It was my second summer working in a National Park. Acadia National Park wasn’t filled with the expected wilderness I wanted like in the Tetons, the first park I worked at. Naturally, I was originally disappointed, but then gave myself a goal of hiking each of the “peaks” in the park and to try and enjoy what I could. Because the park was so close to the ocean, everything was under 1,600 ft sea level. I thought this to be a doable goal: a little over 30 peaks for the summer, bushwhacking included. With this in mind I couldn’t let it be a lazy summer, I had to get out and hike as much as possible. In Acadia, it was all possible, and I ended up loving it. The park is so accessible and I was able to enjoy every aspect of it.
While pursuing this goal I learned the beauty of the quiet that brings peace. I learned that expectations get in the way of adventures and I learned how to enjoy the life between school and career. A very overlooked season of life that can really enhance or diminish living. In this season of my life I learned what it means to really discover a path you enjoy and follow it instead of doing what’s expected. To take adventures, make mistakes, and discover who you are apart from school life and before jumping into career life.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college so I took a risk by working in the National Parks and that turned out to be the best decision I’ve made yet. Instead of jumping into doing something I really didn’t want to do I gained the courage needed to reflect on my desires and dreams and then follow them. I’ve met some of the most amazing and random people doing this and really learned about living in community. By talking with them and hearing stories of what they’ve done I learned how much of the world is really accessible. It felt like we were all in the same boat, figuring out how to get the best moments from our existing and these people had some great advice on how to do it.
So, if there is any question about what you are doing next I highly encourage you to take a summer adventure for a spin and allow it to open up what you really want to be when you grow up. If nothing else you get to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and that’s good for any soul!