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The Packer Weekly: Halvorson takes off to look for adventure

Opening the door of his overly packed car and stepping outside to face the Black Hills of South Dakota, 2009 graduate Eric Halvorson experienced this landscape for the first time in his life. He automatically felt more connected and at peace when he experienced the natural beauty of the jagged rocks rising into the sky. Now, after a year in South Dakota, Halvorson has moved, but he can still open his blinds to see a similar view, only this time in Park City, Utah.

Halvorson was born and raised in West Fargo but after high school he decided to journey elsewhere. Before his senior year of college at Gustavus Adolphus in 2013, he learned to bartend and he received an offer to bartend at a resort in the Black Hills. He accepted it in hopes of finding new adventures.

“It was sad to see him go. We were quite involved with him in all his school activities, so there was a big empty spot left when he left that was sad, but ultimately I wanted to do what he wanted to do,” Halvorson’s father and WFHS Building Engineer Kelly Halvorson said. “He’s never been afraid to venture out and was striking out to do something all totally on his own and by himself.”

After spending a year in South Dakota, Halvorson got offered another seasonal bartending job at Deer Valley ski resort in Park City, Utah, so he packed up his things and followed his love for skiing and bartending.

“I just kind of followed the opportunity. It’s a little bit of an adventure,” Eric said. “I would say it’s made me feel more well-rounded, [the] experience has been really good, I have met a lot of people who I would have never have met otherwise, living lives and doing work I never would have experienced otherwise.”

In Utah, Eric managed to find connections to West Fargo. Fellow 2009 graduate Sam Forsey attends Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and helped Halvorson in his decision to move.

“I encouraged him, saying it would be really cool because I would love to have him near because he’s a good friend and so far it has been great having him close by,” Forsey said.

Since high school, Halvorson has had several new experiences, but he has not let them change him. As an only child, Halvorson had always been independent and Forsey said he is always eager and committed to whatever he puts his mind to.

“He has embraced some new views and allows himself to learn and grow,” Forsey said. “Eric is very passionate, very thoughtful. I think he has a desire to do what is right and what is correct and to treat others the way he thinks he should be treated.”

Though Halvorson loves interacting with people who are different than himself and has found an old friend in Utah, he feels a bit alienated from the community from his extended traveling.

“On one hand, community is super important to me, and as much as I love new experiences and new adventures, I am not the kind of person who will just endlessly be going everywhere [for] the rest of my life,” Halvorson said.

Halvorson hopes to find more of a balance between the community and his travels by looking for a more permanent career. Some jobs he has applied for are a writing fellowship, Lutheran volunteer corps and more.

“[I] think [he is] still floating around a bit, trying to find something that [he] really really wants to dedicate [his] life to,” Forsey said.

As Halvorson aims to settle down more, his parents still worry about him but trust he will continue to be sensible and make the right choices for himself, whether he chooses a more adventurous path or not.

“He misses home, he misses family and friends and [I] think that’s hitting more home a little more now,” Kelly said. “It would be nice to see him back somewhere closer to home, maybe even back to West Fargo, [but] if that isn’t where life leads him I guess that’s the way it goes.”

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information, visit