As a college student in Utah I am constantly confronted with an unbearably difficult decision, go to class or ski the powder! How can any self-respecting skier or boarder not be tempted to ditch a day of classes to hit the freshly powdered slopes while everyone else is at work or school? The problem is that here in Utah we get the best snow in the country every other day once the snow storms start to hit… oh, right about now towards the middle of November. The ski resorts start to open, the skis and boards get waxed, carpool schedules are worked out, and before you know it the heavens are pouring fresh powder by the foot. That problem is that with conditions like we have here in Salt Lake City you find yourself not only justifying sluffing one day of class but debating the merits of skipping a week of school, maybe a month, until you begin to question the importance of a college education all together. I can take a year or two off right? I can come back to school any time or do summer sessions.
Last year however I discovered a college program that changed everything. Westminster College in Salt Lake City offers a program called Winter at Westminster. It is pure genius. The program is an alternative to study abroad. Students from all over the country come to Westminster for the spring semester. They take between 12 and 16 transferable credits and attend one of the best liberal arts… blah blah blah and so on. But that is now what is important. What is important is that while enrolled in the program you only go to school four days a week! My friend worked his schedule out so he only had to go to class two days a week. Hello more ski days! Furthermore more I got two different passes, one to Snowbird and one to the Canyons. Every weekend the program had trips planned that while optional, were welcome. We went up to the Olympic Park to ski jump and luge, we snow-shoed, backcountry skied, went yurting and cross country skiing. I got in over 63 days of skiing last winter while participating in the program and going to school.
I guess what I am trying to convey with this post is how glad I am that colleges are creating programs like this one. I spent the best semester of my college career skiing with 13 Olympic athletes who attended the school, competing in on campus rail jams, skiing each of the 7 world class ski resorts that are all no more than 30 minutes from the school, and it is all thanks to a college that tailored its programs to people like me.
What are your experiences trying to fulfill your ski addiction while going to school or even holding a job? Here is the link to Winter at Westminster if you want to check it out, I give it two thumbs up! www.gowinteratwestminster.com