During your college years, create a Garden of Memories
In the Palm Beach Post this morning, March 10, 2013, and I read the story of Susan Spencer Wendel. She was an award-winning writer at the newspaper for 20 years. In 2011, she was diagnosed with ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was just 44 years old and had a husband and three young children, ages 9, 11 and 15.
With only a few years to live, “she decided to live with purpose and intent – to plan special trips with her most cherished loved ones, to plant a vivid ‘Garden of Memories’ in their souls.
With only one finger that she can still control, she wrote a book about her experiences, “Until I Say Goodbye,” to share their trips, their adventures and their experiences planned to help create those wonderful memories.
Susan is a brave woman, thinking not about herself, but about helping those she loves to enjoy her final year. As you can see in the picture with Susan and her husband, she is facing her death with a huge smile. She is spending her time enjoying life and enjoying time and experiences with those she loves.
One thing that really struck me was the image of a “Garden of Memories.”
Remember your College Days as you grow older
As the years go by, most students forget the names of their professors. They forget their roommates and the friends in college. They also forget many of the wonderful experiences. You don’t need to forget.
Get a nice scrapbook or bound journal. Write in your journal every month or so, describing the most interesting events and experiences. List the classes you are taking, the names of the professors and a little about the class.
List your friends, when and how you met them, where they were from, and some of the experiences you had together.
Take pictures of your dorm rooms, college buildings, your friends, and at least your favorite professors. Put prints in your scrapbooks and label them clearly with the names and when it was taken. When you return for your 25th or 50th reunion, you will be glad you have this reference to help you remember. You will be able to say, “Remember the day when we …..
Create your own Garden of Memories
If you are spending all your time studying and pretty much wasting time with your friends, begin planning memorable experiences. The picture represents a garden with a wide variety of flowers – or college years with a wide variety of memorable experiences.
1. Plan a few day trips to nearby cities, National Parks, or nearby attraction.
2., Plan some unusual parties. You might come as someone you admire, or as your favorite character in a book.
3. Do some volunteer work together. Collect food or other supplies for families left homeless by a fire or storm.
4. Start a new club to meet other students with similar interests.
5. Spend some time, alone or with friends, campaigning for a favorite candidates.
6. Form a band or chorus, maybe just for fun, maybe to play in local restaurants.
7. Visit nursing homes to sing, to hand out Valentines, or small holiday gifts. Take time to get to know some of the people in the nursing homes.
8. Go on a work project together, possibly even in another country.
9. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Get to know some of the people who come there for a meal.
10. Run in a marathon, or other activity to help raise money for a charity.
11. Eat at restaurant serving food you have never tasted. Have you eaten Indian food, Korean food, Mexican food?
12. Meet International students and introduce them to your own customs.
and I’m sure you can list many other interesting and memorable activities.
Whatever you choose to do, take pictures and write about it in your journal. You will be creating a Garden of Beautiful Memories. And, at the same time, these activities will enrich your college experience.