Being a teenager is all about staking your claim and holding your ground. You've got just much to be somewhere as anyone else and you've got to own it if you're going to dominate. No matter where you are, who you're with, and what you're doing - being present and notable is important. You've got to know when to fall back and when to take people on. What to fight for and what to let go. Here it is, this is a showdown.
Showdowns only happen because two or more people disagree. That's the basis of the whole ordeal in the first place. But before there's conflict, there's attitude. The attitude you care around, whether that be an arrogant air of superiority, or a nonchalant "I gives none" shrugged off style - your attitude is saying something - whether you want it to or not. Showdowns are standoffs, when people come to impasses, because they're too hard-headed, stubborn or full of too much pride to come to a compromise. When you're unwilling to budge, and work things out, you're definitely going to run into problems. Showdowns either end with one party losing big (cough Republicans cough) or someone getting majorly embarrassed for even trying (can you say most Olympic matchups). The worst outcomes for showdowns is when people are cockier than humanly possible (uhm Ryan "Wannabe HoodRat Grillz" Lochte and Usain Bolt come to mind) and somehow lose. That ish cray, because if you're already going that much talking trash, taunting and proclaiming your greatness, if you fall - you're going to go down in epic flames. Showdowns can be avoided by being mindful of your attitude the vibes your giving off. The standoffish, "look at the effs I give ... none", I run the world attitude is not going to get you anywhere. Pleasant, down to Earth, and open to suggestion outlooks welcome more people and allow you to avoid the drama. No showdown necessary.
Monday was my first official day of IRA (UVM's very own residence hall governing body and student advocacy organization) training and I was thrown right into the thick of it. Sam and I walk over from our residence hall (University Heights North, what up) to Redstone campus and into our new home away from home known was the IRA office in WDW. We're expecting to be fashionably late but we're first to arrive, soon the rest of our executive board, Terra, Anna, Bret, and Felicia all make their grand entrances, followed by our new co-advisor Drake and our co-advisor Learie. We start with breakfast foods and munching down before heading into a classroom to do some group exercises like dissecting our names, and working together to come a solution of a blame-game known as the "Drawbridge." Let's just say, we've got a good mix of people with strong personalities. We go over our intense training schedule for the next two weeks, and it's off to lunch in the fabled Harris-Millis dining hall aka the Grundle (no explanation necessary). In true dining hall fashion, the food lives up to its name - and all of sudden we're surrounded by kids, athletes and all the RA's doing their training simultaneously. I see some people I recognize, and flocks of people come to greet me. Oh campus, your prince of res. life spirit and pep has returned alright. Lunch goes over well enough and we're back in our little group doing inventory of our Fort Knox closet, which houses all our supplies, goodies, and giveaways. The place was an epic mess, and we discover we've just got a shat ton of stuff that needs to be passed out. Everything you possibly think of, and more was in that place. Hours spent organizing, lifting, moving, riding jacked up elevators and passing out on the ground later we finish and head over to dinner. More of the same old, awkward social interactions and the question of the day "what are you doing back so early, are you an RA?" - no, I'm not an RA - I'm IRA president. After dinner, we do some circle groups where we discuss our hopes, dreams and worries, and really our differences and similarities come out. Back to the Heights where I'm reunited with my beloved roommate, Patrick (forever known to me as Krabby Patty), and his little brother Baby Tom who bring my stuff up to our new suite. We do some catching up and even make a late night grocery run before I come back an obsessively put together our room. I watch Teen Wolf "Revelations" aftershow with Sam and call it a night at 2 am. It was a long and excitingly new day, showdowns not necessary.

Tuesday morning I wake up to Midnight Red's "Hell Yeah" blaring from my iHome and a text message from my advisor, and I'm like hot shat I overslept and I bet everyone's waiting for me, awkwardly. Nope, I didn't need to be present for another 3 hours, so I spent my time getting ready and just laying around, alone in my room. I finally leave and head over to WDW (pronounced dub-dee-dub for all you non UVMers) where I'm once again alone, just playing the Wanted YouTube videos, planning our table for activities fest, and updating a facebook/twitter accounts (check us out @irauvm). Terra and Felicia show up first for breakfast, and soon Bret comes our way. Soon Bret sees her new random roommate, and we go hunt her down, which entails me yelling some girl's name to get her attention. We meet up with Jess and her friend Megan, and check out their room for the year. When we return, everyone's present and ready to go for the day. Learie and Drake talk to us about fishbowl (please get the Real World reference) - and I'm taking it like being a celebrity (well not really, but I'll consider myself campus famous) and that people will always be watching our ever move. We come up with expectations for not only our advisers but them for us as well. We head to lunch where it's more friendship reunions like the dynamic duo that is Jack Steele and DT. Who knew so many people would get to be RA's? Back to set some goals, both group-wise and individually and it's poster/bulletin making time hardcore. We brainstorm, and vote and choose themes to go ahead with. Felicia and I work on the writing, while everyone else works on the spiffy designs (yes I said spiffy, this a judge free zone). No showdowns here.

Being a teenager is about standing your ground whenever you can. Sometimes it's better to fall back or fall back, but at other times you've got to stand up and go hard for what you believe is right. Not everyone will always agree with you, and things can get tense from time to time, but if you're being real with yourself and everyone else - people have no choice but to respect you for it. You do you, and I'mma do me. This is a showdown.

My blog post question for the day is ... when was the last time you had a conflict? Oh you know, just about everything. I'm really good at keeping it civil, but sometimes you've just got to let people know you mean business.


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