The Spirit Showdown

Being a teenager is all about making yourself known. Being in a new place surrounded by total strangers can be kind of a lot to handle, but when you realize that everyone is feeling the same as you, everything changes.  Having the chance to partake in something bigger than yourself is a humbling experience, and it takes seeing people who share your same aspirations together to understand the importance you have. Get ready for even more spirit showdowns, genuine pep, laughter, compassion and fun. *This is part 2 of 2 of the NEACURH Mini "No Frills" Conference recap, catch up on part 1 here - "The Spirit Stick"


Programming is a major part of what we as our respective RHA's (IRA in UVM's case) do to make on campus students' experience memorable. My entire group split up and we were tasked with attending different programs that other schools put on. I started with "Bring On the Competition" from these super excited kids, Marcus and Joseph from Southern CT State University. Their presentation included lots of music, and gave us the amazing idea of putting on an interhall competition kind of day, which would totally be a hit on our campus. Next, it was down one floor and into "Pop, Lock, and Drop It" with the awesome delegates from Pace University NYC campus, Javi, Stephanie and Diana. We blew up balloons, wrote ignorant things on them, assigned them (with everyone's eyes closed) to other people present, and reacted to what we'd be given. I got the word "retarded" which is just absolutely wrong, and is constantly misused on campus and could really offend people. We all discussed what we wrote, and how we're changing things on our campus (remember Inclusive Language week with my fraternity brothers?) and it was totally empowering. From there, I was so enamored with the PACE kids' personalities I followed them to their next program "the Art of Swag Lines" (Swag Lines are easily picked up line dances that showcase your pep, spirit and NEACURH pride) with Javi and Samantha. Those of us who chose their class were divided into two groups and given the task of creating our very own swag line to David Guetta ft. Rihanna "Who's That Chick." It was literally hilarious, turning some of the cheers into danceable moves, and my group, dominated by SUNY Oneonta's Adam did our best and most deff brought the boom. It's been a long morning, and since being separated from the rest of delegacy (nope, that's not a word - deal with it) I for sure made some new friends. I freaking felt like Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless" only an African-American boy instead of a white girl #awksauce. Back to the student union where my group is reunited with more of our straight sass, attitude, and crazy personalities with Bret, Erica, Sam, boy-Sam, Knight and Jilienne. Lunch was an improvement and when we weren't eating, we were chatting up other delegations like MCLA and our favorite Quinnipiac people. Lunch ends with us doing a small photoshoot like this is Bring It On 5: Fight to the Finish and the spirit showdown nears closer.



Those of us left take a quick tour of the banners and decide that ours might be a whole lot of too simple but still classy as ever. There was one that looked like Ke$ha had straight vomitted glitter all over it, which was cool and all but a whole lot of sparkles. We've got time for one more program, so we breakup again and I'm off to the Syracuse run "Finding Your Leadership Voice" with Marisa and Iggy. Montage clips from "Remember the Titans" and cute kitty cat videos explain the points of being comfortable with yourself when you're beasting it up. All of us in the crowd had to give impromptu speeches and y'all know I made mine about prom, Dylan from Keene State College brought the funny with his moose antlers, and I may or may not have developped a slight crush on homegirl Marisa, whatevs. Immediately after, my delegation meets up and we head outside to the quad (classic collegiate cliché) for the official spirit showdown. That ish was cray. Just young people cheering up a storm like it was nobody's business. It was like a arsenal of cheevelocity was being unleashed. Cheer, after, cheer and people were making some up as they went too. Woah, you know we were lovin' it. Then came the "Ride the Pony" where the cheering was taken a whole new level, soon I was in the circle and doing my best cowboy roundup, shaking what my parents gave me, and stopping at random people. Literally the time of my teenage life right there. The spirit showdown lasted half an hour and then we snuck back to the hotel on the bus to recover. No such luck, we hope in our sketchy white van and take a trip to the Providence Place mall where there's like over 4 floors of shopping madness. I was more than overwhelmed, I was gobsmacked (One Direction English lingo) at the amazing amount of people that were in there. Escalator after escalator we climbed until we found Spencer's (quite poss the most sketch store out there, like hardcore grunge) but we were able to buy 100 glowsticks for 15 bucks #win. We walk by the political center of RI and soon we're back in our hotel room where we all pass out. I'm telling you, we were more than done. Just under a 30 minute nap and it's time for us to get all dolled up, decked and swagged out in our best for the banquet and closing ceremonies. The spirit showdown has gone and happened, but it's not over yet.
 


