Life At Ripon – Jacob Sahr ’16

Chapter 2: Pressure Makes Diamonds

[Editor’s Note: Chuchen Tan ’16, Sara Driebel ’16, and Jacob Sahr ’16 are writing rotating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their senior year experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life At Ripon!]

It’s halfway over. Before I know it, I’ll be embarking on my last semester here at Ripon College. Being at this crossroads in my life is bittersweet. I have made some great friends, shared some fun memories, and had some great experiences along the way. After receiving reminders for the 100 Days Party coming in the spring and other senior events, I am reminded that this long road, “the college struggle,” is coming to an end. At times this trip has felt a bit like pulling teeth and at other times like Mission Impossible, but it’s always a worthwhile trek. Being halfway done, I hope to share some good news, update you on my senior year, and look toward the future.

In my last installment of this blog I shared that I hoped to have a successful bear hunt and to become an active duty infantry officer. Well, I’m happy to report I achieved both of these goals. In late September, I spent a few weekends up north in the woods enjoying nature, hoping to see—let alone shoot—a bear. During that time, I was lucky to see multiple bears, many different times. The bears I was able to watch in the woods were 1-2 year old bears – legal yet small. I was continuously seeking that illusive behemoth that I would see on my trail cam: an elder male bear, weighing around 300lbs. Long story short, I happily ended my season taking one of the 1-2 year old bears and concluding this experience with a successful hunt. I have felt very fortunate to be able to have this experience during my senior year, an experience I would not have been able to have any other year in college because of prior commitments and time constraints. Along with this fantastic opportunity, I was informed that I will become an active duty infantry officer upon commissioning in May through a detailed program, transferring to the Army military intelligence branch after a few years of experience. I am ecstatic for this opportunity. In the near future, many unknowns will arise along with many obstacles, but I will be honored to share this experience alongside the past and present valorous men and women in the military.

On another note, I have passed my fraternity’s presidency on to the next generation of leaders. Kenneth Hurley ’17 will be succeeding me as Phi Delta Theta’s president at Ripon College. This role that I have filled since last October has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my college career. I have learned how to communicate with many different people: my peers, fraternity leadership, college administration, and various other entities. My fraternity brothers could have a few choice words about my time as their president, which contained many bumps and bruises along the way, but in the end I am proud to call each and every one my brother. In the years to come, I look forward to seeing the next executive board and president lead the organization that I have invested substantial energy in bringing to success. I am looking forward to experiencing fraternity life, and all the recruiting and formal events that come with it, as a normal member for the rest of the year.

Additionally, my school work this semester was not at all what I was expecting it to be. By no means has this year been easy, nothing at all like roses and daisies. Granted, I have been able to do a lot more things this year, like spend more time with family and friends, go hunting much more, and become more involved in campus life. Regardless, this semester has not been the cakewalk I was expecting, nor did I have the volumes of free time I sought going into this semester. I have often been extremely busy and pressed for time, but as the saying goes, pressure makes diamonds.

Speaking of diamonds, you can chalk up getting engaged to my beautiful fiancée, Michaela Grow, as an exciting senior experience. Oftentimes I feel like I am not that old, almost like I am a young freshman at heart, but reaching these life milestones are a continual reminder that my time at Ripon has almost reached its end. Becoming engaged was fantastic. I would not trade anything in the world for my fiancée or the experiences that we have had. Looking toward the future, we will have to start wedding planning this spring, which will be a time consuming and exciting experience that will be a major aspect of my concluding semester at Ripon College.

In all, my senior year is nothing short of amazing. It has been a fast and furious flurry of milestones, great experiences, exciting news, and school work. I look forward to all that is to come. Being halfway done with this year, I am happy to reminisce in the experiences that have been afforded to me at Ripon College, while moving anxiously closer to that bright light in mid-May. Second semester will be an oxymoron of an experience: busily planning and wrapping up my time, while relaxing and enjoying the close to a very important chapter in life’s book. College’s roller coaster has one or two more twists and turns, but I’ll have heeded Billy Currington’s words that “God is great, beer is good, people are crazy,” and simply enjoy the ride.

Jacob Sahr ’16

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