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John Keehan Post Trip Reflection Paper

I learned about a few new aspects of myself that I did not know previously existed.

My first year adventure quest with my fellow media majors was one of the best weeks of my life. I got to participate in what became some of my favorite activities with who became some of my favorite people. This program was put together quite well, and it could not have had better people in charge of running it. Taking part in the media adventure quest was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Every aspect of the program felt important during the moment, but the most important aspects of the program were the people. The leaders inspired and lead all of us future students as we formed friendships that will last a lifetime. The activities were always fun, but almost any activity could have been replaced with a different team building activity, and it would have had the same outcome. The people were what made each activity and the overall experience special. The leader brought together a group of 13 college students that had never even heard of each other before the first group meeting. One of the first statements the leaders made to us was that the people in this group would become some of our best friends. I did not necessarily believe them at the time, but they could not have been more right. The two aspects that involved activities that should not be changed for any reason due to their level of importance are the group discussions and the journal entries. The group discussions were the most important aspect of the trip. The discussions were the times we learned the most about ourselves and each other. We learned about how to act as proper mountaineers while becoming people that respect both nature and people. Our journals gave us an opportunity to reflect on the amazing day that we just had. We just did not realize it at the time. At the time, the journal entries seemed like trifles. It took until after the trip was over for me to realize how important the journals were. The journals allowed everyone in the trip to reflect back on the day and get one more laugh and one more smile at every aspect of the day.

I learned about a few new aspects of myself that I did not know previously existed. I knew I loved being outdoors, but I did not know how far that love went. Before the outdoor adventure trip, a high majority of my time spent outside was spent either hunting or fishing. I had gone hiking and camping before, but I always preferred hunting or fishing. This trip introduced me to the fun of hiking and camping while introducing to every element of both white water rafting and rock climbing. I had never gone white water rafting before, but I had wanted to go for some time. White water rafting was the main reason I chose to attend the trip. White water rafting well exceeded any expectation I had set for it. It is now one of my favorite activities to take part, and I have already gone back up to Ohiopyle once to do it again. It was also my first time ever doing real rock climbing as well. It was another one of my favorite aspects of the trip. I loved the workout of climbing vertically up the rocks and the thrill and sense of accomplishment when I got to kiss the knot at the top. Then the relaxation in a realm of euphoria as I repelled down and reflected upon what I just accomplished was just icing on the cake. The trip taught me so many new aspects about myself, and enjoying hiking, camping, rock climbing, and white water rafting are just a few them. The trip taught me how great it is to meet new people that share similar interests. Whether the interests shared are in the area we study or what we do for fun, it is always great to make new friends. The trip taught me that the best times of one’s life do not have be with the people one has known for forever, they just have with be the people one enjoys.

As I stated earlier, the relationships I formed on this trip were one of the most important aspects. I made 12 new best friends, and I stayed in touch with all of them. We have a snapchat group, and the snapchat group is our favorite way to stay in touch with each other. We sit next to each other during class, and we hang out with each other in between and after classes. The other 12 people on my trip were my 12 best friends coming into West Virginia, and they are still one of my main friend groups. We all have other friends at WVU, but we also all love to get back together to go out for the night. I even changed up my schedule the day before classes started, so I could have JRL 191 with everyone in my adventure trip. I enjoy every opportunity we have to hang out with each other, and the 12 people I went on my adventure trip are still 12 of my best friends.

I also made great new relationships with my four leaders. They were fun-loving and inspiring. They were funny and teacherlike. They entertained when they needed to, and they taught when they needed to. They made me want to be an adventure leader. They were four of the nicest people I have ever met, and I cannot wait to get to hang out with them more once more opportunities open up around campus.

I was nervously excited about starting at WVU before my trip, and I was still nervously excited after my trip. The difference was that after my trip there was a lot more excitedness and a lot less nervousness. I knew I had a core group of friends going into college, and I knew I would not be all alone. The trip gave me a lot of confidence for college. It showed me that I could make a lot of new friends quickly. It also gave me a small window into how people at WVU act. The trip showed me how welcoming and inviting the students and faculty are here, and I will always be thankful for that.

My adventure trip was one of the most exciting and memorable trips of my life. I made new friendships with my fellow students, my leader, Michael, and Dr. Oppe. The journal entries and group discussions really allowed me to learn about fellow adventurers as well as myself. I realized how much the outdoors mean to me, and I learned how there is so much more to do outside besides hunting and fishing. The trip also showed me that everything is more fun when you get to do it with friends. I made some of the strongest relationships of my life during that trip, and I would not have wanted that trip be any different. The trip was the perfect beginning to college for me. It gave me a new confidence and a great group of friends to being college with. The trip inspired me to join the Outdoor Adventure Club, and I cannot wait to get to spend more time with the people I spent that week with. That was a great week, and I hope it is a microcosm of the next four years. 

Written by John Keehan
Edited by Bridget Hawkins