.For those of you that have the time or those that can empathize with me, I have a story to tell, a story that is as difficult to tell as it is to experience, A story that pitches my future against my present, my love for skiing versus my financial future.
I grew up in Denver and went to Cherry Creek High School. I love that place. If I were to die, Heaven would look something like my house: A suburb, a few SUV's, a boat, some waverunners, 2 brothers, and some loving parents. But most of all, the Rocky Mountains. It would be winter, just after Christmas, and a foot of fresh would be in denver and in the mountains. This happened with frequent regularity, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.
I also have a talent for school and studying, and a passion for business. I was the president of a 250 person organization (DECA, the largest chapter in the world), and had a 100,000 dollar budget at my disposal. I ran a conference in vail and had travelled to the Broadmoor in Colorado Spings (a very nice hotel), Dallas, and Orlando to represent my chapter and compete in business competition. I won my events usually at the state level, and was a passionate and competent leader.
Senior year I had to choose where I wanted to go to college. I was torn: I had a love for the mountains and for skiing that, and I can say this with some certainty, was unparralelled. I knew which riders were riding for which sponsors, where their home mountains were, what the snow conditions were like at a whim, when the next storm cycle was coming in, when the park at copper and winter park was going to open, exactly how to learn the next trick, which skis were the best for which conditions, everything. But I also knew that the in-state schools (boulder and Denver University, to be specific) weren't up to par for me academically. I think it is safe to say that i am a smart kid: i took 7 AP classes and got 4's and 5's on all of them, and took countless other honors classes.
So what did I do? I applied to 8 schools, and applied to my parents Alma Mater's honors program. Miami University in oxford, OH. no mountains out there... but a great program. I had the opportunity for small class sizes, research, intimate business study, and A brand new business buiding that would capapult the business school to the top ten in the country by the time i graduated.
What did I do? My parents were encouraging me to take a break from skiing. You can ski when you graduate, they said. You can ski when you come home from break SKIING IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD, they said. I listened. In the end, between denver University Boulder, and Miami, I took Miami.
I have interviewed Colin Powell regarding President Bush's economic policies. I have heard Thomas Friedman (author of the World is Flat, a brillant piece of writing, go read it if you feel intelligent.) speak, and I was in the first couple rows. I have done numerous reseach projects and case studies, and will walk out of here with great friends and a kick-ass degree that will hopefully lead me to an Ivy League MBA. I love my school. I am in a fraternity (SigEp) and I am on it's exec board. Would it not be for my fraternity, I would have transferred to Boulder, taken the easy route, went back to my high school friends (My high school is huge and has a large representation at boulder.) But I didn't. I am staying. But...
I still wonder how my life would be different if I had stayed in Denver or Boulder. I read my powder and my freeskier all the time and find that I talk about Denver and Skiing more here in Ohio than i do at home. At home skiing is just a given: here, it is a novelty. I am made fun of because of how i dress (hoodies and shell top shoes versus polos and sperrys.) But I know that I am making my family proud, and myself comfortable, knowing I will have a kick ass job and be financially secure...
But I took the safe route. My business mind did a cost benefit analysis and told me to leave home... because of the long term benefit. It is something I question every day, every morning, every time a snowflake falls here.
So to those of you who are about to start making college decisions, FOLLOW YOUR STRONGEST PASSION. You will be able to live with yourself. For those of you on here, that probably is going where the mountains and the snow are. Do it. Don't regret it. Follow your heart, because you will always be questioning yourself if you don't. Get out there and live it up.
loyal NS member since 2003,
I am a Skier