Looking hot and dangerous, classy and prince-like (note the narcacisstic pretentiousness that is me)  and in suspenders and a bowtie my delegation storms the banquet. We're disappointed to realize we're sitting at the back, next to the door completely in the way of traffic but that's what we get for not actually bidding or applying for any of the awards. We've got some time before din-din is served so we do a totally necessary photoshoot, snap some picks with the gorgeous Quinnipiac delegation (including adviser selfie-pics). We get surprised by the awesome UMass: Amherst group with swag on swag on swag (no Swag Surfin' here though) before we come up with a quick cheer to catch our groupees off guard. We've got SUNY Old Westbury and we cheer up a quick round of awesomeness and deliver their shades, shirts, and glowsticks. Dinner is officially served but there's cameras flashing, laughter, and still cheering heard round the room. A slideshow of the weekend plays in the back and it's hard to believe it's all coming to an end, it was like it was only yesterday (oh wait, it was) that we arrived. Mousse (play on our mascot, Marty the Moose) for dessert and the ceremony officially begins with awards, silver pins and even more modes of recognition being herded out like a banyard jamboree. Just over an hour and a half of cheers, yells, tears of joy and standing O-vations that has a way of going on. My delegation just started breaking down, like Knight throwing glitter stars at Erica, Bret grabbing all the beads, me just vibrating, Sam keeping it cool and boy-Sam making faces. I'll just say that we might have been a huge mess. The ceremony ends eventually, only 40 minutes later than expected and we hurry upstairs to change. By this point I'm at the point of like hallucinations of being so sleep deprived so I'm ranting, raving and more than a mess, I'm like a catastrophe. I'm in my clubbing clothes, douchey sunglasses on, and armed with glowsticks. We all meet up and it's going down, basement. We enter the dance fashionably late, and spread the glowsticks to everyone there. We make acquaintances and through our adournments and then go hard to the music. I freaking love dancing, banging the beat and hitting every single move. It's so much fun to let go, be free, and just shake it all out. I was like the fountain of youth just doing way too much all the time. Everybody looked like they were having a good time and it ended way too fast. Water & Caprisun breaks, and finish up officially at like 1 am. Y'all I'm not ready for bed so we go check out those friendly QU girlies and hang out with them for a while, Maddie, Kara, Angela nad Lindsey. Everyone else dissipates to knock out but I head down to the lobby to scope out potential friendships. There they are, Alex from Hofstra University and Dan from University of Hartford playing Never Have I Ever. It was during that wild game that I fully came to understand just how much I haven't done. Crazy stories, fruit snack sharing and dropping fingers make this game one I'll remember. Up to the room to retrieve Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (from one of our cheers) and share them with the Syrcause & UCONN delegates like Aaron, Zach, Marisa, and Kyle. It's officially bed time at 3 am, and I sleep on the floor. The spirit showdown is officially over. Sunday morning, we get our stuff together and check out. It was an amazing weekend that I will never forget, great new friends, awesome people and the time of my freshmen year life. On the way home to VT, we stop at Dunkin' Donuts and Cracker Barrel and y'all know my delegation is completely out of it. Too funny, and too much fun. Spirit showdown, completed.








 
Being a teenager is about going out of your comfort zone to meet new people. It's a daunting task but you've just got to muster up the courage to introduce yourself, break the ice and show what you've got. You've got one chance to make that first impression, and I don't know about all of you, but I like that when people meet me, I'm not someone they'll soon forget. Step it up, get loud, and rowdy and win that spirit showdown.
 

My blog post question for the day is ... if you had the option of choosing an alternate career what would you choose? Uhm, I might want to be a social worker, but more likely a journalist or celebrity reporter.

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