During my first year here at RIT, I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything outside of my major; “better to focus,” I told myself. Within 5 weeks, I decided that it was actually a very bad idea to not do anything outside of studying. You see, in college homework is measured in dozens of hours, not minutes. Because of this, well, slight oversight, I found myself overwhelmed with work and no outlet for all my pent-up energy. I began to consider a few different activities. Back in grade school I played the clarinet for many years and thought that it might be a fun thing to pick up again. However, I came to university to try new things, so I started going to the gym with friends. I didn’t consider myself an athletic person, but that didn’t stop me from trying. Unfortunately I didn’t much enjoy the gym, with its repetitiveness and undercurrent of competition. Disillusioned and without an activity, I listened to the advice of a friend and decided to go to the RIT Red Barn, our resident rock climbing gym. It was there that I found my passion. Since then I’ve joined the club and taken trips climbing with friends during free time. Climbing is a way for me to relax from my work for a few hours, and has without a doubt allowed me to excel at my classes.
The moral of the story (if there ever was one) is that fun activities outside of class really can make you better at concentrating in class, not to mention you never know where you might find your next interest. It could be in a computer lab, your friend’s dorm room, outside on the track, or inside a century-old barn on the edge of campus that just happens to have some of the best climbing in upstate New York.