Finish College, or Thru-Hike? I’ll Take the Latter

I’m stuck in a rut.

I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. The constant struggle of juggling expectation, obligation, and reality. It has become the new norm for college-aged kids like myself; go to school, get the degree, and get the job. It’s simple enough but not satisfying enough for me. This brings me to an excerpt from famed transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I have never been one to just follow the crowd but sometimes you simply don’t have the opportunities or chances to break the norm, unless I got a wild hair to drop everything and head into the woods.

The Time Is Right

It could never be more right. I’m young, in pretty good shape, love the outdoors (obviously), and really have no reason to rush getting through school. I have my whole life to go to school and join the workforce. I won’t always have the chance to leave everything I have ever known behind in pursuit of what I see as a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s what I love about the thru-hiking community and the potential 2019 thru-hikers whom I have talked to and interacted with is that we have all made sacrifices to put ourselves in this position. I have experienced it firsthand some of the odd looks people give me when I tell them my biggest goal for 2019 is to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, instead of the typical finishing up college response. It’s now or never I feel like.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 5

  • Patrick : Feb 13th

    Just make sure you finish after your thru

  • Michael E Kilpatrick : Mar 1st

    Hang in there buddy!! Do for me!! Wish I was able to be there!! God bless and praying!

  • Jack90 : Jun 6th

    Great story. It’s so philosophical question, you know. We always have a few directions to go to. And you never know, what’s better to you till you try it. But one I know for sure. You can go to the forest, but still get a good education. Cause there are many professionals services like to get real help. So, good luck and make your choice.

  • Henry Grant : Jan 27th

    I study in college and this semester will be last for me:) But it will be also quite difficult, we will have many different assignments and coursework. Thanks god there are such services like where you can find online tutor and improve your skills and knowledge!

  • Daniel Jonson : Feb 18th

    All you need is to find information on the wiki site.


What Do You Think?