Political Animal

The 20s are all about knowing who you are. College is such a formative period in our developments not only in our studies and life pursuits but who we are as people. Who you are when you start is almost never anything like who are you when you finish. The thing about changing is that the process occurs unbeknownst to you who is undergoing the transformation. The rest of the world sees it clear as day but self-awareness is an acquired skill.  Everyone becomes a different version of themselves in college, who were you? Political animals - leggo. 

Does your life ever seem to be mimicking TV shows in perfectly classical dramedy fashion? I'm currently channelling Evan Chambers from Greek, Olivia Pope from Scandal and Douglas Hammond from the shortlived USA miniseries Political Animals. I'm telling you all I'm waiting for is the background music and the credits to start rolling. College is a truly wild place. I can tell you that I never would have imagined I would be this involved on my campus 6 clubs/organizations (3 executive boards) - one of them being the governing body of the on-campus community. I've been relinquished to roam free and take over. Give a lion the bait and he'll take it. One of the most unique things about my university is the amount of opportunity available for student leadership. I've taken full advantage of it. There's no way at any other institution either positionally or because of the culture of my campus (that underlying apathy tho) that I would be able to be RHA president, IFC VP Programming & Recruitment, a TV show co-host, a fraternity VP of administration, an anti-racism advocate, and modeling in a fashion show. I'm telling you, if you want to do something, go out and do it. This the time to bolster your efforts and make moves. Everyone has some sort of potential but it's who coverts that into energy (ewe physics get out of my blog) that stands out from the best. There's this understood circle of students who just so happen to be involved everything. I refer to them as the 1 percenters. They run everything, seem to be everywhere, and know everyone. Yes, I am the epitome of a 1 percenter (someone do a campus poll on name/face recognition for ya boy). We are a major part of the campus infrastructure and a little different because we are the most active in clubs, usually more than one. If administrators ever need anything, we're the go to students to get it done. Wish us luck, we may or may not be running the world someday. We are the most ferocious political animals of them all.
The big question I'm asking is who have I become in my college years. If you really knew me you would know first that I distinguish myself based on the context of who I'm being. It's kind of actually really weird. I actually prefer Joseph - that's me, reserved, engaged, but pensive. There's the fun Joey, everyday Joe with a big smile all the damn time, Broseph for fraternity things, and everyone's unofficial favorite, Joteng, for when I go ham in leadership mode. The last one is the context by which most people know me and sometimes it just gets to be too much to handle. Most people also don't know that one of the things I have a hard time doing is saying no. I truly dislike letting people down. The internal chastising I give myself when I make a mistake or am unable to help is so counterproductive and excessive. Even though I'm overworked, run-rugged, and sleep deprived, I still would rather do something more or go out of my way to do something relatively impressive instead of take care of myself. I want everyone to live peacefully, to be heard and understood, and to be harmonious with one another. While I'm constantly surrounded by little bouts of drama, I'm not one who enjoys it. I turn on my mediation tactics and immediately go to work in trying to resolve and soften the blows people are giving out. There are so many times where I should have said no but didn't because I didn't want to not only disappoint myself but others. I think the expectation of me and what I can do have become so blown out of proportion that it's nearly impossible to live up to the lofty standards. I always wonder why some people seem to be infatuated with me, but I realize that it's the idea of me. They know me as a highly efficient student leading machine devoid of emotions, flaws, or needs - just a strong output force. There are so many pressures that come with student leadership. My style is one that is all about people and relationships. I never want to fail. I never want to fall. I never want to flub. The reality is I don't have the all the answers (sometimes I make it up as a I go along). I'm not good at everything (no matter how easy I make it look). I don't like being popular (in that people only know my name not my story or me as a person). Sometimes I just want to give it all up and be normal. To have a normal college experience, one devoid of meetings, crises, emails, group messages, texts, pictures, interviews, and all of it. Sometimes I wish I didn't have so much responsibility, so that I could be immature, silly, or even play around more often. Sometimes I wish people didn't know who I was so that I could not only have some alone time (without my phone buzzing, dinging our lighting up) but also know for sure that the people who associate themselves with me, like me for me not what I represent or the resources I have access to. People ask so much of me but seem to not remember to ask for me. I'm a political animal in more ways than one.



This looks like the start of an amazing music video

Put an explosion in the background and it’s an amazing action movie
Power is such a fickle thing. I always laugh because I'm aware that after college the phenomenon that was me in college will never happen again. I'll be average, ordinary, and normal like everyone else. It's this place and the people that have made me, or the larger than life version of me, a thing. I'm relevant only because I made myself relevant. I'm technically the second most powerful student on my campus but it's a crazy life. Dodging scandal after scandal (maybe that's a hyperbole but let me pretend I'm a major political figure for a minute) and rumors spreading like wildfire. Will I run for student body president, uhm probably not - I definitely have the connections to do so but it's not my goal or the style of politics I've grown accustomed to. Who knows what all this means. There is a small chance that this is just foreshadowing a life of being truly extraordinary. As for now, I'm living day by day, making it through each and every struggle I encounter with a little help from my friends. They never know it but every time someone remembers I exist, that I'm a person who also requires human contact/interaction beyond work, it leaves an impression. So you're probably wondering what my crazy self has been up to. Here's the basic rundown of this past week (a colossal mess thinking about it now): Friday night I took pictures while my fraternity brothers serenaded all the sorority women for Valentine's Day (here's the video link - Phi Mu Delta - VDay Heroes), it was so freaking epic I couldn't even deal. Saturday was fashion show practice, homework and then was watching a hockey game (second one ever). Sunday was supposed to be a homework day but it was overrun by all the extra with a TV show shoot and a fraternity meeting among other things. Monday (thank you presidents for that extra day off, RIP or naw?) was more fashion show practice where we got dumb stupid hype, then IFC exec and general body (thoroughly enjoying this new role I'm in and the people I work with, shopping for 90s night snacks, and cleaning out the RHA closet before catching up a bit on homework. I pulled double duty on the same night for programs/events on Tuesday, had classes, and meetings (classic #mylife) and now am writing this post at 2:36am, cause you've got to what you'd got to do (diaper babies). Political animal needs his rest.

My blog post question for the day is ... how do you unwind from a busy day? If it's really rough a tall glass of ice cold ginger ale is on the docket but usually, half an hour of music blaring through the headphones or scrolling through vines mindlessly.


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