Being a teenager is all about making connections. Life is like the solar system. Sometimes you're down to Earth, and at other times you're out of this world. This year of college has been one of those weightless, antigravity experiences that you have to live to actually understand. It's been crazy, wild, and now that our year (in space) is over, it's time to board the spaceship and fly back to Earth, but not before burning up along the way. Satellite comes crashing down.

One of the things I learned to do in college this year was network. I'm talking like 007 Everything or Nothing network tapping everyone I could potentially come into contact with. Everyone likes to think that college is so different from high school but they're not that different. Popularity may or may not exist on campus, but there are names of people that pop up a lot. I like to think of them as power players. People who seem to know everyone and everyons seems to know them. It's like being a celebrity, almost like One Direction or the Wanted, in that you're kind of campus famous. Would I say that about myself, maybe or maybe not. All I know is I shook a hella lotta hands, gave lots of hugs, and smiled my red carpet smile until the flashing bulbs dimmed out. The thing is, at the end of the day, you're still normal. You go out in public, you hang out with your friends, and you're just you. If people can't see past that, then they're missing out on the opportunity to deplane and walk the moon crators (Zenon Z3 anyone) of your life (*bad analogy, sounds like acne scars - eewie). You'll find your astronaut and your Houston that keep you grounded when you look around in retrospect. Who gets to see the real you, the person that isn't so always larger than life? That's the big question, it's a James Bond in Moonraker. Bring it on down, de-orbitize that satellite.

This last week of school has been one that's been totally different from all the others. Everyone knows that it's all ending and this is potentially the last time a lot of people will see each other and it's real. People have been forced to come down from their out of this world positions and get sentimental. It's been a drastic change of pace. Monday, I woke up, showered and got dressed to take on the world. I caught the bus and rode it all the way to central campus just to get breakfast from Pam's Deli. It's definitely worth paying "real money" for it and it always makes me happy. I make the journey back to the Heights and do my final studying preparations for the impending solar storm like Chris Evans in Sunshine or Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer that is my math exam. Hot shat, I armor up, sling my backpack and prepare to face doom. I make my way across campus, clearing my mind and just thinking. All of sudden my buddy Nicholas is giving me one of his patented bear hugs before giving me some words of encouragement and sending me on my way. I get to Kalkin, where the business school is located, and after talking to a classmate, Ryan about what we're about to go up against, we descend into the basement to start our exam. The room is literally jam packed with students and soon I'm in the thick of it. No time to think of anything else, I've got to get my head out of the clouds and focus on the task at hand. I'm not going to lie, I demolished that exam. It was fair, relatively difficult but definitely manageable. I felt good about myself and checked it over, twice, before turning it in, and walking out, head held high. I catch the bus back to my part of campus and spend the afternoon vaguely packing and watching Avatar: the Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon. Six o'clock rolls around and it's officially time for dinner with Nicky-Nick. Sam and I meet him outside the athletic campus basketball courts and head to the Harris Millis Unlimited Dining. We snag ourselves a table and dine like there's no tomorrow. Being able to eat without limits might be a huge mess. People can truly pack that stuff away. It's the three of us just talking and eating. I truly just enjoy Nicks company, the dude is always upbeat and can get me to laugh even if I'm not feeling it and Sam is my go to gal for pretty much everything. Nic's friend Sam, who's on the ultimate frisbee team, joins us and sparks up some truly worthwhile conversation. It's always refreshing to meet someone new and be able to talk freely with them like you've known them for a while. Funny, genuine person, and soon enough we're more than full and peace out hardcore. The night is spent studying for my biology exam with Samantha and Emily before calling it a night after midnight. Stars come out and my satellite goes back into orbit.

Having people to check yourself is highly important, especially during times of high stress. Satellites if they accelerate too fast can fall out of orbit and come crashing down to Earth (in a bad way) or fly off into the vast unknown known as space. It's up to you to surround yourself with people who understand you and that you all can be better each other. That's what I've found in ym college friends. Tuesday morning, Sam, Emily and I wake up supes early (as in 8:50am, don't judge us) and catch the bus to central. It's breakfast time like nobody's business. It's raining steadily and there's like lit (short for literally) no one outside at all. It's more Pam's Deli for me, and we all head into Billings to sit in one of the little study crevices to just eat and destress before we all take our biology exams. Time's up and we go our separate ways to get the job dobe. I walk into the lecture hall (where I have chemistry) and everyone turns to look at me, like dang, do I have something of my face - oh wait, that's called handsome. I take a seat near the top back and the exams and scantrons are passed out. I see Dzenan in the front row (of course he is) and wave. I see tons of familiar faces like my buddy Danny Boy, and our friend Madison. It's definitely go time and I come back from the trips to edge of the galaxy like Buzz Lightyear in my mind to get down to business. I bubble in those answers, check it over at least three times and wait for other people to turn their exams in first after an hour has gone by before departing after finishing mine. I stop and talk to my friend Yuzo from last semester's math class, and soon Dzenan comes out of  the no fly zone and we journey to the Marsh Life Science building to retrieve our lab notebooks. The rain is still coming down and it's like a Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope meteor shower and I head back to my room to get ready for a meeting. It's onto the bus and over to Redstone campus to my IRA presidential transition meeting with Knight. We get food, eat and talk at Redstone Unlimited. I learned so much in that hour and half, it's like mindblowing. Every question I had of what is expected of me answered, thoroughly truthfully and candidly. I truly appreciate him, it takes guts to do all the works he's done and I'm glad to have him as an ally for next year as well. It's over to the IRA office in WDW where Knight helps me schedules rooms for our meetings and set up e-mailing lists. I stay behind and look around the office before heading off to dinner, back at the same place with my senior friend Dan. More food and more great conversation. He's deep, knowledgeable, and understands how this whole college thing works. I got advice and genuinely will take it all to heart, I know I'll need it. We walk back to UHN, and I head to a community circle hosted by our RD (resident director) for the bias incident that occurred on campus (someone spray painted the n-word on a wall outside one of the residence halls). No one else showed up so I just talked to her about how it made me feel, and how things that like wake you up from rocketship excursions to other, less hateful planets. I make a Marché smoothie run and it's back to my room to just talk and hang out with Emily and Sam. Those late night conversations always geek me out. Talking about anything with no holds like religion, sexuality, family, and insecurities. It's a safe environment and it's amazing to have. It's a sanctuary amongst a perpetual asteroid belt. The night ends and it's sleepy time. Alarm set and I'm out there like a satellite drifting off to sleep.

Being a teenager is all about forming bonds with other people. As teenagers, we're social people and it's like hardwired (like Robin Wasserman's Cold Awakening trilogy) into us to get out and be with other people. It's the end of the year and people are already packed up and gone, and it's like we're all taking off for outerspace. We get high like a satellite and head back to our own orbits.

My blog post question for the day is ... how do you feel about finishing this school year? It wasn't until I saw everyone's statuses about being home that it actually hit me, this year is actually about to be over and I won't see these people for 4 months, and in some cases even less than that.


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