Discovering my passions

Six years ago I entered MSU as a bumbling, clueless and socially awkward freshman. When I graduate next week I will still be socially awkward, but at least I’ve learned a few things. My time here has helped me to understand my potential and refocus my goals accordingly. I no longer harbor thoughts of being a pro skier. If I do pursue work under either of my degrees in geospatial information sciences or hispanic studies, it will be on my own terms. I will not take a high paying job that sticks me behind a desk 40 hours a week.

My college experience has been enlightening to say the least. I spent 11 semesters learning how to do the bare minimum for my classes while still passing with flying colors. I always put the ski day or the climb or run in front of my assignments. And yet I never failed a class. This has led to a realization. My real passions lie outside the classroom, or the job that pays rent. But I must work to live. Unfortunately, there are few people lucky enough to earn a 401K through an outdoor job. I have unconsciously developed a strategy to maximize my play time. This is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.

If I sound like a slacker and a ski bum, it’s only because I am. But do not mistake that to mean I am unmotivated. Like most of my friends I struggle to get out of bed for an 8 a.m. class. Yet I gladly awake for a 6 a.m. ski mission.

Perhaps my greatest revelation during my time at MSU came only during the last semester. I realized that I enjoy writing. For me it is a chance to share experiences — my own and others — in a well articulated and succinct manner, something I am incapable of in conversation. There is also a humbling power that comes with reporting: you are responsible to tell the story of someone’s life.

I have chosen to guide this summer and work in the ski industry next winter, with a healthy chunk of traveling in between. I will continue to write and blog and hopefully I will find another publication daring enough to let me on board.