SNC student Alyx Levine is killing it! An avid rock climber, Alyx recently got the opportunity to write an article (check it out here!) for Bayarea.com about climbing in Yosemite High Country. I sat down with her to chat about school, work, climbing and her plans for the future.
Name: Alyx Levine
Hometown: Mill Valley, CA
Year in school: Junior
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Environmental Science
What prompted you to attend SNC?
I wanted to find a school that was in the mountains. I attended University of Colorado at Boulder first, but decided that it was too big for me. I found Tahoe and SNC when I was looking for schools near California. It was meant to be!
I was majoring in Environmental Studies at Boulder and I was going to major in Environmental Science here, but then I found out SNC had an Outdoor Adventure Leadership program. I had just gotten back from an Outward Bound trip that year and knew it was something I wanted to pursue, so I did Interdisciplinary Studies in ODAL and Environmental Science.
How’d you get into rock climbing?
I work at REI in my hometown in Mill Valley. [About three years ago] I was invited by some guys that worked there to go to Yosemite and climb. I had only climbed when I was really young where there was a portable climbing wall, so this was my first real experience climbing; first time on a rope. It was terrifying…I was scared shitless. But, what I really loved about it was when you got to the top and saw the view. That’s where I caught the bug; the rest of history. Now I’ve been climbing for almost three years.
Favorite places to climb?
Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Tahoe.
How has rock climbing and ODAL helped you develop as a person?
Climbing parallels life in a lot of ways. It’s taught me patience, given me more confidence and made me a stronger person. The ODAL program has given me those same tools.
How did you get the opportunity to write an article for Bayarea.com?
It kinda fell in my lap! My aunt works for the San Jose Mercury News, and Bayarea.com is a branch off of that. The editor was looking for writers, so my aunt recommended me. I sent him my resume and some of my work and photos, and he said, ‘This is great, you’ll be a great voice for our website.’ That’s how it happened!
Have you had journalism experience prior to getting this gig?
I’ve had journalism experience. I wrote for my high school newspaper and I did this journalism program at Stanford when I was 16. I’m still into it! Majoring in journalism, though, I feel like it would’ve taken the fun out of it.
Are you going to continue writing for Bayarea.com?
They have one article of mine and said it did fairly well. So, I’m currently writing another one about climbing in Berkeley.
How did these experiences benefit you in the future?
It’ll open doors and opportunities. I know I want to travel when I graduate, so this website will be a great outlet for me to write about all the areas I travel to while exploring California.
What are your post-grad plans?
I think my boyfriend and I are going to buy a van and drive around for a bit. We’ll figure out where we want to live, and we’ll climb! He wants to be a climbing guide and I plan on doing something with my outdoor leadership and environmental science skills, so both of our jobs can be in a variety of locations. I’d also love to freelance write.
Any advice to future ODAL students? Or to aspiring climbers?
Having a positive attitude is the biggest thing. If you go into anything with a negative attitude, you’re not going to get as much out of it as you would’ve if you went into it with an open mind.