Jaywalking: Breaking away

John Walker
Opinion Editor

Sometimes I find there are too many people at this school who are so wrapped into themselves they fail to see the larger world around them. On many occasions I have found myself defending western Kentucky against accusations of boring and uneventful qualities.

Any such accusation is unfounded though. This entire region is rich with cultural and natural beauty. The problem with my generation is there is not any real effort in trying to make better experiences out of the time they spend here.

Last weekend I found myself at Land Between the Lakes having the time of my life. How? By doing absolutely nothing.

Two nights spent camping with friends and I have never felt so renewed in mind and spirit. All it took was a hammock and a good book. Sitting out there next to Kenlake I drifted away time and again watching sailboats hit the caps on the water and seeing barge after barge float by. I would let my mind drift with those vessels in multiple imaginative adventures across the land.

By laying in my hammock with a cliff over the lake on one side and the forest on the other I realized there is no reason for anyone on this campus to complain.

There is a whole world to explore just 15 miles east of the University and most of the student body cannot truthfully say they have ever been there. The trails are empty every time I go out there and I am pretty sure I have enough secret spots to make a land claim.

But even if all the students on this campus started to make their way out to my hideout (which they won’t) I wouldn’t mind. So long as there was respect for the land and environment.

Every time I make a trip out there I find something new and unexplored. Whether it is a beaver’s dam, a secret chapel or the unmarked logging roads there is always something to discover.

Unfortunately most of the students I meet will never find their way to these places. The majority of them only even know two roads in Murray. They know the way in and they know the way out.

But hear me out when I call on you to explore the region you are in and make connections here that are not staked onto the University’s property. There will be plenty of people you don’t get along with. But guess what? That is everywhere you go. Just another part of human nature I guess.

That doesn’t mean there is no reward in taking that step and finding a whole new world out there. If you came here to stay on campus for four years and never leave, then good riddance.

The people of this community are welcoming and kind. So just be a little crazy and get to know your second home.

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