EdusalsaDiscover Your Stanford
  • Posted 7 years ago


Lessons From Climbing

Building the work ethic to push through.

By Andrew Lamb

I first tried rock climbing when I was 7 years old, and since then climbing has taken me all over the world, from Santiago, Chile, to rural villages in Catalunya, Spain. During Winter Quarter of my freshman year, I started the climbing team at Stanford along with 3 other climbers. I feel incredibly grateful that I’ve had opportunities to continue climbing in college, for all the people climbing helped me meet, and for everything climbing has taught me that has carried over to school and beyond.

Climbing attracts people with a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds, both at Stanford and in the broader climbing community. On a busy afternoon at the Stanford climbing gym, there is a mix of ages and interests. Especially during our later years at Stanford, we aren’t as likely to meet people beyond our classes and established friends, and climbing is a nice way to meet people we otherwise wouldn’t. When we go climbing off campus, meeting people outside of Stanford can offer some much needed perspective - it can be easy to forget how lucky we are to be going to this institution.

In sports - as in life - success is often more dependent on work ethic and resolve then on pure natural talent. Becoming good at climbing requires enduring periods of frustration and unforgiving plateaus. Similarly, no matter how passionate we are about school or work, it seems inevitable that we get stuck in ruts and days of low motivation. Climbing has helped me develop the work ethic to push through when things look bleak, and I think this is ultimately one of the most valuable lessons I have learned.

Of course, none of these benefits are intrinsic to climbing. Rather, I think we can all benefit from finding balance in our life. Multiple pursuits allow us to meet a broad swath of people and usually knowledge learned in one domain transfers to others.

In collaboration with Tau Beta Pi

Tau Beta Pi is the only honor society representing the entire engineering profession across the nation. Their chapter at Stanford strives to promote academic excellence, leadership, and continued service to the larger engineering community. They host events and organize initiatives including peer mentoring, K-12 outreach, alumni panels, CEO dinners, project fairs and more. For more info, check out

Andrew Lamb

Andy ('16) is originally from the east coast. Rock climbing is a huge part of his life: he competes for the Stanford team and for the U.S. National Team at international competitions. He considers it a great way to explore new parts of the word and meet people.

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