Young Voices of Santa Fe

Jules Wheaton

Young Voices of Santa Fe

Hi my name is Myla Borden. I’m a senior at Santa Fe Prep who has chosen to do my internship with the wonderful and innovative Creative Santa Fe. As their intern, I have the opportunity to write four blog posts on people and topics that focus on the youth in Santa Fe.

The first blog post is about one of my friends and fellow classmates, Jules Wheaton. If I had one word to describe Jules it would be spirited. Jules is an outgoing and intelligent woman who is doing her senior internship with Outside magazine. Jules has a passion for all things that occur in the wilderness, whether that be skiing in deep powder in Taos, or gathering flowers to put in mason jars at home, so Outside Magazine seems like a perfect fit for her. I wanted to interview Jules due to the fact that I knew she would be a great candidate to discuss her internship, along with describing what it is like growing up in Santa Fe, considering that this place has countless outdoor activities. Below is my interview with her. Hope you enjoy!

What attracted you to this internship?

“I’ve always loved the outdoors. I like to hike, ski, camp, and backpack. I was also interested in the ways the media incorporates more people into an active lifestyle and a more nature oriented lifestyle, and Outside Magazine is obviously very successful in communicating that kind of culture."

What do you want to get out of the internship?

“This is only my third day, but I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at researching from different sources. In school, you only have a specific number of sources or only a few that you use all the time, but when you need to research a story, you need to look all over the internet for every aspect of it and then report based on that. It’s also really cool being in a new environment because it forces myself to be with new people who I don’t know at all and experience new things everyday, and do things that I have no idea what I’m doing until I start them."

What does Outside magazine focus on?

“Well before I started there, I thought they just did stories about cook hikes and how to be a better runner and stuff like that, but I found out that they really focus on the whole individual as being active. So everything that could relate to someone who has the slightest bit of interest in doing something active or being outside, or traveling, or exploring, Outside Magazine deals with those aspects. For example, Outside Magazine will discuss the gear you need for hiking, hiking trails, etc. They also test a lot of gear, and have different athlete spotlights so they can promote different areas of sports."

How does Outside Magazine connect with young people?

“Well their website is honestly really cool, and one thing that I noticed is that when searching for photos for online stories, the photos that I found they really liked. I think they liked what I choose because the photos reflected a Tumblr or instagram vibe that a lot of teenagers have and want to aspire to on their online personalities. Outside magazine also tries to find stories that interest people of all ages. I think this is especially relevant because although Outside Magazine still communicates through print, a lot of their stuff happens online, which caters to a younger generation."

What does your daily schedule consist of?

“I have four weeks at Outside Magazine, and this week I worked under the online department. Next week I’m going on to the art department, and then after that I’m going into the layout department, and my last week I’m working with the department that tries out new gear. I basically roll in at a nice late hour of 10 o'clock in the morning and I have my own little desk with the other online editors. I sit down or we have morning meetings, where people talk about the stories that they are working on. Then, I either work on an ongoing project, like the one I’m doing right now is we are having “The Best Of” every continent except for North America, so in each of the continents, I’m researching old Outside articles that were written about travel or adventure in those continents...or, if there is a news story for the day that I get to work on, then I’ll work on that, and those are blurbs or short stories regarding relevant news of the day. I also get to pitch stories, which is really scary."

What is your dream workspace like?

“I think freelance writing would be cool and interesting, and the general atmosphere that Outside Magazine has is certainly what I want. I want a nice place to work in a good part of town, wherever that might be, with people who are in the scene and know what they are talking about. Also I like the fact that Outside magazine has a chill workspace, like people wear flannels and chacos to work, and will also ride their bikes and go camping together on the weekends. All those things are aspects that I would like to emulate in my own workspace, regardless of what job that is."

Would you want to work in Santa Fe as a young adult?

“I would say absolutely I’d want to work in Santa Fe as a young adult, except I hear the dating scene is really bad, but that’s about it. But besides that, and not having very many clubs, I think working in Santa Fe would be great, especially for someone who would want to work for Outside or is interested in that kind of lifestyle. Santa Fe has a lot to do nature wise, which is so cool and a lot better than living in a huge city."

What does Santa Fe offer that other cities don’t? Do any of these cater to young people?

“I actually think that the kind of weirdness of Santa Fe might not cater to some young people, but to me that’s super attractive because I don’t want to be one of those 20 year old’s that like everyone else. Santa Fe has people from all over the world."

If you could live and work anywhere where would that be?

“That’s a good question. I’m going to Boston College, and it’s a really good city for jobs and young people. To get my job rolling, I think I would want to live in a bigger city. However, I think when I have an established reputation and I know what I’m doing I want to move back west definitely. Maybe Colorado, somewhere smaller, where nature is definitely accessible all the time."

List some of your favorite things to do being a young adult in Santa Fe

“During the winter before school, my mom and I would go sunrise skiing or we would go on hikes really early. I love that Santa Fe is super laid back about hiking up the mountain really early. Although a lot of young people complain about how the only thing to do in Santa Fe is drive around and sit at parks, that has actually been one of the best parts of my high school experience and my life here. It’s fun because you have to create your own fun and you have to be creative and use whatever is available to you, and feed off of the energy of your friends and the environment. We also have a lot of great coffee shops here."

If you could add something to Santa Fe what would it be? Why?

“Wow. Well Meow Wolf is basically taking over the old bowling alley and with help from funding from George RR Martin and its becoming a creative space. I helped donate to the kickstarter to the Meow Wolf project because I think that it sounds so cool and it’s in such a good location. I mean right on Cerrillos Road, you might not say thats a great location but in terms of bridging the two sides of Santa Fe, I think it’s really important because I wish different parts of Santa Fe were more bonded. I think that having more places to go when you have nothing else to do besides sitting a park would be helpful and so other efforts like the Meow Wolf project, where kids or artists could go and do whatever in a safe and creative environment would be great to have."

What do you think Santa Fe needs to make young people stay here?

“I would honestly say more public transportation. That would be super helpful and attract young people because Santa Fe could totally be branded and advertised as a very unique art scene with different people and tons of nature. I mean it does have some good upcoming job possibilities, but it just seems super spread out right now. So if there was more transportation that people could actually rely on, it would not only help keep the cost of living down, but it would also keep Santa Fe really beautiful with a more connected community."

Throughout the conversation, I agreed with Jules on a lot of the points she brought up. I agreed that Santa Fe is a very unique place that has a mix of different people and cultures. A great thing about living and growing up here is the easy access to the outdoors. When Jules discussed how hanging out at parks is something that she enjoys, I couldn’t help but have the same opinion. However, I do think that having more things for teenagers to do would aid in appealing the younger generation to stay in Santa Fe. It seems like Santa Fe mostly caters to an older crowd, which is why once people graduate high school, or even college, they want to get out.

The running joke with teenagers living in Santa Fe, or in New Mexico in general is that instead of New Mexico being known as “The Land of Enchantment”, it is known as “The Land of Entrapment”. Although this is just a joke, I think a lot of people are actually scared of staying or being “trapped” in Santa Fe, in addition to New Mexico. I find this not only sad, but troublesome because the only way for Santa Fe to keeping growing and improving as one of the most remarkable cities in the U.S. is to not only keep the people who have grown up here want to stay, but also to allure other individuals from varying places to come and live here as well.

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