Tempest Tossed

Being a teenager is all about making it through the storm. There's times in college where life gets tough and it seems like all is lost, but fear not. Have some hope and let it be known that you can make it out. No matter what is thrown at you you'll be sure to make it out alive and well. Bounce on back, shake it off and get the dirt off your shoulders. This is tempest tossed.

One of the most profound concepts about college I found hard to grapple with was the whole idea of strangers. It's a weird thing to I understand, not like that creepy random murder movie, but the fact that almost everyone you'll see on a day to day basis is someone you literally have no idea who that person it. The people you refer to with nicknames, that kid you happen to always see around campus, and that girlie you've been crushing on ever since you laid eyes on her the first day of classes last semester, all strangers. I would my biggest flaw would be my inexplicable ability to put my wholehearted trust into people I've just met. Why is that a flaw, well even when I barely people I feel attached to them, which is not always the best thing. I don't know about all of you but when you see different sides of people that you thought you knew you can be in for a rude awakening. It's like Joey Lawrence in "Horse Sense" going from the lap of luxury to the wild west lifestyle of farming. It's not something you expect, a drastic change in character or someone says something you didn't think they were capable of saying. They go there, like Degrassi, and cross some lines that you assumed were clearly drawn. You're tempest tossed, at a loss for words, and absolutely taken aback. Lately, I've had that happen to me where I see people loose their cool, flip the heck out, and go ape ish and it scares the crap out of me, truthfully. Like where did all that crazy come from, calm your cobra, relax, and let's move on. This is tempest tossed.

End of the year events always seem to happen all at the same time. This past Sunday was IRA (Inter-Residence Association) sponsored Hall Council Block Party all over the different parts of campus. A collaborative effort by all the hall councils for a final bang like an explosive TV show season finale (90210 season 2 episode 22 "Confessions" style). I woke up, and changed into sweatpants. It was already that kind of morning and I joined Sam to fill the last 200 water balloons. Open, fill, tie and repat for just under an hour - it was like that ridiculous episode of Drake and Josh with the sushi on the wild conveyor belt. Feeling a whole lot of dirty, I took a quick show-show and got dressed in our complimentary 3/4th length baseball tees with our student designed logo for "Athletapalooza" on them before heading outside to help setup. Tons of free swag like sunglasses, headbands and water bottles were unpacked with oohs and ahs. Then there was the popcorn machine debacle and the nacho cheese dispenser was a total mess, NBD. Soon it's time to pick up the water balloons from my room and carry the massively heavy things out to the basketball courts. It's about time to start and people slowly start trickling in. We've got a bouncy house obstacle course and a photobooth. I do a couple runs (after signing the obligatory waiver) on the obstacle course and scrape the hell out of my arms, can you say like Mariah Carey "them chickens be ashing on lotion." Then it's silly picture time with our entire hall council, mind you, we're hall council of the year, Sam, Alejandro, Carolyn, Ali, Lilia and our advisor, Kristine. We put on the most ridiculous attire and go to town posing and taking some of the best photos like ever. The food arrives and things are going well. People are tie-dyeing their shirts, chalking up a storm, and enjoying the music. It's actually pretty cold and the wind is just blowing like a furious tempest. Soon, more people start showing up and then I had the not so bright idea of doing a water balloon toss. It's like legitimately impossible to get large groups of people to look at you and the amount of yelling I've done in the past few weeks might be out of hand. I call out for people to step back and they follow directions until all their balloons are finished. Then some bros made the awful discovery of figuring out where the water balloons were and start pelting each other like there was no tomorrow. All hell sort of broke loose, just water balloons flying about and none of us were having it. It was like legitimately a mess, who thought it would be a good idea to through water balloons at people running the bouncy course, only some immature, inconsiderate douchey bros. I was for real enraged and at that point more than done with the insolence. You can say I was tempest tossed. Kristine and I with the help of Lilia moved the water balloons back inside and that was the end of that. We cleaned up, by hand, hundreds of water balloons, and got the place looking back to normal. Busy, morning and afternoon, done and done. Tempest tossed and I'm still a boss.

