University of California - Santa Barbara
The Outdoors and Life
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
I was practically born on the river. Both of my parents were extreme whitewater raft guides, and they passed on their love of the river and nature in general to me. From a young age, my parents took me rafting on rivers like the San Juan, the Grand Canyon, and the Klamath, and I still enjoy rafting those rivers to this day. My dad was a guide on the Grand Canyon, and he still does the occasional trip down that incredible river, and my mom guided all over the world while competing in raft races and doing first descents of rivers in exotic and remote places. They both have taught me many lessons during my time spent on boats, rowing boats, and paddling, many of which apply to real life. One lesson that my mom taught me is that a rapid is, in a sense, a metaphor for life. You need to first look at where you want to go, and spot the obstacles in your way in order to plan a safe route to get there.
When rowing a technical rapid, the first thing to do is stand up and take a good look at what it is exactly that you’re up against, what obstacles you have to avoid in order to make it safely to the end. This may take a minute, and sometimes you may even want to step out of the boat and take in the big picture to formulate your plan. This...
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