Graduate school encompasses many different levels of exposure and learning; we meet lifelong friends, we study, we learn new skill sets, we study, we broaden our perspectives, we study, we find our passion and purpose in life, we try new things and challenge ourselves with new and awesome experiences, and yep…we study. My point is that our graduate school experiences are so much more than the papers we write or the ever-pressing articles we have to read – although, they are a good portion of our program. Where we decide to attend graduate school and how we explore that area can greatly enhance our experience. North Carolina is a great state to explore! At different times during the year, North Carolinians can choose to go hiking, city touring, beach bumming, skiing (yes, skiing, imagine that!), and vineyard hopping.
As fall weather is upon us (and also fall break) making plans with family and friends to get out and explore can be a gratifying experience, and trust me, a compromise can be made with looming assignments and readings. During my first year as a Winston-Salem Distance Ed student, a third year student told our cohort “never leave the house without an article or book on your person”. This has been how I compromise. I recruit a driver, read on the way, and enjoy every second of my experience while exploring. In truth, I am only practicing what I advise of my clients: the art of mindfulness. When I hike, depending on the level of the trail, my frontal lobe is spending so much time negotiating the trail that my mind drifts into a cleansing decision-making frenzy – lest I trip over a tree trump and bite the dust!
Anyway, all of that to say, I love North Carolina. There are many social predicaments I would prefer to be different; but the exploration of nature and curiosity is a like Switzerland to me: just plain ole’ neutral. So, to begin your exploration, below is a link for NC state parks, NC waterfalls, and Winston-Salem activities. A few of my favorites are Stone Mountain State Park, Triple Falls, Hanging Rock State Park, and…ahem, Winston-Salem (coffee and a movie at our independent art house cinema). Enjoy exploring!