Pursuit of Happiness

You ever been so hungry it keeps you awake? This is a question that has kept me awake so many times when I have tried to sleep! I have done a lot of reflecting as this week has unfolded; let me give you a little background. For any week that I have two or more tests in my classes, I affectionately call such weeks “hell weeks” (excuse my language!); this is one of them. So as I have powered through the tiresome and exhausting nights, I have questioned many things in my life. Do not be mistaken, I haven’t questioned them in destructive ways but rather I have “creatively” wondered. It is perfectly acceptable to question one’s life decisions!!! Some may tell you otherwise but I say baha to the naysayers! For example, how in the hay is a freshman in college supposed to decide upon a major of study that will play an immensely large role in the way their future is shaped? It is mind boggling to think that anybody can make a decision with that much magnitude at a young age. Now of course I understand that there are some out there reading my blog that are past this decision or even some who are pre-college and believe they have already picked out a major that suits their lives perfectly, that they can wake up in the morning with peace of mind, and that they can’t even dream of their lives being whole without this field of study. To those who confirm this to be true, kudos I say to you, for you have your stuff together. However this is not to say that people who haven’t chosen majors are losers! In fact, I feel quite the opposite; I feel that people who are still discovering what secrets are held in the vast catalog of majors still hold a bunch of excitement in their lives. How exciting is it to embark on a journey of self-discovery to find out what one believes in, stands with, and fights for? I recall that when I realized that the right major for me was biology, I felt a sense of accomplishment and completion. Not only did I decide on a sort of home, but I also found many friends within this home that, being of the same major as myself, shared many of the same schools of thought with me. One of my dearest friends even changed her major this year, during her junior year of college. The point that I am trying to stress is that it is never too late to change the path that one is on and that there is no harm or shame in doing so, so long as you can say with a clear conscience that you can see yourself being happy with your decision. It is understandable that the economy is tough and people want to get into a job that pays decently enough so that one can live a comfortable life. I would counter that the other side of the coin tells a different story: if you choose a lifestyle (job included) that makes you happy, then do what makes you happy and I promise that you will never work another day in your life, even if you are required to go to a job; at least this job is something you are happy with and that you find enjoyment in it. As for my plans of the future – the decision is still up in the air between many extra years in order to get into medical school or pharmacy school. At any rate with either decision, I’m fairly certain that I will be happy.

Royal Nights

This past weekend, Royal Nighters invaded The University of Scranton’s campus and seized control of much of the residence halls! Students were subjected to pay quarter to the invaders, helpless in the face of their inquisition. Curious about the inner workings of a college campus, these high school-aged Nighters stayed from Sunday evening into Monday afternoon when their parents provided swift exfiltration and the Scranton students were relieved of their duties of guardianship.

In all seriousness, the Royal Nighters were a thrill to host! Royal Nights is a program that allows prospective students to visit The University of Scranton, stay over night in the residence hall of a current student, and follow their own mock course schedule the next morning. In the past years I have hosted countless Royal Nighters and each time, I find great pleasure in showing them this campus that I have fallen crazily in love with. This past weekend, I hosted two Royal Nighters; since I am a Resident Assistant to freshman, I am the only person in my room, hence the two Nighters instead of just one. Their names were Ansis and Jake, and I was self-tasked with persuading (and hopefully any Scranton hopefuls reading this!) that The University is the best choice! I mean, what’s not to like? We have brand new facilities such as the Loyola Science Center (LSC), an exuberantly friendly student population, and staff and faculty who will stop at nothing to help you if ever you need it! I think that last statement was the tour guide in me that typed. At any rate, I have seen quite a few of my past Royal Nighters on campus within the freshman and sophomore classes so I must be doing something right! This weekend I have two more Royal Nighters: Omar and Sean. If y’all are reading this, I can’t wait to meet you!

On a separate note, this weekend has been the calm before the storm. Next week I will undergo a battery of tests however, I will spare all of you the expense from reading another ranting about tests and studying and my lack of sleep. If you would like one of those narratives, I refer you to one of my earliest blogs! This simply means that I have to get a majority of my work finished this weekend before Sunday arrives. As part of the Resident Assistant job, I have to do rounds meaning I am scheduled once a week or once every other week to perform random walkthroughs of the freshman area. Tonight I have duty and that means I will be considered “on-duty” and therefore I must sit in a duty room where the other RAs on duty will sit with me until we go off shift. During this period in time I plan to be very productive and accomplish most of this hypothesized work!!!

