I am Finley Conway, and I just finished my last test as a Sophomore. I am happy to look back at an incredible year of Pitt Outdoors Club, vacation, and skiing trips with all of my closest friends. Along with these fun times, I also reflect on many wonderful opportunities I have been afforded in the classroom. I am an economics major, and this year I was a Teaching Assistant for the first time. This position taught me a lot about the subject, and even more about my passion for teaching, I always knew it was something that I enjoyed, but doing it in a more formal setting really solidified my interest in what I think could be my career one day. This reflection has created a small feeling of sadness about leaving school for the summer, but it is really overwhelmed with excitement about what is to come in the next month. I will be traveling to India to learn about leadership, through backpacking in the Himalayas. Every time I tell anyone it seems to good to be true. How am I actually going to get credit to do something like that?
This feeling began when Brian Schultz came to speak to the Outdoors Club in 2017 about this unbelievable opportunity. I remember almost skipping that meeting because I had so much work to do, and I had heard it was a guest speaker presenting about a program he wanted people to join. I ended up going just to see my friends, and was blown away by the unbelievably amazing opportunity he was planning. I knew from that day I was going to be on this trip. During the next year I followed along with every update, waiting for the day that the application would open. When it did this dream started to feel like it could become a reality. The whole process since has done nothing but get me more excited about what is to come. The feeling that it is only a short week away is pretty wonderful.
After my experience in India I will be pushing myself out of my comfort zone again learning to guide white water rafts. This is also creating a lot of excitement for me, I have followed my friends from a camp that I used to work at to this new opportunity. They assure me of the safety of the sport, and I am really comforted that they will be there along with me. I think that I will be able to adapt the the new sport, and soon gain comfort. I will do this job for 7 weeks of the summer, followed by moving to Yosemite Valley to be a dirtbag for the last 2.5 weeks of summer! I am unbelievably excited about this opportunity to climb some of the most beautiful big walls in the world. Yet again this will surely push me far outside of my comfort zone. I am hoping that all of this challenging myself will lead to growth on my part, and when I return to school in August I will be ready to start another year of hard work.