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First-year Shock: Climbing

As a child, I loved to climb. We had a creek in my neighborhood, as many Midwest neighborhoods do, and one of my favorite pastimes was taking my bike down to the creek and climbing the surrounding trees. 

As I got older and gained the burden of self-consciousness, I started to climb less and less. It didn’t help that back when I started climbing, my parents were quick to stop me from “being a public nuisance.” 

Eventually, I stopped climbing things altogether. But there’s always a little part in the back of my head when I see a good tree, a wall with pieces chipped out for me to use as footholds or even a particularly fun-looking chair that says to me, “What if…?” 

One thing I forgot about Miami University is how natural its campus is. Everywhere you go there are huge trees. On the third night of Welcome Weekend, my friends and I went to movie night in the central quad. I don’t know what was happening in my mind but for some reason, that voice was louder than usual. 

For some reason, I listened.

I was in a tree before my friends even realized I was gone. It was freeing, in a way. There was no one to stop me from doing it. My parents weren’t there to scold me. No one was there to make fun of me. The people in charge of the event didn’t even care. I’m used to people laughing at my tendencies to climb, and my friends were laughing … but it wasn’t at me, it was with me. 

Since that moment, I have gotten all too comfortable, once again, climbing things. If I see something slightly elevated at all, I am on top of it. And there is nothing to stop me anymore.

Benny Farbstein is a first-year media and communication major from Mason, Ohio. He currently works with the video section at The Student.

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