I came to Alaska and APU looking for adventure, trusting that I would find a place full of my kind of people. At the time, I did not know how important the mountains would become to me, how much a part of my life climbing would become, and how integral to my being my new friends would become. At the time, I was just another fresh face in a new (to me) place.
Through I cringed at the prospect of venturing out of my room and meeting new people, I summoned the courage and stepped out to the various social events coordinated for new students that first weekend. Despite my dubious fashion choices and social awkwardness, I was met with nothing but kindness and enthusiasm. In those two days I met a young man about my age wearing a leather shirt he made from a deer he shot himself, talking about his love for climbing frozen waterfalls in winter. I met a young woman with bright red hair who laughed like a honking goose. Within a matter of hours after moving into the dorms at APU I had two new running partners.
And these are just a few examples of the people I met and began friendships with in that weekend – people who have since become incredibly important people in my life. Through the crucible of college, field courses, shared difficulties and triumphs; I have forged some of the most trusting, intimate relationships of my life.
As I suspected in those first few days, and have confirmed in the four years following: these are my people.