Live Your Life

Being a teenager is all about doing everything to the fullest. We're teens but that doesn't mean we have to half-ass things or not give our best. You've to put yourself wholeheartedly into whatever you do and make sure it gets done the way it should. No need to slack off or not take it to the next level. We're young and wild, and that means taking everything there like Degrassi used to do (that's Holly Freaking J). You've got to give it your all no matter way. That's the way you should live your life.  *This is the story of my NACURH 2012 CU Boulder experience, part 3 of 3, hit it (check parts 1 and 2 here OLTL & YOLO)

Waking up and having no idea where you are might be one of the weirdest things ever. I wake up and Sam is getting ready for NCC (national communications coordinator) boardroom, so I tie his tie and get myself dressed in all white, complete with high socks and some true UVM green. It's just about breakfast time but Felicia and Erica are still getting ready so I head off to bfast by my lonesome. I get there and there's no line, for once. I pile on the food and get stuck in this line because these people were die hard about getting cheesy scrambled eggs. There were plain scrambled eggs right next to them, but nope they had to hold up the line for like 3 minutes. Really though, you're doing too much. I make friends with this girl and line and finally take my seat. Breakfast is hilarious, the whole room sings happy birthday to UConn's president Jeff, and my table gets into a discussion about our "types." Let's just say you don't offend people's celebrities crushes because the crazy comes out and we go hard for our future lovers (Keke Palmer, I will always wait for you). We break on up and head to our morning programs. It's "Planning a Gold Medal Reterat or Training Day" with Dayona from University of Kansas which was awesome. However, I embarrassed myself by yelling spirit and no one else cheered, awkward. Next it was "the Psycholoy of Funtivities 101" with Christina and Josh from Cal Poly Pomona - whichw as hands down the best progam I went to. We learned the different types of activities adn when to use them properly, plus we walked some and made some amazing moments. It  was so funny, so fresh, fun and hip and totally useful. Soon it was time for lunch and it's more Persian lamb and rice for me. I sit at the head of the table (because I'm bossy, pretentious and power hungry of course, JK but really) and everyone sits down. It's Felicia, Erica, Jilliene, Learie, plus our friends Adam, Mildred, Matt, Christine and more. It was amazing, just to be with all those people, and sitting there made me realize it. It was legitimately so awesome. The UVM side of the table ends up talking about our plans for campus with our new positions and how we can seriously make a lasting impression. Soon it's time for us to take a break from the conference life and head back to our rooms. Matt and Sam knock out while I crawl on the ground ferociously packing up a storm. I felt like Selena Gomez in the WWOP movie - minus the magic. I've got some time and lay in my bed facebooking and tweeting for the first time in days (it's weird, that's all I ever usually do) - I check on TV guide news, instagram, and USA Today Life before falling asleep to the Wanted playing on my iPod. Cell phone clutched in hand and no less than 5 minutes later it's time to go, that hour and a half went by so freaking fast. I mean, it's whatever. You've got to get out there and live your life, am I right or am I right?

