Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

From FUOC to The Bell Tower: How to Appreciate Nature Every Day

Who’s Up For an Adventure?
FUOC SyncDin
Yes, we’re all pressed for time, but there are always enough minutes in the day to stop and appreciate the world around us. Luckily, Furman has several ways to make embracing nature all the more fun!

Welcome back, Dins! With the first week of the fall semester behind us, it finally feels as though campus is settling into a groove. But as schedules and routines start to establish, it is important we do not forget about an integral part of one’s daily plans: spending intentional time outdoors. Personally, living in Clark Murphy this year and walking past Furman’s stunning lake and bell tower every morning has made me realize not only how truly stunning the outdoors are, but also how we tend to diminish the importance of getting out into nature and appreciating our planet — especially once school life gets hectic.

Fortunately, there is an on-campus organization that specializes in providing unique outdoor activities that serve this very purpose: FUOC! FUOC, or the Furman University Outdoors Club, is a student-run organization that sponsors all sorts of fun excursions, hosts on-campus events (I attended last year’s “Grill and Chill” event, which was incredible!), and even rents out camping and climbing gear for self-designed trips. They’re like a mini-REI, all on Furman’s campus, serving only Furman students!

But FUOC does more than just allow students to get lost within the environment — it also fosters community. Recently, I talked to the Co-President of FUOC Caroline Kuhnert (’22) about the impact this organization has on her and other Furman students. “The people in FUOC have impacted me the most.” She explained how “everyone is so willing to spontaneously camp or do whatever. It really taught me to relax and take time to do things you enjoy.” Kuhnert’s reflections are important to remember as the chaotic nature of college life begins to take root — when work or life becomes overwhelming, FUOC adventures can help us all access an outlet to get away and gain a well-deserved rest in nature.

In addition to providing opportunities to spend time with fellow classmates or take a well-deserved study break, FUOC also provides us with the incredible chance to soak up all of Greenville’s various landscapes. Kuhnert expressed her love for getting off-campus and exploring the Upstate with FUOC; “Furman is close to so many amazing places so it’s great to take advantage of what’s around. Being able to leave for a weekend and escape into nature has been incredible.”

And even though FUOC activities were contained to campus last year, they still hosted a ton of fun, safe, and outdoor-oriented events. From making S’mores at the Rabbit Hole to camping out and listening to music at the spring Grill and Chill festival (FUOC always features student performers at events!), the club never let Furman students down! So if you have interest in getting plugged into a club and are unsure of where to start, or you enjoy being in the outdoors and seek friends that love to explore, I highly recommend FUOC. They have so many opportunities every student can find something they love, whether hiking, rafting, or just hanging out!

Bonus — FUOC has an event coming up soon! Kuhnert gave us the inside scoop on FUOC’s Labor Day trip to Turtle Back Falls, which will include both hiking and swimming. Not only will Turtle Back Falls be FUOC’s first event of the semester, but it will be their first off-campus event in over a year. It will be really fun, so you won’t want to miss !

But if you are already stretched thin or are just unable to commit, there are still so many ways to enjoy Greenville’s beauty. Last year, I loved Saturday morning runs along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. It started my day off on a great note, left me energized, and got me outside and into nature. But truly, you can reap the benefits of the outdoors by simply looking up from your phone on your way to class and noticing the complexities of nature around you — the text can wait, but the green on the leaves will be gone before we know it!

**To stay in the know about all upcoming FUOC events, Kuhnert advised students to join the club on SyncDin and look out for the weekly FUOC emails!

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