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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

COLUMN: Orchids are my new favorite flowers

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The New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid show is famed to be one of the best flower shows in the world. This year, they took it up a notch and integrated fashion into their flower show. Using several types of orchids from across the globe that they grew in its Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the show displayed different outfits by fashion designers who integrated orchids into the fabrics of the clothing. This flower show began on February 19th and will continue running until April 21st.  

The entire display was magnificent, to say the least. The designs, variety and colors were extraordinary to behold, but what truly piqued my interest was the level of adaptability orchids showed. 

As I walked through the exhibit with a myriad of orchids of different shapes, colors and sizes, I discovered a section where they displayed the different orchids that grew in the harsh desert climate as well. The species included Chitalpa El Nino and Eulophia Petersii.  

Orchids are known to grow well in tropical forests and places with optimum sunlight, moisture and rainfall. When these conditions are conducive, orchids grow and flourish, displaying bright colors, fascinating shapes and exquisite designs on their petals.  

The orchids that grow in deserts aren’t as colorful and big as orchids one would commonly find. These flowers have fleshy leaves to help them survive the lengthy dry periods. This was what I admired the most about this species of orchid — the way these predominately colorful flowers had the ability to be so different in order to survive in the most extreme conditions.  

As I walked through the conservatory reading about these various kinds of orchid species and the way they alter and adapt themselves to different environmental conditions, I was stunned. It was almost instant that my love for orchids quadrupled, and I reached the conclusion that they were my favorite flowers.  

The ability orchids possess truly spoke to me and led me to realize that there was something to learn from these flowers that can grow in every continent on Earth except for Antarctica.  

There will always be circumstances and situations that happen in our lives that are new to us, and they may not always be favorable. However, as orchids do, it's imperative for us to try our best to adapt to the different situations and obstacles we may go through. However, this does not mean being the same person or being as optimistic as we always are. It just means that we must strive to fight through any curveball that comes our way, and remember that survival is an accomplishment.  

During my first semester in college, I was not only new to the American education system, with a set of complete strangers, in a foreign country, but I was also miles away from my family and what I called home. I found it especially hard to manage my stress, stay consistent with deadlines and assignments, and stay true to my positive, optimist, bright-and-shiny personality. There were often times I would breakdown because of the immense amount of stress and expectations I put on myself. My entire first semester and part of the second went by like this.  

It was only after learning about the orchids and their techniques that helped them survive the severities that I realized that it’s okay to not be as optimist when situations aren’t the best, and most importantly, that getting through something and surviving is great too! 

Like orchids, it’s okay to change our colors in tough situations and not be as chirpy or “sunshine, rainbows and unicorns” as we normally are. What matters is that we battle through it and survive. Just like an orchid does.  

So the next time you’re in a tough spot, remember that maintaining your colors isn’t the main goal, survival is!  

 

Pehal Aashish Kothari is a freshman majoring in marketing with a minor in apparel merchandising.  

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