Passing out for a multiple hour nap is not always the best thing. Sometimes you just can't help it and you've got let the gentle breeze after the theoretical storm lull you to sleep. I go beddy-bye until it's time for my fraternity, Phi Mu Delta, chapter meeting. I'm VP of Records which means I'm technically an executive board member and have double meeting times and take notes and keep minutes during the whole thing. It's our last meeting of the semester and let me tell you it was a little bit eventful. It's kind of a secret so I can't really let you know what happened, but we did go around and talk about our summer plans and I will definitely be missing my fraternity brothers in the summer months. Tempest tossed, the eye of the storm hit and moved on. Monday was just as different as always. Four classes jam packed with information, randomness, and everyone getting anxious to just be done. After classes I headed outside the Davis Student Center to help sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a fundraiser for the campus broadcast station, UVMtv (where I co-host a TV show on pop culture weekly, "Dirty Pop"). It's 3pm and Critter, the famous Jack Steele's kind hearted buddy (literally one of the nicest people I've ever met) and I sell sell sell like nobody's business. I was like a Mercedes-Benz dealer, classy, effective, and slightly seductive. Tabling outside for any cause is always interesting, I just constantly have the urge to cheer and to get people to actually stop and look at what's going on. I was left alone for about 45 minutes and definitely moved some product. That day we sold about 130 out of the 225 boxes, and people were ranting and raving about the glazed things. I also got to see some of new acquaintances (who will most definitely become friends with me next year) like Alex from the South, and smoldering girl. Everybody likes doughnuts apparently. The amount of comments about people being on diets, watching their figure and craving them was literally immeasurable, and way too funny. Monday ends with an IRA executive board meeting where we do this sort of pictionary game and discuss the upcoming "end of the semester" Naked Bike Ride with the director of residential life, Stacey Miller. I get back to my room afterwards and I'm tasked with actually starting my 5 page paper. Let's just say it was a rough night on the waters of educations (gosh my metaphors are out of control), tempest tossed all night long.

Fast forward to Tuesday and I rushed in the morning to shower and scrub a dub dub before getting dressed and heading to the TV studio to set up the table for selling more doughnuts. I hope you see the recurring theme here. I sell the gooey things with our president Erik, who's been awesome to be friends with. The dude is pretty funny and totally keeps it real. He makes the club fun and gets us through the hard times, and since he's graduating, he'll definitely be missed. I just spend a good four hours straight selling doughnuts and our members come and help too. Danny T, Jack Steele, Hailey G and Michael Cohen all make appearances to help the cause. It was most definitely a slow morning however more random acquaintances like Jasmine aka girl of my teenage dreams, and Business Bro et some fresh Canadian doughnuts. Afterwards I've got a meeting with this new fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau who will be coming to campus next year and starting a colony (the founding group before chartering to become a chapter, if you don't speak Greek). The representative, David, was super chill and really cool to talk to and definitely has his eyes on the prize and his morals in line. Being the new president of IRA is for sure going to be a whole lot of work and I'll be shaking tons of hands. Eventually I make a pit stop at chemistry lecture to pick up my exam and get the heck out of there. At that point my ship was rocked and I wasn't having any of anything. Sam and I catch the bus 45 minutes later after listening to the Wanted's albums and chilling out to central campus where we're helping put on IRA's PizzaFest. Everybody helps and we get the place set up and ready for on campus students to show up. I'm the giveaway bearer and I'm given the task of talking to people in line and sharing the wealth of customized IRA swag. I don't know about you but talking to literally over 200 people individual or in small groups can get to be a lot but I think I handled it more than well. I saw my fraternity brothers, Bela, Campbell, Derrick, and Baldwin at the front of the line eager for food and I started with them. Little by little I made my way down the line talking to people, letting them know was IRA stands for and does on campus. Free washable tattoos for everyone and even more swag if they knew who the current president, Knight, was or if they knew that I would be president next year. I met a ton of people and definitely made some new friends. Then I got to the middle of the line where I got to talk to the new SGA President Connor Daley who will definitely be an ally next year, and my friend Riker who's a senator for that organization. Further behid them was Jasmine also known as "College Dream Girl" - you know I finally mustered up the courage to actually talk to her, properly introduced myself and got her name. Next year, it all goes down, can you say future relationship. After that I was just happier than Josh Hutcherson swag surfing on a red carpet. Sunglasses, pens, sticky notes, caribiners, and stickers passed out and definitely got the word out on who IRA is. People love the pizza and expressed their gratitude it was amazing and awesome to see. All the members that helped, Grace (our fantastic program director), Liz, Tori, Knight, Jordan, Felicia, Feresha, Davis, Sam, Kayla, Erica, Eric, Anna, Terra & honorary member Peyton were truly phenomenal. I'm just glad to be part of such a dedicated group of people. My buddy Nicholas gets his grub on when he shows up, and we declare a winner for best pizza. It was Manhattan Pizza by far. We recycle the mountain of pizza boxes and it's back to my room to finish my paper. Tempest tossed & struggle over.

Being a teenager is all about getting through the hardest times of the year. College is one of those cyclic things. You've got those amazing days that are few and far between, the average days and those totally dismal encounters that really rock the boat. The waters get rough and choppy and it's like a twister had headed your way. We're not storm chasers, but we know when to hit the storm cellar when we're told, the Road style. This is tempest tossed.

My blog post question for the day is ... how do you deal with those tough times in your youthful life? Me, I'm always down to watch some TV, get out of my head and focus on something else for a while. It's a relief and always well warranted. Find your show and get addicted.


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