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Backpacking in the Hoosier National Forest!

Hey all! 

My name is Becca Kuehn, and I’m a junior here at IU.  I’ve already decided that an introductory get-to-know-you post is going to be a bit difficult for me to write.  There’s so much I want to tell you… good thing I’ll be posting here often!

For the past two and a half years, I’ve been an Exercise Science major.  However, in the last few months, I’ve decided to change my major to Public Health and pick up a minor in Psychology as well.  Here’s my reasoning:

  1. It’s never too late to change your major.  Seriously.  So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Being involved in something that you love and that you are passionate about is one of the keys to finding meaning in life.  My advice is to do what you love; don’t do it solely for the high-paying job. 

One of my life goals is to be involved in all things (organizations, causes, etc.) for which I am truly passionate.  It’s no surprise, then, that I found myself at the door of IU Outdoor Adventures my freshman year.  It’s pure chance that I ran across IUOA; of course, I’m certain I would have discovered this student organization eventually.  As I was touring campus the summer before my freshman year, I saw a sticker stuck to the sidewalk with the picture of a tent and a sun.  I had no idea what this was at the time, but I knew that whatever it was, I wanted to be involved in it.  Possibly the one most important thing you should know about me is that I am in love with the outdoors. 

So, call it fate or whatever you’d like, I found my niche on campus.  I took a backpacking course the fall of my freshman year, had the time of my life, and made some sweet friends.  I signed up for a course called Intro to Wilderness Leadership (ITWL) the following spring semester, participated in the post-course interviews, and was hired as a Leader-in-Training for IUOA. 

I am now an Assistant Trip Leader at IU Outdoor Adventures, and I am working toward a Full Trip Leader status.  Basically, I get paid to do what I love.  I’ve had the incredible opportunity to lead individuals who have never slept in a tent before into the great outdoors.  The most rewarding part of my work is seeing the transformation that takes place within a group of students.  What begins as a group of strangers with varying levels of experience becomes a group of closely knit friends who have bonded by overcoming challenges through teamwork.  Of course, there’s incredible change that takes place at the personal level as well.  There’s nothing quite like witnessing the shy, quiet individual who has an “a-ha” moment and begins to break free from his or her shell. What’s even better is when those individuals discover their potential for being leaders and rise to meet new challenges.

So that’s what I do.  Working at IUOA is one of my incredibly great passions, and so my adventures on campus, in the Bloomington area, and around the country as I travel with IUOA will be the main source for my posts on this site.  I’m really excited to have the opportunity to share some life experiences with you all, and I hope you stop back often to join in on my journeys!

Whew.  That’s a lot to take in at once, huh?  Well, we’re actually not done yet—hang with me for another minute.  There are a few more important things you should know:

I love the outdoors (I know, we’ve covered that).  Canada is awesome (more to come on this).  I’m training for the 2012 Chicago Marathon.  My favorite time of the year is late spring/early summer, when everything is green and the temperature is perfect.  I grew up in LaPorte and Valparaiso, IN (shout-out!).  I love to fish.  I love being barefoot.  I love to paint, draw, and write.  Tree-climbing is the best.  I love little kids and their joy.  I am a sucker for Seinfeld re-runs.  I rock out to country, classic rock, indie rock, and folk.  And, possibly most importantly, I’m a down-to-earth girl who’s high on life.

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