U-High Midway

Summer spent on adventures

mountain+man.+Wind+whipping+through+his+hair%2C+senior+Reuben+Slade+takes+a+selfie+on+a+mountain+in+Iceland%2C+where+he+went+on+a+five-day+solo+hike+during+summer+break.+
mountain man. Wind whipping through his hair, senior Reuben Slade takes a selfie on a mountain in Iceland, where he went on a five-day solo hike during summer break.

mountain man. Wind whipping through his hair, senior Reuben Slade takes a selfie on a mountain in Iceland, where he went on a five-day solo hike during summer break.

Reuben Slade

Reuben Slade

mountain man. Wind whipping through his hair, senior Reuben Slade takes a selfie on a mountain in Iceland, where he went on a five-day solo hike during summer break.

Ivan Beck, Features Editor

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As Reuben Slade treks onward, he hears the silence and takes in his surroundings, continuing his solitary journey through a landscape of lava fields and geysers. Every few hours a fellow hiker passes him, but these brief interactions only last seconds, and then he is back to hours of solitude. Alone in the wilderness. During his summer, Reuben traveled to Iceland, taking a journey of total independence — arranging the trip and finding the trail on his own in a foreign country.

Some students worked, some played sports and some, like Reuben, discovered new places — all meeting people outside of their school community over the summer, working their way forward on the path to adulthood.

Incoming freshman Philip Kellermeier visited Spain for a trip with his soccer team. While he was on the trip, he ended up playing for a team that was one age-group up from his typical team assignments. Although he was not playing with his usual team, he quickly got into his groove.

“I got to meet a lot of high schoolers that were not from Lab, and they all greeted me and welcomed me to the team,” Philip said.

This was one of many instances in which a U-High student experienced a valuable connection with individuals outside the community.

For Reuben, a senior, summer was a time for personal adventure and discovery. During his trip to Iceland, Reuben took a five-day solo hike measuring about 50 miles, walking through the chilly wilderness. Reuben traveled from campsite to campsite through the wilderness of Iceland, during which he interacted with many other hikers.

“It was a really good personal experience for me to spend a lot of time by myself while challenging myself,”  Reuben said.

During his trek, Reuben met a couple who, just after meeting him, invited him into their house for a meal. Reuben explained that this “opened my eyes to how welcoming and friendly people can be.”

Benjamin Epley

Instead of spending his summer on vacation, senior Ben Epley spent his summer working as a lifeguard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He personally rescued 16 people who were drowning or were at risk of a heart attack. During a single triathlon he helped supervise, he assisted 14 different people.

“The reason that I have found it so important to work over the summer is not only because college is expensive,” Ben said, “but also because working puts you into the real world, preparing you for your future life outside of the classroom and teaches you how to deal with all kinds of people, not just students and teachers.”

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Summer spent on adventures