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Student Story: Suzanne Weston

Suzanne Weston

When I visited Seattle for the first time, I remember telling my mom as we were driving next to the water and looking at the beautiful mountains, “I am going to live here someday.” This was a few years before I was even thinking about colleges.

Once I started seriously looking for a college to attend, I remembered that beautiful place I had visited a few years earlier and googled “colleges in seattle” to see what popped up. Seattle Pacific University caught my eye, and I knew this was the right fit for me. My parents were hesitant at first because it was so far away, but then they said, “Go for it!”

Hands down the greatest experience I’ve had in this program was the “Wellness Kayaking” course. It was a 10-day kayaking trip around the San Juan Islands, camping on a different island every night. We learned how to kayak and camp, while also learning about physical wellness and overall health. We got to see whales, seals, and other creatures, and we learned a lot about survival. I got very close with the people on the trip and we are still close.

Dr. JoAnn Atwell-Scrivner led that course, and we got to know her on a personal level because we were living together in the wilderness ― nothing like you would expect to do with one of your professors. I learned a lot about myself on that trip, and it really steered me into what I want to do in the future. Dr. Atwell-Scrivner is my advisor, and it is great to have her help me through my career options.

Dr. Dale Cannavan is another favorite professor at SPU. He has definitely left a lasting impression on me and has taught me many things that directly apply to what I am going to do with my life. I took an awesome backpacking class from him a few years ago, and I have been hooked ever since! His other classes, such as Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology, have also been great. I love learning the material, and he makes it really easy to understand.

Another professor I really admire is Dr. Jarrett Mentink. He has taught me some very important skills that I will use later on in life, and hopefully I will get into more of his classes in the future.

Right now I am working at a rafting company and training to be a whitewater rafting and kayaking guide. I am addicted to outdoor recreation and plan to work in this environment in the future; I also enjoy rock climbing. Ultimately, I would love to be a guide in the wilderness ― whether it is whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, or backpacking.

My advice to you is to find what you are passionate about and go for it! Be adventurous, take risks, do what you love, and give it your all. I can’t tell you how happy I am at this point in my life. I am right where I should be, and it feels so good!

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