I am going out on a limb here and assuming that if you are pursuing a forestry degree, you are probably at least slightly interested in the outdoors. If that’s the case then maybe your winters are spent like mine, watching the rain and snow out your window, constantly being cooped up inside working on school assignments or work projects- dreaming of the day that you will be able to be out in the sun enjoying the outdoors once more-preferably in the backcountry. Maybe you’re even dreaming of the way you can be out exploring whenever you want after you have your degree. And while I’ve dreamt with you, I understand that these things take time. So, in the meantime, here are some things that can tide you over while you wait for your future life of outdoor awesomeness:
- Try a Winter Sport
Okay, this may seem obvious to a lot of people. However, I was born and raised in Southern California and I can promise you that this idea wasn’t obvious to me. I spent 18 years of my life believing that if the weather was bad, it was mandatory that you stay inside. The day I was introduced to proper winter clothing and snowshoeing, I felt invincible-no one could keep me inside now. Even after this introduction however, it took me a while to really get into winter sports because everything was just so darn expensive. However, nowadays with a quick Google search you can rent pretty much any kind of outdoor equipment for about $5-$10 a day, making it easy for even the poorest of college students to get out and about in the worst of weather.
- Plan a Trip
When I look outside and see nothing but gray skies, I can get kind of down. But something that always makes me feel better is planning a trip for when the skies clear up. Last year I planned an extensive backpacking trip. I can tell you that the preparations for the trip- securing the permits, writing the packing list, googling food options, and shopping for the right equipment- kept my mind upbeat and occupied. There is nothing like having something to look forward to cheer you up.
In a way this goes along with my last point. I knew I had an extensive backpacking trip planned, so I wanted to get myself in shape to be able to concur any mountain peak that I should meet along the way. Plus as the saying goes, “Exercise gives you Endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Or in this case, happy people just don’t forget their love of the outdoors.
- Watch a Documentary
I used to think I was weird for watching continuous nature documentaries whenever the weather was bad. But then I started working at a park, and I realized that I am not alone in this. In fact, Its something pretty much everyone does. Documentaries give you hours of footage of the beautiful outdoors that you so long to be in. It’s a nice temporary fix. Plus, you never know when that silly fact you learned may come in handy during your future in forestry.
- Apply to your Dream Job
When you are feeling down and discouraged I have found that one of the best ways to combat this is to dream big. Apply for that job that you don’t think you will get. Then you will have something substantial to daydream about while staring out the window, and who knows, you may just get hired. Just don’t lose focus of why you are pursuing a degree in forestry. After all, all this work is because you love it right?