The Call of the Wild: How Adventure Guides My Life

This semester I have been spending a lot of time thinking about adventure; past adventures I have experienced while at EMU and the future adventure I am about to embark on after graduation in April.

First, I should explain that I love adventure. I love the thrill of exploring new places and making memories. I love the rush of anticipation and the feelings of success and self-satisfaction after it is over. Most of all I love the relationships that are built because of the shared experience of adventure.

Not all the adventures I go on have been epic. My roommate and I will be bored and go on an “adventure” as a study-break. This usually ends up be- ing a walk around campus, but as we head out, we do not know where we are going or who we will meet along the way.

These small adventures give us the opportunity to see the campus in new ways, searching out the uncommon and being able to see things we take for granted in our everyday busyness.

Other adventures have been extremely epic: purposefully getting lost in the streets of Paris, joining thou- sands of others in protest of the School of the Americas, learning about peace at the United Nations, meeting with Islamic leaders in Northern Iraq, and many more.

I have had some pretty amazing experiences in the last four years, and all of them have formed me into who I have become.

What exactly is adventure? Two definitions from have proven to be helpful: 1) “An exciting or unusual experience” and 3) “A bold, usually risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome.”

The first can help describe how we can make any experience an adventure. Even the mundane can seem ex- citing if we are looking for the unusual and trying to find ways to make life a little more exciting.

The second definition shows how to have an adventure; we need to be willing to take risks. Although some adventures are planned, others occur simply because you are willing to venture into the unknown.

As I look back on my four years at EMU, it has been the adventures that stand out. A lot of my relationships have been built on shared adventures and my main memories are the times I have taken risks and tried new things.

In my most stressful times, an ad- venture would always make things better, even if it was just a half hour break in the library looking for interesting books or getting lost painting a far-off place.

If there is any advice I would leave to underclassmen, it would be to take the time to have adventures. Take risks and take the time to search out the uncommon. Adventures, in my opinion, are what help make life worth living.

I relate well to the following quote by Mae Chevrette: “It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into this world and to be brave, to need, to want, to hunger for ADVENTURE, to embrace change, chance and risk, so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free.”

I feel most free when I am on an adventure because I am able to look deep inside myself and be who I want to be. Adventures give me the opportunity to be braver than what I think I am and to take chances.

At the end I have a greater knowledge of who I am and who I want to be in the world. And this makes any ad- venture worthwhile.

Julia is preparing to travel in Turkey over spring break and eagerly awaits whatever adventure is in store for her after graduation.

Julia Schmidt

Categories: Opinion

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