Sleepover in Suite 613

The 20s are all about being comfortable. It's a rare pleasure these days just to find time to just be - be fully present and show up as authentically you as possible. Our surroundings constantly change and we're forced to adapt as we go, it's no wonder that we avoid change at all costs. We like the familiar and we flock to it. Sometimes it's good to indulge in it. Be some place with people you know doing something you enjoy. Everything else will change, but for a few moments, it's okay. Party over here, party over there - can I get what what? This is sleepover in suite 613.

When the Suite Life of Zack and Cody ended I wasn't too turn up about it but I will never forget some of the memorable antics of Arwin, Esteban, Momma Martin, Mr. Moseby and the rest of that crazy cast (Dylan Sprouse nudes anybody and the fact that he gained over 300K followers on twitter in one night because of it ... ya nasty) always made me want to live in a hotel. While the plot was ridiculously unrealistic, being able to hang out in such an interesting place (people constantly in and out of your life) had a certain allure to it. This is part 2 of my NEACURH Minis at RPI conference experience, no segue necessary. If I tell you waking up Saturday morning was rough as hell I wouldn't be saying enough. It was struggle city as I rolled out of bed at the literal ass crack of dawn, I'm talking peeking through the butt cheeks of the morn early. I freshened up, put on my spirit wear and armored up in facepaint to head downstairs for breakfast. People were peppy and you know I wasn't having any of it. I'm not a morning person but I'll also not grumpy, I just can't even. It was on to the bus where it perpetual bro-time with JB. Into RHA president's boardroom where we kicked off with the question game with the ever-enthusiastic Zach from Syracuse (never have I ever seen the guy not smiling or with a full voice). We did roll call, went through parliamentary procedure and prepared to get down to the business on voting on first year experience and advocacy initiative bids. You know I was passing notes like it was my day job and making new friends as the morning churned on. Abby from NYU, Steven from PACE NYC, Jordan from Oneonata and a slew of other people kept a steady stream of hilarious notes creating a soft symphony of paper rustling. We did our business and then went out to the lobby to vote on passive programs and check out the school banners. I was thoroughly impressed (it makes you want to even try harder next time). Off to lunch where it was more Sodexo food (it never freaking ends) and then back to boardroom for open discussion on a range of topics from advisor relationships, and checked out executive board members. At this point, I was in full unbearable cute bromance mode with Jeff to form the dynamic duo known as J2. Passing notes sitting adjacent to one another, writing on each other's backs, and taking selfies for days. The kid is the Zack to my Cody (wow I really just made that reference). Midday no rest for the weary just yet, working our way to the sleepover in suite 613.

One of the highlights of every conference is the spirit showdown. Everyone at the conference standing in a circle and cheering with everything they've got. It's actually remarkable (even though it's a stall tactic to determine top 10 programs) to have everyone chanting in unison. School to school the cheers were passed on and then came the riding the infamous pony. Will, Natalia, Connor and I took to the circle in classic zealous UVM delegation fashion and rode that pony like our lives depended on it. We all did individual school cheers and we didn't have one so we ran to the center of the circle and did the patented "let me take a #selfie" pose and ran back. You know I slipped and busted my ass, hard - in front of literally everyone (like full back mud and soiled pants) - cause it wouldn't be right without me embarrassing myself. Back to the hotel where the boys of suite 613, Chris, Will, Connor and I stupidly talked and cracked jokes instead of taking proper naps. When we woke up 30 minutes later to get ready for the awards banquet, I'm telling you I feel like I was going to disintegrate to dust at any moment. We got all dressed up and made our way downstairs to head to the banquet. Buffett style food that was actually really good and we chowed down. It was picture time and we made the rounds to snap pics with all our favorite people and schools. We traded conference buddy gifts and dished out hugs before we all settled down for the awards to be read. The moment of truth came and UVM won the RHA Building Block Award that we had bid for. I freaked the heck out and couldn't even deal. It was totally euphoric. I strained my voice from yelling and jumping around so much. I was shaking with excitement for like 20 minutes afterwards. So very proud of our exex board, general body and everyone else who helped us out along the way. It was so humbling and fulfilling at the same time. Us guys went out to the car in the rain to get changed for the dance. We doing the absolute most, being ratchet as hell and just stripping inside a sketchy white van casually (seriously, love us so damn much). Glow in the dark facepaint on and we were ready to hit the dance floor. The dance, honestly, was lackluster and it never really popped off but we made do and got our dance on as much as we could before the clock struck midnight and we caught a bus back to our hotel. Ready or not, the sleepover in suite 613 was coming.

And so we arrived back in our room and being the baddest boys in the game (not really but let's pretend for our sake), suite 613 became the hangout spot. Soon just under 30 college kids were laying around all over the place having random conversations about anything and everything. I spent the majority of my time being broey with Jeff, sending snapchats and antagonizing the hell out of each other. The NCCs finally made it back and the drama was a little too real. The hours rolled on by and more and more people joined the party, hocked up on candy, soda, and spirit energy. It was actually hilarious, I was literally texting Connor from across the room when I saw him leaving one conversation and entering another. It was so cool just to be in that space where everyone was just hanging out. Telling jokes, talking about their conference crushes, sharing their experiences about college and life in general, and just being comfortable as heck. In those few hours I think those were some of the happiest moments of my entire semester and it was awesome. I was just me. Not expected to be perfect, to cater to other people, to have all the answers or to be busy, just there and giddy with content. About 3am, we finally got a noise complaint and decided to turn down. I finished packing and lots of people said their goodbyes. The suite boys and did no such thing and ended up hanging out until just after 4am. I reached the critical point of nonsensical sleep talking delirium and knew it was time to call it a night. Back to bed with Chris and sleep took us in an instant. We woke up on Sunday morning, grabbed our stuff and went down to breakfast for some heartfelt fairwells and see you soons. It was on the road again, and Will, Tori, and Natalia passed out. Connor and I traded sibling stories and did some of that good old-fashioned bro-bonding while Drake drove. We stopped at Panera and soon were on campus expected to enter the world again. My voice was demolished and the recovery process began. The sleepover in suite 613 was a great success.
*If you ever get to go to an RHA conference, do it, you will not regret it. I've met some of the most amazing people through my experiences at them and made long-lasting friends that I wouldn't trade for anything. It's been powerfully validating to have people have similar experiences with being a student leader and having these unreal expectations to live up to. I also found a best friend who I solemnly swear will be in my life so long as I live. That's groomsmen (probz best man) status right there. It was also an opportunity to get to know my delegation members a little better. Hanging out with Connor is always a pleasure but even more so to be able to dive deeper was exactly what I was looking for. Taking home that award was the icing on the figurative conference cake. I'll always be a moose at heart and remember these experiences fondly. #MOLO

My blog post question for the day is ... when was the last time you had a sleepover? Other than this one, last one was technically during the night of Captain Straight Edge and the #TurnUp of Doom and before that, high school (those were the days).


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