Old School Status

The 20s are all about bringing out the best in yourself. When you're operating to the best of your ability, there's no limit to the things you can do. People work so much better when they are happy. It's a plain and simple fact that when you are in an environment you enjoy, you are so much more likely to get things done. Remember the olden days where life was simple? You just did things and that was that. We're sending it back to an old school status. 

You know you’ve been a part of NACURH when… you have an unhealthy obsession with your regional mascot.
*This post continues the NEACURH Regionals conference recap. Miss the first post, catch up on it here - Kickin' It Old School and view the accompanying video post.  "Conference Run Down"
 
Saturday morning was a true struggle. After going to bed at 3AM, I was stuck with the daunting task of waking up at 6:45AM to get ready for the day, spirit wear, positive attitude, bright smile and all. That startup was a mess. I slapped the heck out of my alarm aka my iPhone and literally dove for it and apologized to it (I have a problem, I'm aware). I made the grave mistake of going back to bed and dreamt of my future (as in me being a single-father with beautiful children, a medical degree, published book and a super pretentious everything else). I woke up, threw some clothes on, streaked paint across my faint and booked it downstairs. Breakfast, what is that? I booked it onto the charter bus with the rest of the RHA presidents and headed to Stony Brook University's campus to kick my morning off. It was officially time for president's boardroom, and contrary to all odds against me, I was revved up and ready to go. In I walk to bro out with my college best friend, Jeff, (seat saves are a must). More school representatives file in and fill in around us. The RBD member leading the meeting, Kara, my friend since my first conference (my first year of college). We go around and introduce ourselves, and we realize out of the like forty of us, only 4 of us are returners. Legit everyone else was brand spanking new. It made so much more sense. Those of us who had been there before brought the spirit, pep, and livened up the whole thing. I was passing notes, snacking, bringing my own brand of humor and adding some much needed energy into the room. We went from 8 am until just about noon discussing a massive array of topics, all centered on how we can best work with others in our positions. We were cracking jokes, shouting each other out, and making new friends. Jeff is not only my college counterpart, but the most sarcastic antagonist to my daily story - seeing him in person only heightens the back and forth. Lunch rolled around and I met up with my delegation to demolish some sandwiches while the chaos of some not-so successful cheer starters went on around us. We had a little bit of free time so you know Starbucks was just the next rational pit stop. I got my cake pops on and I was more than content with my life. Jeff, and I made a new friend named Sam (they just keep multiplying) from Marist College and she joined us as we made our way back to judge the passive programs people had designed. It was chill, and fun just to learn and rate things as we saw them. It was almost like that old school status.

Hanging out is one of the things I miss most about my childhood. Just doing nothing but talking to people, laughing, and getting to know them is one of life's simple pleasures (at least in my opinion). Down time was over before I knew it and it was time to catch one of the active programs being put on. Jeff, Sam and I caught, "Blankets of Hope" - a community service initiative where blankets are made for those who need them most. I made some new friends in the hilarious crew from St. John's and we bonded over the whole split identity of exemplifying your "blackness" but living in a "white" dominated society. The spirit showdown came up and it was time to get crazy stupid loud. Where in the world can you scream at the top of your lungs with 300 other people and have it be socially acceptable? For once, I don't have to be quiet, sane, or composed. For half an hour, you let it all out, shout until you can't anymore and lose your voice. All the cheers and my personal favorites, riding the pony + little sally walker, happened to fulfill my conference dreams. Inside we went to see the top 10 programs and UVM was selected to be one of them for our "50 Shades of Privilege" social justice program. Lauren and Sam went to start it off and we ran through it with surprising results (unexpected in that you assume certain people hold certain advantaged or disadvantaged identities). Back to the hotel we went to change at a blazing fast speeds for the closing banquets/awards. I met up with my roommates and it was like a sit-com in there with all five us trying to get dressed, fix ourselves in the mirror and adjust ties and bowties. Getting dappered up was about to have it throw it back to old school status.

My delegation entered the banquet fashionably late, as always. We made our rounds with dropping off our NCC, President and Delegation buddy swag bags. It was time to eat, appetizers, followed by salads, and then ... after a long while, dinner was served. This whole time people were snapchatting, making vines and tweeting their whereabouts in true NEACURH fashion. Finally desert came and the awards started. The RBD and the conference hosts powered through them like nobody's business and 4 hours after banquet/award started, we were done. My delegation went to do our perpetual photoshoot with our favorite schools, UCONN, QU, and our new friends from Stonehill. We dipped to the bathroom to get changed and wholeheartedly ready to shake everything we'd been given at the dance. We went up in there and just did our thing. When there's music that I can dance to, it's no holds I'm going to get my moves in there. I'll stop when I'm good and ready. It was absolutely exhilarating to let loose, pop, shimmy, and wiggle it all out. The stomach cramps after "Gas Pedal" were too real. Midnight rolled around and the dance ended with a classic dance off in true Back to the Future "Under the Sea" fashion. Jaime from my school won for the ladies, and the wild homeboy from NYU took home the god's crown. I had my bromantically melodramatic (but not really) goodbye with Jeff and it was back to hotel where the rest of delegation went to sleep but I was not ready for my conference experience to end so I went to mingle. I found my friends from Vermont in St. Mike's and went to talk bidding (sshhh... don't tell anyone but Minis 2015 - UVM + SMC is about to happen). It was the most productive late night conversation I may have ever had. 1AM and I still had some more talk in me so I went to hangout with my buddy Kyle. How has it been three years, and we actually hadn't properly spoken to the extent we did. That guy is for sure going to be a game changer, move maker, and a community leader wherever he goes, and he will go far - this I know. There's some things you can just tell about person from the way they carry themselves. We bonded through our overworked/underappreciated student leader problems and perpetual strive to make stuff happen. I think I will most definitely miss seeing him at conferences as this was his last. You hug it out and do it the old school way.
 
Bed time came after about a half hour of packing as silently as possible in my hotel room. Morning came way too soon and I whispered a goodbye to my new friends and peaced out. Quick breakfast and we were out of there on the road back to Vermont. This time I slept a little less and engaged people a little more. The post-conference sadness though swept totally over me. It's the highlight of my semester and just as soon as it came, it was gone. I had to return to my spiritless campus where the struggle to apathetic students to care and attend events/programs was set to continue. I love conference (obviously, since I wrote two whole posts on it), but most of all because it's a place where I get to be the best me. The me that people see less often than they should. It's me coming completely out of my shell and engaging with people, fiercely and genuinely instead of cautiously and with reservations. Conference to me is that old school status of easy-going, everyone can easily become your friend ways. Moose love forever!

The 20s are all about putting your everything into something you care about. Somehow when you're wholeheartedly invested in something it makes the work seem so much easier. No matter how hard it is, taxing or time consuming, when you love something, there's nothing too much or too little you'll do. Find what makes you happy and do it. Sometimes it's just that simple. Old school status all day. 
My blog post question for the day is ... what do you miss most about your childhood? Honestly, the TV was unbeatable. I don't know if it was because I was young and easily impressed or all the shows were actually that good. Everything now I compare to them. 

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