Exploring as a way of life

We are at the end of another fantastic year at Colorado College. Some of you may be realizing that everything you’ve accomplished and done this year is up to par and that you wouldn’t change a thing. If this is you, congratulations! Keep on living life as best you can and never look back.

However, if this isn’t you, you may find yourself in a tricky predicament. Maybe you’re looking back and thinking, “I really wish I had used my weekends better,” or “I wish I had gone backpacking during that one block break,” or even, “I wish I had gotten out and off campus more.” This is a common situation and one that many CC students find themselves in. Are you worried that next year, history will repeat itself? Here are a few pointers for making the most of your time in this magnificent region of Colorado.

The first thing you must do at the start of every block is to recognize how much work you will be facing every day. Make an honest assessment and then plan out your weeks accordingly. Allot your homework time, meal-time, gym time, and social time and if you have some left over, especially on the weekends, get out and explore.

How do you go about exploring, you ask? Perhaps you’re new to this whole “outdoors” thing, or maybe you’re simply lost and so stressed about school that you can’t even think straight enough to plan a small trip for yourself. Either way, it’s easier than you think to plan an afternoon, overnight, or even longer trip. To begin, put your name on the Outdoor Recreation Committee (ORC) listserv and start attending their weekly meetings in the WES room on Tuesdays at 12:15. You’ll get a lot of pointers and ideas just by doing this.

Talk to people; grow your list of outdoorsy contacts and ask them about successful, or even unsuccessful, trips they’ve been on. See what they recommend and mold it to your own abilities, time, and motivation.

Have a couple of hours? Head up to Manitou Springs and hike as far as you can up the Incline. Go hike around Garden of the Gods. Even a short walk to downtown or by Monument Creek can monumentally increase your perception of your own productivity (pun intended).

Realize you have enough time for an overnight trip one weekend? Try googling nearby campsites for car and tent camping or one of the trails on the backside of pikes if you want to get a little more “out there.”

If you have an entire block break, this is where it can really get exciting.Head down to the bookstore and grab a trail map, or talk to the ORC about past documented trips that you can replicate. Talk to friends, talk to family, talk to yourself, talk to whoever you need to, but get out there! We live in such an incredible portion of Colorado and it’s a shame to even remotely let it go to waste. And don’t forget: equally incredible Utah is right next door if the “get outta dodge” bug hits you.

Best of luck to you all this summer, and go explore something!

Caleigh Smith

Caleigh Smith

Caleigh is a sophomore and began writing for the Catalyst during her first block at CC. She then became the Active Life editor a year later in the fall of 2015. She designed her major (Ecological Translation in Adventure Journalism) with a minor in both Spanish and Human Biology and Kinesiology. She is passionate about all things outdoors and is excited to see the Active Life section expand.

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