Written by Grace Houser, ESLLC 2016-2017
Seeing as May and June are inundated with papers and exams galore, I’m going to take this blopportunity (blog opportunity ©) to reflect on the school year that I’ve had, specifically in the ESLLC. I’m not even going to attempt superlatives like RA John last year because I know I wouldn’t do it any justice and this group of people is practically indescribable anyways.
Day One was exciting and terrifying and I didn’t know the other 22 people that I was living with. That soon changed after classes, trips, and daily life. In September, we went to Mt. Evans to bond, listen to Don playing guitar, and get to know everyone for the first time. I remember still not knowing people very well, but doing trail restoration started to change that as we were tossing rocks down assembly lines to improve the Mt. Evans trail. All of us out-of-staters were struggling for air as we hiked the elevation towards the sky.
We also all chose to spend Halloween together as 21 of the 23 of us dressed up after our zero waste game to celebrate. It was quite the sight to see all of us as one group walking around and checking in to make sure we hadn’t lost anyone. I remember on the actual holiday of Halloween, I went out trick-or-treating for the first time in years. I was a deer with reindeer ears, but definitely a deer.
We also worked on our service project the whole year. I had the opportunity to work with the Center for Sustainability’s energy team which has offered me learning experience and friends and event planning experience. We put on the February Energy Challenge, hosted two successful Open Mic Nights, marketed a ton, and had a blast in the process. I hope to continue next year on the team and dive even deeper into sustainable energy use on campus.
In the winter we got to go cross country skiing at Mt. Evans and fall all over our faces. It was a colder trip, but we still got to traipse through the snow and trees at night to admire the stars. More great cooking attributed to Brianna, best LLC coordinator ever!
Other valuable experiences included the Sustainability Summit, Retreat, Council Meeting, Patagonia tour, Banff Mountain Film Festival, Denver waste water tour (yeah, just imagine the smell, it was something), and countless other events that were offered specifically to our LLC.
Then we had our spring retreat to Ruby Mountain where we rafted, hiked, ate, and camped. It was my first time ever camping and it was a blast. The rafting was amazing, albeit a bit more calm than I was ready for. I got stuck hiking up a mountain in flip flops. Overall, it was my favorite retreat and a great end to the year.
Not to say that every second was perfect because college is of course an adjustment from living at home, high school, etc. But I can genuinely say that I feel I have grown tremendously in the past nine months and the LLC has greatly contributed to that. One year ago, I was picking a college, picking an LLC, and I am grateful for where those choices have led me.