The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

A love letter to the geology kids

The transition from being just colleagues to becoming inseparable
Photo by Alaina Steinmetz
A collage of some of my geology pals.

As my time with the geology department is coming to a swift close, graduating in a mere 12 weeks, I cannot fathom leaving some of the best people — people with whom I have formed connections, that will last a lifetime.  

Halfway through college I switched majors, which was the scariest thing I have ever done. But, boy did it show me what an amazing community looks like.

On my very first day of being a geology major, I walked into class at 8 a.m. sharp, only seeing a few familiar faces. Little words were said that first day.

It is funny to think about this moment now, knowing we literally cannot go more than a few days without talking to each other. 

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Our relationships started to blossom on our very first group camping trip. We grew closer by staying up late playing games and trying not to fall when walking across a waterfall — sorry Heidi. 

We truly started to become a cohort. 

Once we got back from these trips, we often mingled with other geo kids in the cohorts above and below us. Forming these connections is what makes this major so amazing -the support system that we created is truly incredible. 

In the spring of 2023, many of us had a tough semester. Some of us were challenged academically, while others had personal issues going on. Through it all, however, we grew closer. 

Many nights were spent in Phillips Hall, specifically room 175. A group of us would often be there late (and I mean late) until like 3:00 am some nights. A few of my classmates even spent the night (sleepover!). 

Through all the hard work and countless tears (due to the stress), we persevered. Many smiles, laughs and jokes were shared in the hardest semester of our lives. 

As the summer of 2023 was upon us, many students, including myself, received internships. We were all over the United States. Most stayed in the Midwest, but some were up in Alaska. The opportunities the department gives us are undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. 

Over the summer, I worked alongside one of my classmates, Claire. Claire and I were the only two women who worked at the facility and had to rely on each other heavily. 

I could write a whole book about our experiences there and the roller coaster of emotions we went through. But one thing is for certain, I have never connected with someone so much through one experience. 

She showed me what it means to love what you do and who you do it with. The positive attitude always made a difference —even when she judged what I had for lunch every day. Without geology, I would have never met her.  

This goes for everyone I have met through the department. 

You have all changed my life in ways I could not have imagined. 

With my cohort just finishing the department’s annual field excursion trip down to Kingston, New Mexico, we have grown inseparable. 

We spent the whole month of January together, living under one roof. We all got to know each other on a personal basis — even more than we already did. This opportunity was truly unbelievable —so many incredible memories were made. 

I have 89 days left to spend with the most wonderful group of people I know. 89 days left to laugh, to cry and to smile with these beautiful souls.

I love you all dearly and do not know where I would be without you guys. You have brought so many smiles to my face and filled my heart with so much joy. I look forward to hearing about everyone’s adventures and seeing where you go in life. 

You will know where to find me — sitting on a beach surrounded by karst topography

Steinmetz can be reached at [email protected]. 

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