When thinking about what represents my friend Jake Katzer’s personality best, work ethic is what comes to mind immediately.
Work ethic and discipline are what dominate nearly every aspect of his life, which I was able to observe and be a part of for nearly 4 years.
From academic excellence to leading the Morningside Mustangs defense on the football field, his no- nonsense approach to working extremely hard and prioritizing the right things in his life have brought him success wherever his ventures lead him in college.
In our 4 years as friends and 2 years as roommates, there have been countless situations where his focus and work ethic where evident to me. But there is one situation that stuck out to me especially.
During the winter months of 2017-2018, Jake made it his goal to save as much money on the utilities of the rental that he and his twin brother lived in at the time. While other people would probably go as far as lowering the heating by a couple of degrees and trying to keep their showers under the 20-minute mark, Jake and his brother Joel took it to the next level.
When I would visit them to hang out at their house, I had to remember to bring a warm coat and maybe even a stocking hat. That was because Jake and his brother had decided to completely shut of the heat in the house and only turn it on the lowest degree possible at times to keep the pipes from freezing.
This might sound uncomfortable and even kind of stupid to some people but makes total sense to those who know Jake well. He and his brother were so focused on lowering their bills that having to wear a coat in their own house and having to sleep under 3 blankets was a small sacrifice that they were more than willing to pay.
Jake’s ability to prioritize his goals and to sacrifice almost everything in order to reach them has always fascinated me. In an effort to become more focused and disciplined in my life, I have had many conversations with Jake and his brother about what drives them to live their lives this way. ” Honestly, I just really don’t want to fail anybody.” is an answer I got many of times.
If it is fear of failing the people around him or himself is hard to tell but stories like the cold winter in the house will forever be in my memory when I think about Jake Katzer.