Braving the Elements

Being a teenager is all about doing you, and that means always being on the outlook to improve yourself. College is one of those special places because almost every single day pushes you and challenges the very fabric of your being. Things come up, things happen, and you're forced to adapt, change, or stand your ground (all while trying to stay true to yourself). All kinds of craziness gets thrown at you, and you've got to be prepared when it comes to braving the elements.

Braving the elements means armoring up, getting ready, and being secure in yourself to tackle any obstacle that comes your way. College literally gets you to think about things that you probably never even considered in ways no one could have ever predicted. It makes you question your very existence, your morals, values, and convictions. If you're not ready for what might come your way, then the elements can overrun you and you'll end up a different person than you ever wanted to be. For me, it's about sticking to my guns, it's about integrity and doing myself proud. When new experiences come my way, I'm down to learn from them if there's any beneficial value, but if it's going to be detrimental or goes against what I believe, then I'm going to refuse. I'm not about that life. Wishy-washy, inconsistent, and flakey all come to mind when it comes to "making exceptions." Personally, most of the new things I come across are things I never thought about doing (like being outdoorsy), wasn't used to doing (getting sporty), and never had the opportunity to partake in. There's a difference between experimentation, and being open to new things. You've got to figure out which one lines up with who you are. Get ready to brave the elements.

This week so far has been all about braving those elements. People and things have been coming out of the woodwork, and (I mean at one point I was actually in the woods) doing the utmost. Like damn, give a brother a break every once in a while. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I'm just like frick shat fudge cakes - I can't handle all of that. Monday morning started me off already on the eponymous struggle bus when I went downstairs in my building my honors college class. For once, it was actually bearable - but I still wasn't having it. Off to chem lecture where the whole sitting in the back thing made me think of Mr. Feeney from Boy Meet World, and my professor looks like a Scottish version of Oli White (check out his YouTube Channel - OliWhiteTV dude is hilarious). After that it was on to religion where I actually spoke in class (shocker), it's week 4 and that's the first class I've actually contributed to participation wise (I'm not about that whole teacher's pet, brownosing lifestyle). Back to my room with food to get some random work done and on to biology where we watched a Canadian clip of a TV series where this comedian helped tag brown bears who were hibernating. Then all of a sudden we were taking a quiz, and I was like - hot shat, I'm out of my element. Y'all know I was hitting the panic button in my head, even though I was prepared and studied. I did my work, chucked the deuces and peaced out like a boy scout. Fast forward to 7:15pm and it was yet again time for me to lead another IRA executive board meeting. All of us, Sam, Anna, Bret, Felicia, Terra, Eric, and Drake sat around eating popcorn and pushing through our agenda. We had a brainstorm session, and gave updates on what we'd been up to. Somehow we yet again took the full time, and after the meeting, honestly I was done. When you're thrown into a new element (for me that's working with other people) you've got to be able to deal. Post meeting was another classic walk and vent session with Sam - so pretty much our lives. I bet people on campus know me as a that preppy kid who's always complaining. Whatevs, I do what I do. Braving the elements on a daily basis.
Really getting out there can be hardest thing. I'd like to say I'm pretty outgoing (well that's because I force myself to be, when I need to) but still I have major reservations when it comes to things I'm not used to. Tuesday morning, my alarm went off at 8:10am and I literally jumped out of bed in a chaotic frenzy and ran to put in my contacts. I was under the impression it was Wednesday and I was on the verge of being tardy for my 8:30 class. Thank freaking goodness I got my life together and went to the office. Of course, I get a passerby "heller" from my two advisers, Drake and Learie, on their way to be ridiculous somewhere else. The sky opens up and all hell breaks loose as rain starts pouring. I make it to tennis class and we play king of the court, and I dominate pretty well with major use of some angles (look at me being athletic and stuff). Back to the Heights where I'm pretty much soaked (including my breakfast cornbread & baby bagel). I shower and change, running a little bit late back to the office. All I have to say, is I was dressed down and still managed to look sessy as heck. Oh you know just some more awkward social interactions (why are other people oblivious to tension in a room, hellllleerrr) and it was on to biology lab. The class puts on boots, mine happen to be a size 10 (three sizes too small for me), and there's only two left ones left, so yup I walked around looking a complete mess and in pain. We board a bus that takes us to some remote stream where we survey the biodiversity by dipping a net in the water and sorting what we found. I was in a group with Claire my junior friend from last week, and the popular kids aka the seniors, Kiley and Josh (aka Preppy Pro). I'm pretty sure we might have been the coolest group down there, all of us a little bit uppity when it came to getting down and dirty, but all down with the lingo of today. I was definitely out of my element, y'all know I dislike the wretched great outdoors. But I was in that cold water, in the rain with those ratchet ass boots doing what I had to do. We make it back to campus and I grabbed food before joining Sam on a journey to Wal-Mart. We bought food for our first IRA general body meeting and on our way back the wind was blowing so hard. Power lines were doing and outages were happening all over. We stopped at Price Chopper to do some more grocery shopping and the power completely shut off and it was pitch black. Like WTH, that ish cray. We paid for our stuff by the light of my cellphone and dipped out of there. I spent the rest of my night attending hall council meetings for Harris-Millis and UHN (being all presidential) and writing a paper into the wee hours of the morn. Dear gosh, I braved the elements - literally.

Being a teenager is all about discovering parts of yourself that you may not have even known. It's about figuring yourself out, and being the best version of yourself possible. It's like downloading that new upgrade or purchasing that brand-spankin' fresh copy of Borderlands 2 (someone get me that damn game!). You've got to keep movin' on up and doing you. Whatever new things gets thrown at you, you're prepared to brave the elements.

My blog post question for the day is ... where you most uncomfortable? I would have to say anything outdoorsy or super-athletic, I'm not about that whole wildlife and sweating thing.


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