5 Lessons Sloths Have Taught Me That Guide My Everyday Life

5 Helpful Lessons Sloths Have Taught Me That Guide My Everyday Life

Sloths are slow-moving adorable creatures that live in treetops but what many people don't know is how wise they really are. Here are some things I've learned from watching them hang.

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Sloths are endearing creatures that spend most of their lives living among the treetops in tropical rainforests. Aside from being slower and energy-conservative creatures, sloths have been adapted for life in the treetops. They have curved toes, long limbs, and organs adapted for hanging upside-down. Many lessons can be taken from these tree-top creatures. Here are some I've learned from these adorable wise creatures.

1. Take things slow

There is a push, especially in today's modernized and technologized age, to achieve as much as peers faster, better, and in a more boast-worthy way. This stressful mentality is not only detrimental to mental health, but also to relationships as competition between peers and utility of peers is sought after more than real social and emotional connections. Take the time to take things slow. There is no rush to be anywhere. Only your own personal push forward toward your own goal destination should be motivating you to move forward, not the thought of competition or superiority over others.

2. Test each branch before moving forward

Sloths, when they move in treetops, take careful time to test out a branch to see if it can carry their weight, if it's the direction they really want to go, and if it's worth the effort to progress in that certain direction. These simple evaluations made before grabbing and moving along a branch are incredibly applicable to everyday decisions. Before expending a large portion of energy to work on a task or before making a big decision, visualize yourself as the sloth and evaluate your path, as well. This will maximize time, effort, and happiness.

3. Eat leaves!

Sloths' diets consist of mostly treetop and canopy vegetation. Although sloths' primarily vegetative diet is due to their location limitations, this diet is worth replication and modeling. Eating a diet based on vegetables and fruits leads to numerous health benefits, including increased energy, sufficient vitamin and mineral intake, and lowered risk of health diseases. Eating healthy will leave you feeling refreshed and energized to take on the day, hopefully, a bit faster than would a sloth.

4. Shout when there is trouble

The small squeaks and squeals of sloths can be heard when they sense danger, but also when they are interacted with in a way that is unfavorable to them. Having the ability to also voice concerns or communicate with others openly when one is uncomfortable or in need of help is a necessary life skill. The sloth is unafraid to voice its fears while also vocalizing that it is not afraid of the danger it senses. Having a brazen attitude and being direct when communicating are all sloth attributes that should be reflected in conversations and confrontations.

5. Sometimes it's good to hang upside-down

Sloths spend most of their time hanging from branches or other foliage upside-down. However, there are times sloths flip around when climbing or hanging to get a change of position or to get a better vantage point. Spending time trying to view things from another perspective or even taking the time to just enjoy the view and the life that is being lived in the moment is invaluable. Much of enjoyment in life is when our memories are evaluated at a distance. Take the time to reflect on your life and just hang around. Be proud of all your achievements and visualize all the possible opportunities you have to progress. The world is your treetop!

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Old Oak Tree

A short poem about returning to one's childhood home.

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Looming over the burned-out house is an oak tree,

Hundreds of years old at least.

The smell of smoke is gone, but skeleton of the house remains,

A mere speck when compared to the tree.

Whose branches reach out to me like hands,

Begging for me to come closer.

I do.

I sit under the tree like I did when I was young.

The ground is damp from the rain,

I feel the sogginess soaking through my jeans.

I remain.

It is cooler under the branches,

A limitless amount of leaves shades me from the daylight.

I stay there. All day.

Staring at the charred remains of my childhood home.

I stay there until fog begins to form in the crisp night air,

Cold and sharp against my cheeks.

No longer able to withstand the cold, I take my leave looking back once more.

It's nice to know that even when I'm gone,

The old oak tree remains.

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