I have never really been much of a skier—in fact, the first time I skied was in the 10th grade on a high school ski trip. Since then, I have skied a handful of times, maybe four or five, and have not achieved much greatness in these endeavors. That is to say, I fall a lot when I ski. A lot.

The first weekend of Ski Club at Mount Snow was no different: within minutes of getting off the chairlift, I fell on my way down a green run (the easiest on a ski mountain) and was pretty embarrassed. The four friends I was skiing with were all much more advanced than me, speeding past me while I took my initial tumble. Later in that day, I even managed to fall down coming off the chairlift itself. Clearly, I was not doing something right.

Despite those two falls, and many, many others, I did not give up. I consistently kept telling myself to bounce back. Just because I am not the best skier on all of Mount Snow does not mean I should not try to get better. It wasn’t until my last fall, in which I pulled a muscle or seriously bruised my leg, that I realized something really needed to change. I have come to the decision to get a lesson next weekend to realize my full skiing potential.

All of the falling I did on Mount Snow last weekend taught something else, too. It provided a lesson about my academic life. This semester, my classes are already more challenging and require more reading than the classes I took in the fall semester. But just because these classes are harder does not mean I should drop them or give up. Instead, I am going to focus more time and energy on getting back up after a tough assignment. I will make the effort to go to my professors’ office hours and not be shy about asking for help.

If there is one thing I learned from my first weekend of ski club, it is that there are plenty more. And, if I do not try to get better, I am just going to be face down in the snow all winter.