First impressions from my trip out to CU Boulder are positive.
Anyone who follows and supports my campaign knows that I do not fit the typical profile of someone competing for the Olympic Sailing Team. While my competition, teammates and friends are all in their 30’s, I am a high school senior focused on my future both in the sailing world and on my education. As any typical senior, I am evaluating schools and trying to make a decision on what school will give me the best jump on my career and the rest of my life.
This past weekend I traveled out to Boulder, Colorado to attend the CU Boulder Admitted Students Day with the other 4,000 students that have been accepted into the school for next year. While most people look at me with a bit of shock when they hear that University of Colorado is one of my top choices for an education, thinking that a kid who has spent his entire life living and competing on sailboats around the globe; the choice in a college for me is about where I will get the best education, support and direction as I begin to discover where my strengths will best position me for a long and prosperous career through my adult life. CU Boulder looks to be strong in supporting the development of my career.
When I was 13 years old I decided that I wanted to focus my efforts on becoming the best athlete I could be and to become an Olympic Sailor for the 2016 Games in Rio. That decision meant giving up everything I knew, leaving my home and moving to Florida to pursue my dreams. I left winters of weekend skiing, playing with friends and the comfort and general ease of attending a brick and mortar school and transitioned into a life of trainers, coaches, long hours and a ton of stress while self-directing my studies and education in an online school with highly irregular hours. The experience has taught me so much and I would not trade it for the world because above all, I have learned that success takes effort, focus and determination to be the best you can be. I was pleased to hear a similar message from professors and staff at CU Boulder last weekend.
The campus is amazing. Sitting in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains everywhere you look Mother Nature’s skyline reminds you how powerful the world is and the abundant opportunity that awaits anyone who is willing to push themselves to create what it is they want out of this world. The staff, students and just the atmosphere in general all appear to be supportive, energetic and acknowledge that nothing is impossible as long as you are willing to break out of societal constraints on what you “can” become.
Deciding on where to further my education is not easy. I have been accepted into schools on the coast where I can continue to sail, compete and be around athletes in my sport and I have been accepted into CU Boulder where I have to opportunity to “get away” from the stress and distractions that have become my life through my Olympic Sailing Campaign and focus on my education, my future career and the development of concept that I hope to turn into a profitable and rewarding business doing what I have spent my life enjoying. I have only a couple weeks to make my decision, knowing that I am going to have to defer my enrollment for a year while I focus 100% of my time and energy to training for the US Olympic Trials over the summer, fall and winter months so that I can represent my Country at the Games in Rio next summer. But knowing that I have committed to a school, and that they have committed to support my training, development and my education over the next 5 years will energize me to work hard and do the best I can both over the next year of training in my sport and through my education when I start following the 2016 Games in Rio, Brazil.
CU Boulder was impressive. Their staff clearly demonstrated an interest in a unique format of helping me (and all their students) learn and develop into a strong professional in marketing, business management and entrepreneurship while supporting my athletics and interests both on campus and before I arrive as a new and energetic student. No matter where I decide to attend, CU Boulder has set the bar high for my other schooling options and will be difficult to beat.
Since so many of my fans and supporters are highschool sailors from the East Coast and Midwest, I strongly recommend you consider CU Boulder when looking for where to apply and attend college in the next few years…you just might get to sail (and ski) with me in the mountains when we are not busy studying!