One of my all-time favorite movies is "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and there's a great quote that Ferris uses to justify his day off which has always stuck with me.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

While I'm certainly not condoning faking an illness to skip school or work, I think we can all learn from Ferris' words when it comes to how we live our lives.

Last Thursday, my best friend and I flew up to the northern woods of Wisconsin to attend our summer camp's 50th anniversary reunion. I spent the best summers of my life at Camp Birch Trail, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, playing tennis, tie-dying, camping, singing, making new friends and just enjoying good old Mother Nature.

It had been 12 years since I last set foot on Birch Trail soil, and despite a few changes, it was still the same camp that I remembered. I was instantaneously flooded with so many memories as I walked around the campground, revisited my old cabins and reacquainted myself with those whom I hadn't seen in upwards of 15 years. We laughed about our early '90s hairstyles, kitchen and pop machine raids and crushes on the male staff.

I was once again transformed into a carefree girl without a worry in the world.

Camp Birch Trail was my home away from home for seven wonderful summers. It made such a profound impact on me that it still to this day fills my dreams at night. It taught me leadership and friendship skills, how to respect nature and even empowered me with confidence during my awkward adolescent years.

Yet in spite of all its influence, it took me over a decade to return to my special haven. I've been so busy with work, graduate school and other obligations.

Like so many others, I get so bogged down with work, school and everything else that I don't make enough "me" time to enjoy the little things in life, such as taking my dog for a long walk, going on a date with my husband, reading a good book, or even visiting Camp Birch Trail.

Life happens. Stuff happens. Craziness happens. Chaos happens.

But if we don't stop and give ourselves a little break and enjoy the small pleasures in life, what's the point of living?

At least for me, returning to Camp Birch Trail gave me a much-needed break.

So as we move into the heart of fall semester, I hope you will set aside just a little bit of time to enjoy the things that make you happy and make you smile. It's good and healthy for us to maintain this type of self-care.

And Ferris Bueller would approve of it too.

- Betsy Brafman Alpert is a

graduate student from Cincinnati studying school counseling

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