Rock Climbing: An Unknown Wonder of Erskine College

For those of you who are opposed to attending Erskine because you’ll be bored out of your mind, let me just tell you something. There is always something to do here, as long as you have the motivation to find it. Now, if you have been dutifully reading my previous blogs, you know that I rarely have free time to do anything. One thing I do try to make time for every day is exercise, because I’m terrified of that freshman 15. Free, unlimited vanilla ice cream definitely threatens my resolution to weigh the same at the end of the year as I did when I started school. Thus, every day, Grace (see God’s Gift of Grace) and I drag (sometimes we literally drag) our friend Daria to a fitness room in the women’s dorm adjacent to ours, and we exercise for an hour. We use weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals, a funny looking ab doodad, dumbbells, and even some kind of foam yoga mat. We’re basically female versions of Chuck Norris.

Get on our level

Get on our level.

Back to the point, along with exercising with my friends, I also joined a rock climbing club here. Membership only cost $10, which was my main motivation to join. I’m definitely not super strong or flexible, but I can scale up some of the easier walls without too much trouble. Tonight, I actually conquered one of the routes that was one of my projects. I think I’m at a disadvantage because I’m super short and I can’t reach the rocks that other people with normal heights can reach. But I do have a friend who’s super amazing at climbing! Her name is Darby and I look up to her so much because she is so intensely amazing! She’s tiny, but she’s so strong and tough.  I secretly think of her whenever I need the motivation to not give up when I get tired or frustrated.

Darby likes to come down Spidey-style. :)

Darby likes to come down Spidey-style. 🙂

I have really enjoyed the rock climbing club because it has pushed me to make a bunch of friends that I probably wouldn’t normally even talk to. The leaders of the club were so inviting and encouraging, that I was ready to become a member regardless of whether I could actually make it up a wall or not. I have really loved getting to know them and I have also loved improving my climbing skills. I like to think that rock climbing is a practical, hands-on application of the muscles that I build when I work out in the exercise room. I can tell that I’m able to push myself a little bit more on the walls, each time that I go.

Here’s how this blog relates to you: whether you’re in high school, in college, or in whatever prime of life that you think you are, GET INVOLVED! Find things that you enjoy and make awesome memories by doing them! Don’t make the excuse that you never have time… because you might just be doing something that you hate or you’re just too lazy to start something. If the former is true, then you should just stop doing it. Obviously, you can’t skip out on important things like working or cleaning. But if you’re in a knitting club, but you hate knitting, then leave the club! Find something else that will make you happy. If the latter is true, then I feel bad for you. Because if you’re going to let your laziness get in the way of your happiness, then.. you’re just worthy of pity. Get off your potato-chip-covered couch, smooth out the 10-inch, potato-shaped indent, and cross something off your bucket list!

Want to see some pictures of my cool rock climbing pals?

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Back in the Swing of Things

I am sure this no surprise to any of you, but summer break is officially over! However, while this common fact unites all of us schoolers, my transition between summer break and school is slightly different. As an Erskine College student, I have the opportunity to be involved with so many clubs, societies and activities. One of those that I proudly represent is the Erskine College Orientation Staff, otherwise known as “O-Staff”. Along with the thought, hard work, and unique challenges that come with this position also comes a TON of fun!


The fun begins when we move back to campus about a week before the freshmen even get here! (Yes, I know, moving back to school before you have to just sounds insane). Spending time with friends, fixing up my room, and re-acclimating myself to Erskine life is a joy that I look forward to as I get to do it more than two days before classes start. Throughout the week we hold meetings, work in groups…oh yeah..and this year we played paintball! There is nothing like shooting at 7 of your closest friends, but anyways. All of this planning builds up to the exciting move-in day for freshman where the fun and excitement truly begins. After these new Erskine members say goodbye to their loved ones, O-Staff guides them as they embark on their four year journey in Due West.

So, maybe now the fun and relaxed feel of orientation is over and classes have begun, but the friends made during it are not. Now, I walk around campus and know most of the new freshmen I see along with the new friends I made planning the event.  I honestly feel like I have been here for months, which is a good thing. That is the thing about Erskine, coming back always makes me feel like I am still at home.

Shall We Dance?

What happens when you put a group of young people together long enough? Well…they dance! I’ve enjoyed being a part of the recently rejuvenated Erskine Ballroom Dance Club (which had fizzled the year before my classTillary and Aimée dancing in Erskine's Got Talent arrived) for the past year or so, and I enjoyed a completely new experience this fall when I went to my first Erskine semi-formal. I had avoided dances before because I was unsure of what to expect, but I went with a great group of friends in the fall, and we had fun dressing up and goofing off together in our formal attire.

Recently, though, some adventurous and talented friends discovered a YouTube video called Swing Dance Demo with Aerials. And so what do you think happened? They staked out the Memorial stage (a large space perfect for learning dance moves) and learned how to execute numerous high-flying swing dance moves. A few days later, they invited several other members of the Ballroom Dance Club to join them, and we all had great fun learning new steps…and we may or may not have met for about four evenings consecutively. But our excuse was that it was not exam season and that Aimée and Tillary were preparing to dance in the talent show the following weekend. Randomly deciding to work on dance steps every evening for a week is, to me, quintessential of the delightful spontaneity that is possible during the college season.
Tillary and Aimée tearing up the dance floor
To see a demonstration of the types of swing dancing we’ve been learning here at Erskine, take a look at this video of Holly and Joseph going over their routine before the pageant show a couple of weekends ago. They learned and worked on this for a total of one week before the video was taken—that’s skill!