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Humans of the U: Kaitlyn Workman

"College is as whimsical as it is relentless. I never thought my experience would include standing on the border of North Korea, covering a riot as a news reporter or burying my brother. Life is a gorgeous and unexpected journey."

“Dozens of clocks represent my life’s motto. Hanging on my father’s wall, each one represents a year he won his age group in the St. George Marathon. Each rusty clock also represents my father’s greatest—and unsolicited—advice: ‘Life is a marathon and talent is only a sprint.’

I did not inherit my father’s athletic ability, so I may not have attended the University of Utah had I realized it was on such a godforsaken steep hill. A year of online classes from the safety of my living room in close reach to a bag of emergency Doritos is no small reason why I am here today.

However, hundreds of days walking up snowy campus hills with the wind on cold cheeks taught me that my dad was right. The measure of education is not talent, but perseverance. College is falling asleep over term papers in the library, calculating how much espresso you can drink without needing the hospital next to campus and sprinting to TRAX in the dark hoping not to trip and die. On one particular occasion, I remember emailing a teacher to ask if being passed out in the emergency room was a ‘good enough’ reason to miss class.

But college is also the brightest of days. It is choosing your future career, discovering who you are, finding your people and lovers and moving away from home. Many of you have discovered or changed your passion, your political views, your sexuality, your religion and your core values—all while needing to not kill your roommates. College is as whimsical as it is relentless.

I never thought my experience would include standing on the border of North Korea, covering a riot as a news reporter or burying my brother. Life is a gorgeous and unexpected journey.”

—Kaitlyn Workman, Class of 2022, B.S. in Strategic Communications, College of Humanities