Third year of college…I should really be getting good at this thing now. Ehh, not entirely. Every year thus far has had a different theme, a different feel. This year’s is shaping up to be a theme based on a balance of responsibility and prioritization.
Wow, cool post Jesse, I’m intrigued.
Thanks italics guy, I know you’re being sarcastic, but read on. My freshman and sophomore years can be summed up as periods of acclimation, and then exploration. When stumbling, I could fall back upon the cushiony notion that I was still just a wee, innocent lad, removed from the simplicity of Maine and plopped into the enormity of Central Florida. This year, though, my actions seem to carry far more weight, whether it’s in my personal, school, or extracurricular life. This can be a good thing, or, on the other side of the coin, a “less-good” thing. What a raw deal! Anyway, onto the activities.
It’s really cool to be back in the middle of the action again. I’m currently an RA (Resident Assistant) on the first floor of McKean Hall, an all first-year building bordering the lake where I lived my first-year. Part of being an RA is being a community builder and helping break down those awkward first couple days of college. You might not think it will happen to you, but it will.
At my first floor meeting, it was crickets. But after a week or so, everybody was talking and interacting—as Semi-Pro’s Jackie Moon would say, “ELE” (Everybody Loves Everybody). Recently we had a much-anticipated ping-pong tournament on our floor. Drawing a crowd was the provided athletic fuel (a couple dozen Krispy Kremes), Tropical Smoothie gift cards to first and second place, and most importantly, bragging rights on the floor. It was a sweat-filled, testosterone-laden event reminiscent of the 2007 film, Balls of Fury. All in all, the floor is starting to gel pretty well (note the rhyme).
Last year I lived in the Sutton Apartments, on-campus apartments for upper-classmen. The extra room in the apartment was nice but I definitely felt a bit supplemental and far away from the rest of campus (though it’s tough to be too far from anything on Rollins’ 60+ acre campus). Plus I had to buy and make my own food! This awful plight stirred up a new-found appreciation for anyone who cooks food for me. This can probably account for the obnoxious, boyish grin I display when entering the dining hall, or any of the cafes around campus. Also, food is inextricably linked to social times, as it brings people together. I went from PB&J in isolation to prime rib with a crew. Heck, I think it’s cool to go from ice cream you have to scoop to ice cream that’s scooped.
I digress. Back in the center of the action, Rollins Tars’ soccer games were soon underway. As a former soccer player, one who enjoyed the lift that the crowd provided, I don’t feel like I can passively watch the Rollins games. Enter: body paint, a disregard for your reputation, and some in-need-of-work cheers. A good friend of mine, and Tars (What’s a Tar?) first mate, Matt Killian, heads up an organization called, well, First Mates. They are the model of fanmanship (made-up word) here at Rollins. First Mates serve to energize the crowd, provide game advertisement, and programming (like free food!) at our athletic events (though I have yet to get a presence out at one of my cross country races). Though our cheers are limited to soon-to-be-classics like “I had a little rooster…”, “I went down to the river…,” and the old reliables, “D-fense” and “Olé Olé,” we like to think that we have played an integral part in the men’s soccer 7-0-1 start to the season.
Speaking of cross country, though, our season is two meets deep at this point. Most recently, we traveled up to Gainesville (as sort of a warm-up to their football bout vs. Tennessee) for the Gator Invitational. It took place on the UF golf course and is one of the bigger races we go to: a really cool atmosphere with a lot of talent. On a gorgeous night for fast times, both guys and girls really tore up the course, without divot-replacement, of course. I was happy with my race (and the endorphin high that comes with pushing your body to weird extremes), coming in at 27:26 for the 8k, though quite far off the leaders.
Concise timeline of highlights thus far
August 7 – Saying the last goodbyes to the Hugo clan at the airport
August 8 – Resident Assistant retreat and training
August 20 – SPARC Day – day for all first-years devoted to community service. I helped set up a garden with first-years at the Orlando JCC
August 27 – O.A.R. concert at Hard Rock Live
Sea World for a Manta Ride and Shamu Show with Alyssa
Sand Volleyball with Shelby, Tom, Sam, Seth, and Chico
Sharing the Volvo with Ellen
September 15- First tattoo (just kidding, dad!)
I apologize to any English teachers out there reading this.