A tribute tracklist to the end of undergrad (!)

I planned to write a full blog post about the wonderfully dizzying mess of feelings I’m experiencing right now (relief, pride, exhaustion, excitement… the list goes on). But my brain’s still a little fried from exams.

So, here’s a playlist instead.  Continue reading

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Life advice for fellow humans

How many times have you seen a quote about seizing the opportunity, or living life without regrets? It’s come to the point where these sayings have little to no effect on us; the internet is littered with them, and they usually take the form of a syrupy sentence with the backdrop of a sunset. I tend to dismiss these hackneyed quotes of inspiration.

But today I cannot.

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To explore at daybreak


If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Rainer Maria Rilke

All images taken at Makana Botanical Gardens [credit: Guinevere Shapiro]

Band of Skulls was on to something

I need love ’cause only love is true 
I need every waking hour with you 
And my friends ’cause they’re so beautiful 
Yeah, my friends they are so beautiful 
They’re my friends

Excuse the corny intro, but the lyrics to Band of Skulls’ Friends ring so true that I wanted you to see them. So today, in honour of World Mental Health Day 2017, let’s talk about the value — nay, the necessity — of having a supportive group of friends at university.

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A shift towards mindfulness

Mindfulness*, as Dan Harris puts it, is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it.

My mind is in a bad space, for a number of reasons:

  • the ever-looming shadow of exams
  • the rising temperatures
  • the clothes, ridden, dishevelled distaster that is my room
  • the fucking underestimated strength of my depression

If there ever was a perfect time to return to the practice of mindfulness, it is now. Continue reading

For the love of hiking

It’s a weekend morning, probably a Sunday. I’m with my mother and my sister. I’m about seven years old, and we’re going for a walk up Lion’s Head. I complain incessantly, my exhaustion turning into grumpiness very quickly. I want my mother to carry me but I’m obviously too old for that. My sister and I whine. I plop down onto a rock, arms folded across my chest, glaring at the flora and fauna. Somehow my mother refrains from throwing us off the mountain. As I remember, we don’t make it to the top.

***

We’re in Nature’s Valley, the place I love the most. It could be any year, from 2002 to 2013. We’ve camped there every December holiday since I was tiny. We leave the campsite and drive to the trail that leads to Salt River. The trail begins not far from the beach. We enter a dark forest, which quickly muffles the sound of the tourist-filled stress that we’ve left behind. The trees are gnarled; they curl and twist along the path, and the thick green leaves overhead protect us from the sun.

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[Image: sourced]

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Community spotlight: racing hearts for Heart Matters

This weekend, the Rhodes University Indoor Cycling team hosted their annual Cyclathon at the RU Health Suite. The event took place on Saturday, with 12 spinning classes, to raise funds for Heart Matters Pregnancy Care Centre.

13177357_1104974959565802_887976637345029361_n“No matter who you are, every heart matters,” said Marion Penney, centre director of Heart Matters at their talk last Thursday. This non-profit organisation, founded in Grahamstown in 2016, is open to all community members, be they university students, high school learners, or families in crisis. The organisation provides options for people dealing with unplanned or crisis pregnancies, stressing that they help not only pregnant women, but their partners and families too, guiding them through all the possible choices that they can make.  Continue reading