One Life To Live

Being a teenager is all about making the best out of any situation. No matter what goes down, even if it's not exactly what was originally planned, you've got to learn to roll with whatever comes your way. You can change the outcome of anything that goes on in your life, as long as you are willing - you are able. Just like that soap opera, you've got one life to live - so live it up. This is the story of my NACURH 2012 CU Boulder experience - part 1 of 3, here we go.

This whole thing started Friday morning when my brother drove me in the pouring rain to the airport, just across the border in Kentucky. I get down and immediately get down to business. I check my bag, and proceed to security which is my least favorite part. I remove my belt, my sweater, and my shoes before entering the scanner with my skinny jeans sagging a bit and my black plaid boxers giving everyone a free show. I wait a minute and have to spread my arms and legs and get patted down, as they run my carryon bag again. Like really though, do I look like a threat to national security. I'm not Shia Lebeouf and this is not Eagle Eye. I put myself back together and catch the all new tram system to my terminal. Up a massive escalator reminiscent of Real World DC DuPont Circle - as in a freaking mile high monstrosity and stop at Starbucks for a passion iced tea and a cinnamon chip scone. It's off my gate where I pop a squat and people watch like nobody's business. It's about 20 minutes before my flight to Denver, Colorado is supposed to board when I see my college-dream girl. Seriously, this is totally out of place, but I would know that teal backpack anywhere, and when she turned around for that split second before presenting her boarding pass and looked into the depths of my soul - I knew it was her. I was just awestruck, what was she doing in Cincinnati and why does she make my heart pound. Too many questions, not enough time. I find my seat on my Delta chartered flight and I've got the window seat on this 3 and a half hour flight. I'm seated next to this man and his cute daughter, all of sudden the dad is introducing her to me and legit trying to play matchmaker. I'm thinking this might be the most awkward thing of all time, like really. I spend my flight blasting the Wanted and One Direction and dozing in and out of sleep. All of sudden we're in Colorado and there's this crop circle looking things over most of the wet-sand looking land. We brace for landing and it's down we go to the mile high city. My first thought was that I wanted to visit the Real World Denver house (it'd be my second one) - I mean you've just got OLTL.

Off the plane I go and work my way through the massive airport and retrieve my luggage before meeting up with our outgoing NCC (national communications coordinator) Sam. We head over to the baggage claim where our advisers, Jilliene and Learie are supposed to meet us in a few minutes, and a few minutes turns into 15, then 35 and 50. Two of our other delegates, Felicia and Erica meet us before our the dynamic chronically late duo shows up. We're just missing our incoming NCC, Bret, and our UVM IRA (Inter-Residence Association) delegation is present and accounted for. We head to the little waiting area where we meet some other schools like UNC-Chapel Hill, Ohio University, and our personal favorites Syracuse. The girls go off to get food for all of us guys (not in any way planned) and we end up missing the first 3 busses we're supposed to be on to head to the CU Boulder campus. We finally board our bus and the madness begins. The amazing girls of Roger Williams University lead us in cheering and getting hype to arrive. It's a long ride, and we finally make it and gather our luggage before sitting in the blazing hot sun while we check in. Swag bags, informational booklets and so many new faces. We dump our stuff off in our room and relax a bit from our travels before changing into some spirit wear and heading to dinner. We've got one life to live and we're making the most of it.

Face paint applied, green beaded necklaces, and matching t-shirts on as we all headed to dinner on the green. Some amazingly soft cookies in tow, and we all pop a squat in the shade while we take selfies, people watch and just hang out. Soon it's time for regional break out time. So we walk clear across the beautiful CU Boulder campus for our NEACURH (the north east affiliate of college and university residence halls) meet up. We're in there a couple of minutes before we're informed that we should probably leave if we're going to be in the upcoming parade of schools for the opening ceremony - which directly applied to me. Felicia, Erica and I chat it up with the RWU girls and I tag along with some new friends from UMass Amherst to walk literally all the way back across campus to the Coors Event Center where we're tasked with lining up. Representatives from over a hundred schools are dressed up and spirited out for the Olympic themed show off. We enter the back of the stadium and figure out the route we're supposed to be walking and get lined up in the order we signed up. I make friends with anyone and everyone there like the Northeastern University and University of Seattle while everyone at the conference files in for the opening process. It's just about 2,500 students, advisors, and sponsors total and the sound is deafening. After a 1D jam session, all of our schools are called out one by one to show our spirit and the closer I get to the front of the line the more nervous I become. It's just me with my green mustache on and I get a rush and just decide to get wild with it. I run out jumping and yelling like nobody's business. If you didn't know, my vertical jump is not something to be played with. I make my way around the crowd and behind the curtain. Crisis averted, panic subsided and spirit at a high point. I make it back to my delegation where we the conference is officially opened and we listen to an amazing speaker, Trish Downing, who's story of pushing on after the impossible happens sets the tone for the rest of the conference. All of disperse into the night, and my people from UVM head back to our residence hall to get ourselves together. Sam and I meet our conference roommate, Matt, from Western Connecticut State University and instantly make friends with the rest of his hilarious delegation made up of Christine, Mildred, Ryan, Danielle and their too much to handle advisor, Melissa. We decide to hang out with them and we make our way around the hospitality rooms hunting for free food and cool people. We stop at the international social to hear the gifted South African delegation sing a deeply moving song and catch up with our UConn buddies Dean, Jeff, and Garrett. We're already a mess, tripping over sidewalks, up/down stairs, and stumbling everywhere and laughing until it hurts. I'm just thinking where have these people been my whole life? We head to the campus student center for pizza and drinks where we see our advisers, Jilliene and Learie just hanging out. I talk to Marissa from Syracuse, and we all geek out of the hochata rice water. Upstairs where we try our hand at the casino and leave after literally 3 minutes after realizing none of us know how to play any of the games. I'm pretty sure the only reason we went was because the girls were infatuated with the bro at the entrance table. Downstairs to the arcade and bowling lanes, but the lines are too long so we give it on up. We walk back to our residence hall for the weekend, Crosman, and I rub the face paint off and head to sleep. One of the longest days ever, but so much fun, excitement and amazing people who are on the same wavelength. It's about making a change, making a difference and being yourself while doing it. This is one life to live.
Being a teenager is all about going out of comfort zone to try something new. No matter what gets thrown at you, all you need to know is that you have the capacity to handle it. If you couldn't do it, then it wouldn't be coming at you. You've got this on lock, like Kristen Stewart as the "Catch that Kid" locksmith. You've got one live to life. Check out Kent State University's rousing rendition of "Call Me Maybe" at the airport after conference - NACURH Call Me Maybe

My blog post question for the day is ... what's one of the most out of the ordinary things you've done so far? Well conference is always out there. I would say that whole parade of schools thing was crazy for me, but I did it because I wanted to represent my school to the best of my ability, and get a whole lot of rowdy with spirit.


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