My heart was pounding. The next break point was two miles away and I was already breaking down. The soles of my feet were hurting because I brought the wrong type of shoes. I had been told to prepare myself physically for this backpacking trip, but I thought how hard can a weekend of backpacking be. So I let my ego and laziness take over me. As I look back at that moment, I realize that I was not physically ready for that trip. I also wasn’t mentally ready. I didn’t realize that there was a right way of packing a backpack; instead, I just tossed everything in the bag. I didn’t even ration the amount of food or clothes I would need. And this skewed planning paid back during the trip. Before I was down to the next breakpoint, I opened my backpack to get some water and darkness struck. My plastic bottle, lodged in the pack, was cracked by the mini-stove and soaked my clothes and food. I learned then that heavy and sturdy materials had to be stored in the bottom and food and clothes had to be stored at the top. With my clothes dampened, I was stuck wearing the same sweaty garb the entire trip. Plus, even if my food was not soaked, I would have still needed more to finish the trip. Now all I had to eat was trail mix and canned meat. And as I thought this trip couldn’t get any worse, rain started drizzling. And to continue the trend of disasters, I did not bring a poncho. All these misfortunes could have been avoided if I had been prepared. Being prepared would have guided me through the disasters and would also lead to efficiency. And being efficient would have guided me to better results. From that trip till now, I have always tried to be well prepared and efficient as I can in anything I do. This mental change has made me a better person and had led me to be successful. Having gone through these experiences, I understand the importance of these skills and will put them to use in the various organizations and communities at Rice.
Three years later, I...
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