Kayak more, worry less


Photo by Paige Sullivan

Students at Coastal Carolina University have been using nature to cope with college life’s challenging coursework, tight deadlines, and time management.

The Outdoor Center, part of the HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center, took a group of students kayaking down the Waccamaw River, located about 3 miles from campus and home to a variety of wildlife and native vegetation. Along with kayaking, people can hike, boat and fish around the river.

For many of the students, kayaking under the night sky was a way to relax through being surrounded by the environment.

“Kayaking is a great way to relieve stress,” Visiting Scholar of Arabic Samar Mrabet said, “When I kayak, I can be surrounded by nature and meditate.”

The students were able to experience the New Moon and watch a breathtaking sunset during their trip. According to NASA, a New Moon occurs when “the illuminated side of the Moon facing the Sun and the night side facing Earth.” Spiritually, the New Moon is a marker for new beginnings and an acknowledgement of growth.

“All of the leaders were very nice and knowledgeable about outdoor activities,” Mrabet said.

Nature has been proven to have significant mental health benefits, especially for college students. According to Frontiers in Psychology, studies have proven spending time in nature has led to students experiencing a reduction in anxiety, depression, excessive worry and an increase in healthy sleep patterns, and overall mood. Going outside for just 10 to 20 minutes holds many positive benefits.

Not only did the kayak trip allow students to increase their psychological health, but it also provided them with a much-needed break from schoolwork.

”The trip was a distraction from studying and stressful homework. It allowed my brain to relax, and I got to spend some time with friends,” freshman biology major Katelyn Sequin said.

Students are encouraged to visit the HTC Outdoor Recreation Center. For more information about outdoor trips, students can follow @ccuoutdoors on Instagram.