When I first came to RPI as a wide-eyed freshman (ahhh, such simpler times), I was young and eager to try new things. This is a large part of the reason I’m currently at The Poly. I e-mailed them asking how to get involved; even though I was a bit hesitant to go outside and, you know, do things, I realized that I would probably be happier if I forced myself to be an active member of my college. While I was still a bit on the fence about what to do when I saw the response from The Poly’s former Editor in Chief, Kelly Lottman ’11, I proceeded to read her response and realize that there was free ice cream at stake. I immediately went to obtain my free ice-cream, and I got roped into The Poly and have been having a great time and receiving free food (well, pizza) ever since. However, two years have since passed, and at times I feel as if I’ve lost that sense of needing to expand my horizons and always do new things. However, this smarter, better part of me knows that such thinking is foolish and in order for me to be happy I have to be working on some sort of adventure/plan/shenanigan that I’ve never encountered before.
This semester, I’ve tried to get back in the swing of exploring the options of life. It’s been both interesting and rewarding, for the most part. One of the things I’ve been trying to do recently is something I’ve been “trying to do” since freshman year, which is exercise; or as I like to put it, lifting moderately heavy things and running around a lot. I figure being healthy is probably a good idea, so I should start developing the habit of going to a gym while I still have free and convenient access to one.
However, my attempts at physical activity may have been inadvertently thwarted by another area that I am exploring— namely, Magic: The Gathering. MTG is a card game which requires the player to sit for long periods of time as they try a game that is roughly, I am told by people who are actually good at it, 10 percent luck and 90 percent skill. As an amateur, I am much more of the opinion that it is significantly closer to 50/50, but that’s probably why I am an amateur. I am wary of this game though, because from what I have seen, the possible strategies for it are vast and complex, akin to the more traditional game of chess, and I hesistate to delve too deeply into trying to understand the optimal levels of play, lest I get consumed by the search for perfect play.
I provide only a small sampling of the things I did this semester, but the point is that each of these things have contributed positively to my life. Even though I had to go out of my way to participate in these events, they were both worth the effort. I encourage all students to always be trying new things and exploring so that they may find ways to enrich their own lives. I may be wrong, but it is my belief that the unexplored life is a life not lived.