By Lauren Himmelreich
How many first year college freshmen can say they floated the Yukon River with their entire cohort? Pretty much only APU kids, I imagine. This is the kind of adventure people all around the world would pay big money to go on, and APU freshman get to experience this as their first college class. It’s hard to find an opportunity like this anywhere else. This trip should not be taken as a leisure river cruise, however, with finger foods and cocktails. But rather, a wash your dishes in the river, sleep with three people in a two-person tent, and take bear spray to the bathroom kind of trip. Being dropped off on a river bank with other freshman you do not really know and being responsible for helping each other, feeding each other, and sleeping with each other is one heck of a freshman orientation. You will find yourself in challenging situations and you will know really quickly the kind of people you’ll be spending the next four years of your life with.
The relationships that were created on the Yukon have reminded me of wonderful memories even as I approach the end of my senior year. Coming into freshman year, I knew almost no one and after the Yukon trip I had built lasting relationships that have continued three years later. Expedition Alaska is one of the aspects of APU that makes it so unique and I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything. Go on this trip, and you will be rewarded with countless, unforgettable memories, and when senior year rolls around, I promise you will have frequent conversations that start with: “Hey, remember that time on the Yukon…”