I’m coming up on the three-year anniversary of the most fun trip I’ve taken in my life so far. For the last six weeks of high school, two of my friends and I traveled the East Coast and Midwest to see Major League Baseball games at the different parks.
I’m not sure I’ll ever come up with an idea that better melds my love of sports, adventure and, of course, food.
For those six weeks, besides a few breaks for AP exams, my life was just travel, friends and baseball. I’m still not sure how I sold it to my school as an acceptable “Independent Senior Project.” There was something in that proposal about rediscovering my love for America through baseball…and the promise of a blog.
It may sound silly, but there was something almost therapeutic about waking up, driving 300 miles, going to a baseball game, going to sleep, and waking up to do it all again the next day. It almost mimicked a baseball season, or at least a short segment of one.
The day of the trip that I’ll never forget was the day we woke up in Dayton, Ohio, planning to drive 200 miles north to catch a Tigers game that night. We had the tickets bought, the accommodations at my aunt’s in Ann Arbor all set up, but Mother Nature intervened.
When I woke up, it was raining, and the weather map showed that the game in Detroit was nearly certain to be rained out. With only a few weeks to see as many games as possible, a night without baseball did not sound very good.
So while my friends showered, I looked up all the places within driving distance before a night game that would leave us close enough to Chicago to catch the Cubs game the following day—we weren’t going to take Wrigley Field out of our plans for anything.
As it turned out, St. Louis was the perfect fit. We booked a hotel, bought tickets, called my aunt to cancel our lodging and our parents to let them know, and made an audible. And we were rewarded—Busch Stadium ended up being perhaps our favorite stadium.
So why bring this up now? Unfortunately, life at Stanford is about as far from that trip as it gets for a 20-year old. The not-having-to-worry-about-the-rain part isn’t too bad, but the ability to drop everything and just go? I haven’t had that in a while.
Ironically, it’s been the opposite. As the spring has become busier and busier, I’ve found myself dropping more and more baseball to stay afloat. First, it was so that I could have more time at home over spring break with my family to relax. Then it was so I wouldn’t have to miss spring football. Now, it’s sometimes just so I have time to sleep or see my friends from freshman and sophomore year all the way across campus in Suites.
It’s taken almost three years, but I’m becoming the Stanford student that I’ve always joked about. I’m the kid who is too busy to go the sporting events, even ones I love like baseball.
I never thought it could happen. I mean, I might be the biggest sports fan on campus—much to the dismay of my parents. But it’s happened to me.
For some, it’s the struggles of freshman year and learning how to succeed at a place like Stanford. For others, it’s the rigors of the HumBio core or ME101 that rock your world sophomore year. But, as I’m finding out now, it happens to everyone.
But sports aren’t the only casualty. For me, because of how much I love them, they’re becoming the final casualty. But much goes before them. Outside of the dining halls and The Daily, I’m finding less and less time for the quintessential Stanford activity: spontaneous conversations with those around me.
So what’s the answer? I don’t know, but I don’t think 8:30 a.m. classes are going to fix anything…
It might sound crazy, but maybe Stanford, at least after freshman year, is a little too hard, a little too much work. Because if I, the kid who chose to drive 300 miles a day to watch baseball, can’t find the time to go to baseball games that are a three-minute bike ride away, there’s something wrong.
And I think you’d be surprised at how much good can come out of a little down time. Anyone who’s lived in a Stanford freshman dorm certainly knows. Why not keep it going?
The real reason Sam Fisher is too busy for baseball is because of his internship at CoHo. Ask him why he isn’t blogging about that at safisher ‘at’ stanford.edu and follow him on Twitter at @SamFisher908.