College—you were a trip. But anyone who says their best years were in college—I feel bad for you; because this is SO MUCH BETTER!
If your post-college years are miserable and you have to keep reminiscing over the ‘good old days’, well then here’s an idea—YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
I loved class and yes I actually attended all of my classes—never even ditched for a powder day (I know, Lame. But hey, it was upstate New York/Canada/Russia. I don’t know if anyone actually knew where we were, all we knew was that it was fucking freezing).
College was a controlled experiment. I can’t speak for large state schools, but in my college of 2,200 students you can pretty much count on High School 2.0—The No Curfews Version. You still have clubs, cliques, jocks and weird lunch ladies, only nerd-ism is highly acceptable; as one of my classmates put it, “if you don’t go to class, you don’t party.”
My college had an easily identifiable student population dichotomy. Either there was the jock/sorority scene, or there was the theme house/outdoorsy scene. If you know me now, or happen to have seen any of the pictures on this website, you might assume I was of the outdoorsy one. Wrong. Sort of.
Was I absolutely in love with all things outdoors, YES (still am by the way, duh.) Was I up for trying new things, even something like joining a sorority? (Ridiculous, I know). But yes, I was. Was I accepted into any of these groups and clubs….nope.
Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s a short list of things that didn’t exactly pan out: Sororities (can’t say I’m too disappointed in that one, rest assured I recovered from that rejection fairly quickly), The Greenhouse (a theme-house for the local, organic food loving and environmentally minded), The Outdoor Guide Program (I think that’s self-explanatory), and the Outing Club (if Shane McConkey’s Saucer Boy had a theme house, this would be the place).
I couldn’t tell you why I wasn’t part of any of these. You’d have to ask them. I tried, I even found a hideous peacock costume to wear to one of the interviews. I practically grew up in the Adirondacks; being a 46er I knew the mountains and surrounding area well. I was a NOLS kid. I love a good party. For Christ sake I was a Conservation Biology major—nothing says “go green” more! And I love everything J.Crew! (Kidding. Again, the fact that sororities didn’t work out = great thing).
But I think it all was meant to be.
If I learned one thing outside of class in college it was rejection. Think ‘Big Flashing Neon Sign” rejection. At least it seemed that way, because that small community was my world and I couldn’t find a single country I could call my own.
If you find yourself facing rejection from what you thought would be a natural fit based on your interests, and that rejection causes you to find another interest, then ‘Ah-Ha’! That’s all it ever was! It was just an interest. Maybe that rejection served to point you towards bigger and better things. Or, in my case, the opposite happens—I pushed harder in the direction of my interests because they weren’t just ‘interests’, they were passions I was determined to pursue, and dammit I’d do it with or without their support.
I learned to stand on my own and claim my pursuits.
So here I am, 2 years out of college, and here’s a short list of what I’ve done:
1. Decided NOT to follow the herd and move to Jackson Hole. 2. Spent a summer at Mount Hood working at a ski camp 3. Started Crossfit. 4. Took the LSAT 5. Drove across the country with Co-pilot, Beesh, and Entertainer Extraordinaire—Charles Reetz, and found myself in Salt Lake City. 6. Stood up for myself and quit something (awful job) for the first time in my life in the name of powder snow. (It felt Ah-mazing! Both the snow and quitting) 7. Slept on the floor of a restaurant to be the first one in line for the tram on a powder day 8. Skied some Can’t Breathe—Oh My God—So Fucking Deep—Cough—SMILE Utah Powda 9. Jumped off my first 50-foot cliff on skis. 10. Entered my first big mountain skiing competition 11. Earned my first sponsor! 12. Spent 10 days skiing in Chile in August (doesn’t even remotely describe this. It needs its own list) 13. Did my first Crossfit Competition 14. Became a SheJumps Volunteer 15. Helped clean up some of the mess that Hurricane Sandy left behind 16. Met a bunch of knucklehead ski bums who are as one track minded as I am 17. Fell into a great summer job opportunity by hitchhiking 18. Got an intro to speed-flying 19. Joined beer-league softball and kickball teams 20. Water ramps and standup paddle boarding 21. Survived both my first Alan Jackson concert and the hottest Salt Lake City summer on record!
SO my point is this: college served its purpose. I learned things. Fantastic. But it was a primer, it was a chance to work out my personal kinks and figure out my next move. Life goes on, in fact, I’m living right now.
Moping is stupid. So is regret. I won’t count college as my best years, but they were significant years. So to all those people who both helped me and hated me: Thank You, you made all the difference.