What a wild week it’s been. Between petty fights in my friendship group and complications with registration, I was so ready for Friday to come. On Friday after class I decided to go for a long run on my own. It turned out to be the most peaceful, relaxing thing I’ve done to relieve stress in my life! It was a warm, sunny day and I ran under the canopy of trees on the road that runs along side the ice caves and overlooks Decorah. Then I made my way onto the grassy dyke that follows the river heading all the way back to Luther. I was sore after those five miles, so I told myself I would try icing in the river behind the fields. I took the grassy path in the wood which led me to a rocky marshland and eventually the river. I tiptoed barefoot over the semi-sharp rocks and made my way into the relieving sand, encouraging myself to get into the freezing cold water. But the shock of being cold disappeared after a minute and I was relaxing again – enjoying the fresh air, the blue sky, the scenery, the sound of running water, the birds humming, the church bells that play a hymn every night at six PM. All of these things harmonized into one beautiful heaven that I had the luxury of living in at that moment. I know this all sounds overdone and sappy, but I really was in complete awe of Decorah’s beauty at that moment! As a city/suburban girl, that may have been the most content I’ve ever felt in nature. Why is this experience any less special than traveling abroad and being part of something similar to this? After pondering, I realized: we’re caught up in school work, Iowa has a stigma of being flat and boring. But look at this place! We are so lucky to wake up to this vast, hilly, green, stream-filled place. I cannot believe I am approaching my last couple of weeks as a freshman, because I never want to leave this place.