College Blogs

What I've learned, part 2

Erik

ERIK

Major: Business Administration –
Agricultural Business option
Hometown: Centennial, CO

Year: Senior

<<This blog post is a sequel to Erik's previous post.>>

Trial and Error:  “Sometimes you have to play with fire to find out how to not get burned.” This a quote I’ve come to find very realistic while in college. When you are away from old friends or family and on your own to make decisions, it can sometimes be hard to get things right on your first try. 

In the residence halls, you have to do your own laundry. I remember seeing lot of trial and error there: someone using dish soap in the washing machine, or someone thinking that turning it on made the machine release its own soap.  Needless to say, they eventually figured out how to do laundry on their own, after watching the washing machine overflowing with suds or smelling terrible for a couple weeks. 

Before college, it seems that there is often someone there to let you struggle a little, but stop you before you fail. While at college, you can always find someone to help you, but you have to ask. When it comes to classes, it doesn’t take long to realize that if you’re doing poorly and don’t try to find help, you will fail…simple as that.

Our self-built raft!As long as you learn from your mistakes though, it can often be beneficial.  Trial … a few of my roommates and I made a raft to use on the river one summer.  It was a simple raft made of barrels, pallets, carpet, and a pirate flag.  Error(s) … using it in the summer when the river was high running at 3,500 cfs, having very little river experience, and having a poorly built raft.  Long story short, we crashed into a bridge, the raft broke into pieces, got some bumps and bruises, but all in all, we ended up lucky and safe.  Lesson learned: have fun, but use common sense and be smart.

Time Management: Because of the beautiful area that we live in, I believe students get more done in a day than anywhere else that I have seen.  The difference with Fort Lewis students is that when we have a few hours free, we utilize it. Instead of going home to sit and relax for an hour or two, I’ll go on a hike and relax at a beautiful mountain lake for an hour.

Often students will have a couple hours between classes and go for quick mountain biking ride. The reason it’s possible is because there are lots of bike trails on Raider’s Ridge, which is accessible directly from campus. During the winter, mountain biking is obviously not quite as relevant for a couple hour activity. A couple quick winter activities accessible from campus include cross country skiing on the Hillcrest Golf Course or downhill skiing at Chapman Hill. Chapman Hill is a small ski/snowboard hill right next to campus with a moguls section at the top, a mini terrain park at the bottom, and a T-bar lift back to the top.  It only costs $12 a day or $100 for a full season to use.  

Just to show what’s possible in a day, a personal example of a busy day for me goes like this…wake up around 5 a.m. to go duck/goose/elk/deer hunting, then run home to change and drop my gun/bow at home.  Make it to my first class by 9 - 10 a.m. Get out of class by 2 p.m. and either work on homework for a couple hours or go on a quick hike/bike/walk down by the river. Make it to work from 4 - 9 a.m., and finish homework after. There are obviously a couple small breaks in there for things like eating and going to the bathroom if there is time. Hopefully not every day of yours would be this busy or you might go crazy, but once or twice a week I have days like this just because I can. It’s hard for me to fill up my free time with things like just sitting doing nothing when there are so many outdoor activities nearby to do.

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