By: Emerson Loria
How has being in the wilderness for two weeks changed you?
- Understanding myself more
- Understanding of my peers more
- The beauty of solitude
- Realization of how much of a waste of time phones really are
Through these past two weeks in the Wind River Mountains, I have already noticed significant changes within my personal views, assumptions, and lifestyle. One major change within myself that I realized was what I truly want to do when I grow up. I came into Elon and NOLS with really no idea what I naturally wanted to study. But after really getting to know these wonderful people around me, I began to notice what it was that truly inspired me. One of the common things we talk about to help pass the time is music and after all these great conversations, I realized that music was my passion. By being in the wilderness forces to talk to the same people every day, I slowly had deeper and deeper conversation with one another. And from these deep conversations I found out that my love for music is far greater than I originally thought. Although, the exact major I wish to pursue is still unknown, it’s great to have a wide road to follow now instead of wandering in the dark.
Because of the wilderness here, I have spent a good amount of time simply watching a waterfall, gazing at the stars, or just examining the view. Although I do this with my great new friends, it has also shown me the beauty of solitude. By simply watching nature alone, you can truly star to see just how amazing it really is. Many think that being alone can be sad or wrong, but based on my personal experience I can only say how incredibly it really is. Solitude is great for figuring stuff out, reflecting on your life, or simply to decompress. But whatever your reason, the wilderness here has definitely made me change my assumptions on being alone for a little while.
One thing that really caught me off guard here was the fact that we wouldn’t have anything to tell the time (unless of an emergency). At first I was a bit worried, being unable to tell if I was up too late, were we hiking fast enough, or did we take too long cooking dinner. But after being with nature for a few days, I slowly cared less and less about the time. I stopped wondering what time it was and started examining what was around me more. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but these days in the woods have been some of the longest days of my life and I’m having the time of my life. I think if people cared a little less about time and more about life around them, they just might enjoy their day a little more. Because sometimes you have to slow down to appreciate the little things in life in order to appreciate life. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “You gotta stop and look around once in awhile or you might miss it.”