An ode to OPC – the clubs and societies in UL

What do you get when you combine the UL sprinter van, some sweaty and enthusiastic uni students, and some big rocks? In my opinion, one hell of an OPC trip (but also, one very worried grandmother in Pennsylvania who sees the Facebook pictures of said climbing).

So far this semester, I’ve been hiking, bouldering, to a climbing competition, orienteering, and outdoor climbing with OPC. (Not to mention some Scholars-ing and Costellos-ing, but we’ll consider these a given). I’ve met some incredible, and incredibly weird, new friends on these trips- the kind of friends that are able to make you forget you’re 5,000km from home. They’ve taught me how to get stronger, how to stay determined when I’ve fallen from the same move 10 times over, how to sing a few verses of Rattlin Bog, how to properly slag off a friend- and how to have fun while doing all of these things.

However, that’s not to say OPC-ers come out of these experiences unscathed. We’re all covered in bumps and bruises, our wardrobes have been muddied and un-muddied a million times, we’ve endured every type of weather from snow storms to gale force winds, and our bodies will probably never forgive us for the amount of times we’ve chosen Supermacs to refuel ourselves after a strenuous day.

But, I’m willing to bet that if you asked any member of OPC if these things are worth it, they wouldn’t hesitate to say yes. In the Outing Club at my home university, we have a classification for this sort of fun. It’s called the Fun Scale.

See, Type I fun is your classic, old-fashioned fun. Enjoyable while it’s happening AND enjoyable to remember later.

But for OPCers, this kind of fun is too easy. We prefer to make it a little more challenging to have fun. Type II fun is kind of miserable while it’s happening, but looking back on it you think to yourself, “That wasn’t too bad. Honestly, I’ll probably do it again.” For example: finishing the orienteering course with one soggy shoe because you didn’t read the map well and stepped in a swamp, getting to the end of a hike that you weren’t sure would ever end, or being so scared as you’re nearly to the top of a slippery climb. Above all else, Type II fun makes the pints taste better at the end of the day.

I feel really lucky to have found a group of people at UL as crazy about Type II fun as I am and I can’t wait to see where I’ll go next with them!

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