The gang of Western Connecticut State and I head off to select a top 40 program (the highest rated from all our sessions) to attend while my UVM delegation goes sleepy bye. Christine, Mildred, Matt, Ryan, Danielle and I head to the C4C to choose our path for the afternoon. Christine and I team up to head to "Flash Fest" presented by Fiona and Sam from American University. The presenters asked us to make some noise for our regions so we went wild for NEACURH and another region yelled before some of hte facilitators came to remind us that presenting rooms were a "cheer free zone." Well shoot, I'm like Miley Cyrus and can't be tamed (oh her and Liam Hemsworth are engaged - I approve). We learn how to effectively institute flash incidents (that sounds dirty like Jay from the Wanted) and plan a couple of our own for the banquet. It's back to our rooms to get a little Sunday casual for the banquet. I stupidly under dress and feel totally awkward but we all head off to regional time where awards are given, tears are shed and standing ovations are given our. Our region is so awesome, close knit, and you can see that people truly care for one another no matter how little or much they know each other. Time's up and we're supposed to hit up the banquet, but Bret and I have some changing to do. So it's into a formal outfit of shorts, green plaid tie, suspenders and rolled up dress shirt. We walk in and find our people before scavenging for food. It's a world food's banquet (BTW my two favorite continents of Africa and Australia were not represented at all, so I was heated). Everyone starts making lines, but we all know I don't do lines - I'm privileged and like to think of myself as constantly VIP and besides you were just supposed to walk up and grab food, so we did. I just stacked like 5 of the little plates like a true thief and munched like none other. The skeptical looks of judgement were unnecessary, let a teenage boy eat. It started to drizzle so people fled, and we found the rest of our UVM delegation under an overhang next to a dumpster. We did a classic photoshoot (because we're all unbelievably photogenic) with onlookers judging us. Soon it was near 7 o'clock and after group pictures, jumping pictures and silly ones it was time to flash mob it up. The clock struck 7pm and we all stood frozen and pointed to the mountains. People were so confused, it was hilarious. Two minutes later I started another flash mob with the help of Christine and our flash fest presenters in starting a massive group hug. People just started piling on and it was some super close corner up in there. We embraced for like 5 minutes and finally let go. All my clothes were sweated out, oh great. More pictures and food before the madness started. A gigantic game of ride the pony and little sally with 3 layers of concentric circles happen. I was dying and out of breath because we played for so long. I like to add my own style to it and just hit all my favorite moves like nobody's business. Then they started playing music, the cupid shuffle and the wobble (which I learned during the song, hello and good evening). My delegation was a mess, we were going so hard for no reason but it was so much fun just dancing with all these people. It was time for closing ceremonies and we all dipped out in a sweaty mess. Let's just say I wasn't looking or smelling so formal anymore. Whatever, you just gotta live your life the way you want and have the best time.

Ceremonies in NACURH have a tendency to go longer than what they're scheduled foor. We wait an extra half hour so the arena can be cooled and while everyone else is cheering, we're on the ground sitting and tweeting. We've got problems, leave us alone. We finally get to go in and more cheering, but at this point we're already tired. The ceremony finally starts and it's been fun to see all these people and learn so many new things. Then they bring out the speaker, this professor, former lawyer, Corey something or other. Truthfully I was just not having it at all. I didn't get his message, his jokes were insensitive and frankly offensive and I didn't think his message lined up with our weekend at all. He was noninclusive (so exclusive) and called people who get twelfth place ribbons losers. He went over the time allotted for him to speak and we were already behind schedule. The awkward moment when right after we started giving out awards and we gave our 40 for programs (that's for calling us all losers for awarding things other than first place). The awards kept coming, and coming and coming and coming. Everything got a standing ovation, and everyone. Then came the speeches about the people getting awards, which we all know they've worked hard and deserved them but if the person is not there to accept the award save it for another time. At this point people were getting hostile, when more people would come to speak the crowd would groan audibly. People came up the aisles to tell us to keep standing because it would make us look bad. That's when I lost my spirit and pep. I'd been giving standing o's,clapping and smiling the entire time when other people didn't and people have the audacity to call us lazy when I was taking a break. We ate literally 4 hours ago, we're tired and we've been on nonstop go for a few days, calm down. That ish was cray. More people spoke and groups of people just started to leave, it really got to that point. I told my delegation we were staying the whole time, no matter what. The ceremony was supposed to end at 10:30pm, it ended just past midnight. We found out where the next conference would be, Pittsburgh (woot woot, east coast) and we were dismissed. I'm sorry, but it put a huge damper on my conference experience. And seemed totally out of place since we talk about time management and being able to read a crowd. I was more than done after that. UVM delegation just walked away to our rooms and straight complained the entire way there. It was the best venting walk I'd done in so long. We were fuming, angry, bitter, and on a mission to dance our buts off. Another thing, standing ovations are like giving away Oscar's reserved for special occasions, not literally everyone who wins an award (just saying - it loses it's value if everyone gets it). When the ceremony started cutting into dance time, that's when people started losing it, apparently it's supposed to be the best part. We went back to our rooms and changed, grabbed glowsticks and stomped our way to the dance. We got there and it was a mess. Not that many people there, and the music was not danceable. I just saying we only went hard to Party Rock, the Motto and the Wobble. Really though. People were on stage doing the most, like way too much. Cover up, calm it down and bring it back to reality - this is conference not a no-dignity club. We were sweaty after not even doing that much and after only 57 minutes of dance time, they kicked us out. We all chanted hell no, we won't go and they started to play LMFAO shots, but they told us we can keep dancing but we've got to get the hell up outta here. That was the end of that. Felicia, Erica, Christine, Mildred, Sam and I walked back imitating the YouTube anthem for rachtet girls. We bid our farewell to Adam and went to stay up. You gotta live your life and roll with the punches, things may not always turn out the way you wanted.

