Work Hard, Play Hard Mentality

I’m going to set the record straight right now: college skiers and snowboarder aren’t giving their schools bad reputations.

We aren’t degenerates who only aspire to keep our GPA high enough to qualify for the pass deal. We don’t use skiing as an excuse to day drink. We don’t all just live for the Apres. We’re hard-working students who know how to manage our school work in order to make the most out of our ski days. We know what needs to be done so that we’re able to get to the mountain as much as possible.

One of my professors said it best when referencing his attendance policy: “Don’t let school get in the way of your education.” College skiers and boarders take that mantra seriously! We care about our education, and getting to the hill as much as possible, being outside doing what we love, is an important aspect of that.

Most of us have spent our whole lives skiing and snowboarding. If you didn’t know this already, SKIING IS AN EXPENSIVE SPORT! We know what our families went through to get us to the mountains every day, get us the gear we needed every Christmas, and the pass every season, when they go on sale. Being able to afford skiing and continue our passions is why we’re here, earning a degree. We want to be able to work to live, instead of live to work.

And sometimes, some of us get really lucky and can do both at the same time. UVM alone has churned out dozens of alumni that are making a living in the ski industry. Geoff Mintz of Vail Resorts, Annelise Loevlie is the CEO of Icelantic skis, Frankie Chapin is a Global Team Manager at Burton Snowboards, and the entire team at Powe., to name a few.

Yet despite all of this, universities continue to wage a war on our community. They’ve used the ski bum stereotype to issue restrictions that keep students from skiing―the very activity that was likely one of the biggest draws to that school as a prospective student in the first place. And when something goes wrong, the administrations of these universities are quick to point fingers at the “party sport.”

Being an officer of the Ski & Snowboard Club at UVM, I’ve found my home. In a time in our lives where we cannot be more uncertain of our futures, I am sure of one thing: skiing will be a part of my life forever. My position allows me to meet and watch the most talented skiers and riders at UVM experience the utmost joy and passion for this sport.

To experience that much happiness from one thing is something some people won’t find in their lifetime. To receive restrictions and push backs from college administrations for trying to build a community around skiing and snowboarding is not only inconsiderate, but also irresponsible. Universities are supposed to help students find their place and drive, not steer them away from it.

By Cian Duffy, UVMSSC Events Coordinator

UVM Ski & Snowboard Club