Alumni News :: Letters Home | by Paisley Sheehan (2015)

paisley-sheehanIf someone had told me a year ago where I’d be today, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. That being said, I had no idea what to expect for my life after SMWS. Going to the same school for thirteen years made it difficult to imagine something different, but nevertheless I was excited.

I started last semester at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Having lived in Boulder my entire life, I was excited (and nervous) to explore a new place. True, Grand Junction is in Colorado, but on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, it definitely wasn’t Boulder.

During the first semester in college, learning is done outside of the classroom as much as it is inside it. I loved all the classes I was taking. Some topics were familiar but others were completely new material. New experiences weren’t limited to the classroom. I loved exploring the Colorado National Monument and I have never had so much fun trail running.

On campus, it was hard to get used to living with someone who had completely different lifestyle habits than I did. My roommates, while friendly enough, couldn’t understand that I actually enjoyed so much physical activity.

I tried to start a triathlon club with three other people I met, and we came back to Boulder to do a race in September. It was my first college triathlon, and I had a blast doing a triathlon and knowing I had teammates out on the course. That was probably what I missed most about high school: being on a team.There is something about a group of people working together that I absolutely love. Special kinds of friendships are made through teamwork.

Over the next few weeks, it was hard going back to living with people who I had nothing in common with and I kept thinking about how much fun I had had in that triathlon in September. In early November I applied to CU because I realized I wanted to be somewhere where I could be surrounded with likeminded people. It took being away from Boulder to appreciate how great Boulder really is and to realize that I’m a Boulder girl.

Fast forward a few months, and I’ve now been at CU for three weeks. I joined the triathlon team and have made a lot of new friends and have had a ton of fun training with them! It was crazy having to start all over again, but I’m glad I did because I’ve found a place where I have 100 other teammates who love to do the same thing as me.