Sleep deprivation is like the chronic thing nowadays. It was 1 am when we got back to our hall, and we had to be up at 4 am anyway so we stayed up. We were geeking out just talking about all the funny things about the weekend before saying to goodbye to West Conn. UVM delegation spoke about anything and everything. What we like in people, our dislikes, and pretty much what makes us tick. I had that a profound moment when Felicia, Erica and I brought up the topic of race, and racism on our college campus and instead of dismissing it, avoiding the topic, or misunderstanding Sam and Bret completely understood us. Truthfully, I was like on the verge of tears because it shows how much they truly care. To listen to us, to care, to understand, to want to help and to be proactive in the conversation is huge. I haven't had such a deep talk about being a minority with very many people, not like that too. I felt comfortable enough to share stories of the many incidents that happen on campus and in our lives with microaggressions, ignorant comments, dirty looks and full out racism. Like that's real - Bret and Sam forever have my undying gratitude, respect and love for their ability just to listen. They can relate and that was so refreshing. We talked for hours until it was time for Sam and I to go pack. It was time to go so we bid farewell to our sleeping roommate Matt, and dipped out. We took off into the night, and stopped to get some grab and go food from the awesome conference staff. Colin - the food dude, you rock. We get on the bus and we're such a mess, since we've been awake for more than 24 hour straight. Other schools join us and we're just talking nonsense. I asked how Boulder got it's name and got some sass back about the Rockies. The girls next to Sam were muttering "shut up" under their breath, but really that's so unconference like and completely rude. Soon we all fell asleep sitting up, and I realized I lost my favorite black cardigan. We make it to the airport and check in with our bags. It's goodbye time, and we all get presents before going our separate ways. Bret and I go through security and catch our tram to our terminals and all of a sudden I'm alone again. I buy some snacks, board my plane and knock out to music. I wake up and we're in holding pattern because apparently a plane taking off wasn't going fast enough and almost hit us. I land in Detroit, 10 minutes late and my connection flight was already boarding. Panic mode started to set in but I knew I could make it. Tell me why my concourse was C and I was in A. The tram would take too long, so I broke my rule of never running in an airport and just booked it. I ran so freaking fast, it was like Usain Bolt on steroids (Olympic oxymoron). I made it with 5 minutes to spare. Another 45 minute flight to Cincinnati, and I walked to the baggage claim after tripping on the moving sidewalks. I get my stuff after a 20 minute wait for my bags and meet my brother, Christian, and sister Bianca in the car to head home. Conference is officially over. You've got to live your life the way you can be proud of. Giving people chances, being open to new things and available to listen.

Being a teenager is all about living your life the way you want to. That means doing things that matter, making a real difference, and leading by example. We're all given the ability to do something extraordinary and to have an impactful and longlasting effect on others and it's up to us to use that gift to the best our of abilities. Living your life means using your actions to do something amazing, something meaningful and real. It's about putting your money where you mouth is like on Royal Pains or the hilarity that is Lab Rats. Living your life is about being who you are and being the best you.

My blog post question for the day is ... what motto do you live your life by? Truthfully, I'm almost about "to thine own self be true." William Shakespeare is my dude for sure, and his stuff is so quotable but so true. Being yourself is all that matters.


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