Prince of Racquetball

One week of classes has already elapsed and we are now underway into week two of college in Scranton! You’d think that courses would ease nicely into material but you may stray a little bit from the truth. As for me, I have kept myself plenty busy with preemptive work; the philosophy that I have adopted this semester is that I suffer from crushing work now rather than perish later on due to the time crunch! In my room, I have this huge white board that I use very liberally for studying and such. However at this point in time, I am using it as a huge “To Do List” in which I have strewn dozens of both work and tediously mundane tasks for myself to accomplish. One of these tasks is that I write this very blog!

Yes, I talk sooooo much about work and its gravity yet I don’t want you to think I’m just some average Joe that doesn’t have any fun! My friend, you are reading the blog of a recreational racquetball champion. There is a story behind this, I swear. Over intercession, the few friends that were on campus with me decided to get together and learn how to play racquetball. I did not know there would have been as much quick movements as it does, otherwise my lazy self would have declined getting into the sport. Alas, I have overcome my slothfulness and am now the reigning champion in singles racquetball! Once we all figured out how to play, the “racquetball crew” would assemble almost every night to play in a tournament of champions. Being so lonely at the top, it goes without saying that I was undefeated (I also swear I’m not actually this cocky, this tone of voice merely goes with my portrayal of my triumph!), until the fateful day came on January 22nd, my birthday, that I was challenged to a three-man racquetball game. I ended up losing because that is just the nature of the beast in a three-man or four-man game – the other two or three combatants, respectively, can conspire to force someone to win. Happy birthday to me, right? My dear friend Jolene Ranek had great glee in beating me on my birthday…

Thinking I'm playing tennis

Thinking I’m playing tennis

End of Intercession

Intercession is a magical time here on the Scranton campus where classes are offered between the regular Fall and Spring semesters…hence the name ‘intercession’. Alas, it has come and gone! I have been on campus since the beginning of January taking a course – general physics. That very first week was incredible! Class went swimmingly and one of those days during the evening, the lovely Bridget Keehan and I went to this fantastic restaurant downtown called Carl Von Luger’s. The place was so fancy and our waiter was named Adam! We also dressed very nicely and might I add the ambiance caught both our best sides! Bridget back came to Scranton, and we decided to have that exquisite evening as a result, because she went to study abroad in Mexico for the duration of intercession. I’m so jealous of her because she got to go on this exciting trip and visit so many cool places – not to mention her meeting quite a few cool cats!

Intercession was a time of great perseverance, in addition to the great fun that it brings. My class met four times a week for four weeks and each class was two and a half hours long. Basically, each class period was the equivalent of one week’s worth of material during the regular semester. It was such a grueling course but I think it was well worth the sweat and tears (kidding, there weren’t too many tears)! However now it is time to put the intercession stories aside and focus on the upcoming Spring semester.

On the eve of this Spring semester, the students have all returned to the residence halls and they are once more filled. It would be prudent of one to take showers more tactically. I am currently preparing for the oncoming dawn by reading this lovely book Cloud Atlas. I find it really therapeutic; sometimes Resident Assistants need that piece of calm stillness before the storm. Yes, while I was here during intercession not many residents occupied these halls but now that the Spring semester is upon us, I am no longer the only one! I suppose it’s a bittersweet exchange; make no mistake, I love my residents dearly. I just hope that now that these freshmen have one semester of college experience under their belts, they are more prepared to combat the advancing term. At any rate, I will be at the ready to move and assist should they require so! One of the greatest blessings of this job as a Resident Assistant is that I am able to assist and help mold the individuals that will rise to seniors, and maybe perhaps some of these once-freshmen will in turn become RAs to mold a new generation.

Whatever the future may hold, I am thoroughly excited to find out what’s in store for this semester. Here’s to a fantastic term, to newfound relationships, to humble successes and graceful defeats, and to overall good health of self and to each GPA as well! As they say, may the curve be ever in your favor. There is a lot more to come from me in the coming weeks so definitely stay tuned – no more silence!! No backing down, no giving up, time to work hard.