Coming here, I knew it would be a challenge academically, but I did not realize the growth I would go through during my first year. I have learned how to learn through my academic failures and successes, growing through my struggles and relishing in my accomplishments. The friends that have come into my life are people who have brought me much joy, making me a better person by enlightening the world around me. Most of all, I have gained a sense of my future and where I want to go with my life through interactions with this diverse college community. Mines has and will continue to provide me with opportunities to develop as a student and a person, and I look forward to my coming years here.
Apart from the Harvey Scholars Program, I have been a part of the class shadow program for the Colorado School of Mines admissions office. Prospective students came and “shadowed” me in classes to gain an idea of what college-level courses here at Mines were like. It has been a great experience helping others in their college decision process and knowing that only a year ago, I was at the same point in choosing a college. I have also had the privilege to be part of the Mines varsity baseball team throughout the year. Every time I put on my uniform, I am representing something bigger than myself, a university I am proud to be part of.
This summer I will be playing in the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League in the Denver area, along with taking a class during summer session one here at Mines. I will also be going with the Invictus Initiative to Kenya this summer toward the end of July into early August. With the trip to Kenya, I am going into a culture I have never before experienced and a community that is far different from what I am accustomed to. I know this trip will be a humbling, eye-opening experience for me, and I am very eager to immerse myself into a new world for a few weeks. On top of all that, I hope to make back to Texas to spend time with family and friends in the area I call home.
This short year has expanded my life greatly. I have learned and laughed much this year, meeting new people and experiencing new things. I am grateful to all those who have provided me with the opportunity to come to Mines, where I have been given opportunities to succeed and move forward in life. Reflecting on my past, I can truly say that is year has changed me into the type of person I once looked up to, and anxiously await my coming years of growth.
My fascination with the Colorado weather has now transformed into a slight form of frustration. So far this year we have had four baseball games cancelled due to large amounts of snow, and hopefully no more are to come. This past weekend, we played our second game of our series versus Metro State in the falling snow. It was a new experience for me playing baseball with snow blowing into my face at sub-freezing temperatures, and not one I particularly enjoyed. However, with the disappointments that have resulted from the weather, I must say that sometimes it makes Colorado look that much more beautiful.
This past weekend, with the cancellation of our games, I was able to go to our athletic formal with some friends. We dressed up, went to dinner at Grappa Mediterranean Bistro in Golden, and then went and had a good time at the formal. Athletes came alone and with their dates to the student ballrooms, where they socialized and danced to the music the DJ put on.
For Spring Break, I hung around Golden and Mines, as I had to be here due to baseball practices and games. I was able to catch up and get ahead with my homework and well as watch some TV and hike North Table Mountain. It was nice to have a break and now look forward to the few weeks we have left in this semester. It is all going by so quickly and I must relish the time I am able to be an adult without having to be in the “real world” yet.
The time awaited has finally come. Baseball season is under way and we start conference play this coming weekend against Regis University. We have already played seven games, going a disappointing combined 3-4 against West Texas A&M and Adams State. Our trip to West Texas A&M in Canyon, TX, was an eight hour trek, a tiresome trip to play a good team. While in Canyon, on top of playing some baseball, we ate at the Big Texan Steakhouse, a food tourism landmark that has been host to Man Vs. Food with their 72 oz. steak and sides challenge. It was a fun trip, but would have been much more enjoyable if we would have played to our potential.
This weekend’s series is in doubt unfortunately due to the amount of snow around the area. By far this is the most snow I have ever seen and have gotten to experience plenty of new things. Driving in the snow is now not unfamiliar to me, as these past few days have served me plenty of practice. I have become a snow angel, snowman, and snowball expert, as well as a sledding fanatic. Behind the IM fields, on sorority hill, we constructed a small jump ramp for our sleds, so that when we get a running start to build up enough speed, we are able to get a fair amount of air, to the point where we even attempted a few mid-air barrel rolls.
Over and over again have I heard that the weather here is unpredictable, and that will once again be the case this week. The forecast calls for a chance of snow throughout the week, mixed in with sunshine. If the bad weather continues, the home weekend series looks bleak. However, classes always find their way to stay in session, as grounds crews always seem to be around with their plows and shovels, keeping the sidewalks clear and the roads drivable. As long as they can get outside, we can get to class.
This weather has now shown me the Colorado I imagined: full of snow and cold. It is nice, as I like the snow, but I could use a little sunshine and warmth every now and then.
It’s almost here. Baseball season is right around the corner, and I can feel it coming. We are in the full swing of practices, lifting, and inter-squads as our first game is February 15th against West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas. I eagerly and anxiously look forward to stepping on that field for the first time with a uniform that represents something much bigger than myself.
However, my first round of exams of the spring semester now approach. Physics, one of my four classes this semester, is notorious for being incredibly difficult, and I am slightly apprehensive about the first exam. Studio and lecture have done well to help me learn, but yet I await a challenge. My three other classes, Calculus II, Chemistry II, and EPICS, have been demanding so far, but seem to be very manageable, along with Chemistry II Lab. Time and effort for this semester will once again be crucial to my academic success.
Since I arrived from winter break, I’ve been snowmobiling near Georgia Pass at the Continental Divide, ice skating at Evergreen Lake, and to a Nuggets vs. Thunder game at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. On top of those things, I’ve attended several Mines basketball games at Lockridge arena on campus, which are always fun, especially “Gold-Cup Night”, when the athletes competed in attendance percentage to raise money for their respective programs and shirts were given away to the first 200 students.
I’m glad I’m back in Colorado, as I love this place, and eagerly I await the upcoming baseball season and the academic spring semester.
The semester has come to a close and the holiday break is here. I survived and now I am able to fully reflect upon my short time at Mines. I have discovered that I can do this, that I can find success through all the academic challenges I may face. I have a strong support group and have found some great friends to help me along the way. I have learned to put myself out there to see all that I can grab to take opportunity of. This is college, and I never again will have the opportunity to experience all that I am going through, so quickly have I learned to enjoy what I am doing and how I am doing it.
Before the break, I had a few days to enjoy myself and explore more of the area. I went trail running at the White Ranch Open Space near Golden, which provided me amazing views of the Great Plains, Boulder, and Denver. I also took a hike with one of my baseball teammates to Mt. Bierstadt near Guanella Pass, which was a little bit over 14,000 feet, and my first 14-ner. With my friends, I also went into Denver to see the Denver Parade of Lights and to the Boulder Theater in Boulder to see Of Monsters and Men live.
I continue to fall in love with the region I chose to attend college just as much as I do with Mines. From the warmth of Texas to the snow of Colorado I will soon go, and as I go back, I will face my first white winter, and I am sure I will struggle somewhat with the cold, but will rest on the experience I am having.
There is no place like home, and I wish to remain here with my family forever, in the comfort of my own house and the community I know very well, but I look forward to the opportunities and experiences that await me back in Colorado at Mines. I now have a home for my heart in two places and a future semester to look onward to.