Mar 062012
Authors: Taylor Pettaway

Freshman biology major Laura Finger wasn’t sure what she would get out of her trip to The Buried Life presentation Tuesday night, but she ended up leaving enthused.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was awesome,” Finger said. “It was so funny, but inspirational at the same time.”

The four-member, all-male cast of the “The Buried Life,” a popular MTV series, spoke to students about how they can achieve their dreams, while also sharing their own personal journeys.

“When we started this, we were like a little boys club,” said Jonnie Penn. “The Buried Life is our foster child, even though we birthed it, we look out for this little baby and we grew it for years.”

“And to be able to find the real Buried Life community, not just the online one, but the real community that exists is awesome,” he added.

Students got to witness the beginning of the Buried Life expedition through stories that the four friends told –– from before they were even friends, to how they got their first Buried Life RV, to crossing off their first dream: being a knight for a day.

The Lory Student Center Main Ballroom was filled with laughter and cheers as each of the guys stood up to tell pieces of their story, give away free items and show videos and pictures of their adventures. Students also got to see never-before-seen footage of the cast meeting and playing basketball with President Barack Obama –– one of the items on their bucket list.

During one point, the cast asked students to get up and share something on their bucket lists. Students participating spoke of their dreams to help people, travel the world and even receive dance lessons from the cast.

“Our life is completing odd tasks,” Jonnie Penn said. “We really embrace any opportunity to do anything new and crazy. We go to these different cities, and these schools have something that you have to do in that town and I think we have been able to do a whole bunch.”

“We hear now (that we’re) in Fort Collins, we have to try to drink three margaritas at Rio.”

Jonnie Penn also added that this isn’t the group’s first stop in Fort Collins, however.

“It was like ‘When Harry Met Sally’, because we fell in love,” Jonnie Penn said of the cast’s 2008 visit. “We like Fort Collins, we came here long before the show and are happy to be back.”

“I love Fort Collins,” cast member Dave Lingwood added. “I don’t know what it is about Fort Collins, I have a special connection. I think with the location and just everyone I meet here is doing cool things, and it’s like it’s unique things I’ve never heard before.”

Though humor was a large part of the show, inspiration cast a serious note amongst the Buried Life members. The cast told heartwarming stories about some of the people whom they helped during their quest, including one about a cancer-stricken mother named Trudy who had six months to live and wanted the guys to help kids with cancer be kids for a day.

They also spoke of a man named Sam who just wanted to reconnect with his son after not seeming him for the past 17 years.

In the end, it was about motivating students to accomplish the things that they may think are impossible.

“It is the concept of doing things now and not later,” said cast member Duncan Penn, Jonnie Penn’s brother.

Collegian writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at

Some tips from the Buried Life guys: – Make a list. There is a difference between a dream and a project. If you write it down, then it becomes a project instead of a dream. – Go after your dream and be persistent. – Do whatever you can for others.

 Posted by at 4:17 pm

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