book...they're not important. It's nice to just take a step back and take in the beauty that I'm surrounded by. Chattanooga is a beautiful place, y'all. Both the city and the mountains. So get out here.
**An awesome book to read about mountain adventures and romance is Kathryn Holmes's debut novel The Distance Between Lost and Found! Definitely need to add this book to your TBR pile!
How are y'all getting out?