Who said a toga was cozy? Tuesday, May 25 2010 

Remember when you used to wet your toothbrush to trick your parents into thinking that you responsibly brushed your teeth before bedtime?  Do not deny it, we are all guilty of having told a lie or coming home past curfew at least once or 20 times with our folks.  In college, these matters do not concern us.  If I want to eat a bag of skittles for dinner and then go to the library until 2am, I can.  The independence of decisions without pardon is a college benefit that unfortunately strays away from consistent healthy behavior.

Interestingly enough, the finishing moments of the college year is called, ‘hell-week,’ where sleep and routine meals are foreign.  The focus is on studying hard, tying loose ends, and saying good-bye to the best of friends before breaking into summer.  Whether plans after hell-week entail returning home, or remaining at school for a sensible summer term, we still have the opportunity to breath.

After completing my sophomore year at Indiana University, I kissed the cornfields good-bye and hopped on a plane to New York.  It was almost as if I handed in my strenuous statistics final, blinked, and landed in my father’s bear arms.  His name is Yogi, by the way.  My family and I then went out to dinner to the most delicious Italian restaurant in Brooklyn.

# 1 reason why it is good to be home- going out to dinner is such a treat.  Not to mention the fact that I have still not adapted to the taste of Indiana’s token-choice ranch dressing, let alone their infatuation with Mexican cuisine.  After being deprived of classic NY Italian food, it was bliss to dive into a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

With a belly full and breath reeking of garlic, I drove home with my two brothers whose voices dropped lower and shoulders grew wider since I last saw them.  As I passed through traffic only to recall aggressive driving and thick New Yorker accented, ‘why I oughta’s’, I sighed in delight to finally pull into the driveway of the place I grew up in, my house.  Home sweet home.

Even though I know that it is still there, I always bolt up the stairs to run and jump onto my bed in my room.

#2 reason why it is good to be home- your room.  Your bedroom is where you escaped to be alone and where you brought your friends over to be so much cooler than hanging out downstairs with parents around.  In addition to your space is your bed.  One of the most comfortable pleasures of life is crawling into your very own bed.  Plus, sleeping after finals week is beyond luxurious.

Now I am past the ‘welcome home’ point and am onto the ‘making moves’ phase of home.  This is where the realities of home must adjust to a young adult’s lifestyle of desired freedom and initiative.  On my way out the door to meet up with friends, my mother said, “It’s chilly tonight, wear a jacket.”

In college, it would be absurd if a roommate suggested this, unless of course it was blizzard conditions and choice of fashion was below par.  The only reminder a roommate would give before going out would have to do with party favors.

#3 reason why it is unusual to be home- certain advice or rules are applied in a home environment that are not registered at college.  Granted, the weather was chilly.  As I buttoned my blue jean jacket that evening, I could only thank my mother for looking out for my best interest.  In college, we wing it whereas at home we are guided in the right direction.

College- our priorities hinder our care for the seemingly insignificance of structure.  Home- our priorities root from the infrastructure of the roof we sleep beneath.  Why deal with the rain if an umbrella is gladly provided?  College makes rain seem like an afterthought to the activities to perform.  Plus, a little rain only makes day calm and night exciting.  Sit inside then pounce puddles!

So far, I must agree with the refreshing lifestyle home has to offer compared to college.  Although the social atmosphere and the independence of college life is exhilarating, it is still nice to come down to earth in an organized and family centered home life.  Now I am trusted to brush my teeth and am even permitted to have friends over after curfew.  It is an understanding to accommodate the attitude of college into a household setting.

Greek vs. GDI Little Five Monday, May 3 2010 

Where were you during the Little 500 races?

If you are a member of Greek life, then you were in the stands, with a color to wear and a team to root for.

If you are not in Greek life, then you were roaming the campus, with a cup to fill, and the Villas to fall back on.

Nancy and I debate the difference of experience celebrating Little 500 as a GDI and as a Greek member.

Single and independent is the way to be in college.  In honor of Little Five, I tied sneakers of my feet and hopped from pre-game to porch to bonfire to bar and yes, guiltily- to the Villas.  Throughout the span on the men’s race, a GDI like myself takes 500 shots in support of 500 laps.  An entire week was dedicated to straight-up fun and each day was different.

Having no agenda as an independent during Little Five is like being single in the dating world.  I did not have to stand in bleachers, nor did I have to promise my time to anyone.  The only importance to keep in check is where the party is at; the same way flying solo contends no obligation.  Ironically, a GDI is wanted everywhere except at the bike race just as singles are socially invited anywhere but by that one significant other.

While I was catching a thrill from rain and spontaneity, Nancy was following a traditional routine…

***

Nancy speaking, and trust me, you want to be Greek during Little Five week.

Being Greek during Little Five is like having a boyfriend. Every night you know where you’re supposed to be, who you’re going to be with, and the general theme of the night. Things are a little more predictable than roaming GDI land but the flip side is I’m afforded the confidence that I won’t ever end up at The Villas fighting to keep my swimsuit top on as I wrestle in a tub of pudding. Call me old fashioned, but I like that. My Little Five is ridiculously fun, but I know where my fun will be. I know what colors I am wearing on race day, and I know who I will be next to in the stands. You want to be Greek during Little Five for the same reasons you want that boy/girl-friend, to be wanted.

The consensus is in:  When in Little Five, do as the Greeks do.  Being apart of something is more passionate and gratifying than aimlessly wandering to parties.  Although I enjoyed the spirit of party hopping for a cause that did not truly concern me, please ask me where I was the day of the women’s race.  I was standing right next to Nancy clapping loudly for her sorority’s team.

It is cool to feel wanted in spite of all the adventures a GDI destines to take.  I feel brave and daring as GDI during Little Five just as I do without a boyfriend.  I never know who I am going to meet or where I am going to party whereas Nancy has plans paved and insured.  Either way, our shoulders were back, our spirits were high, and our experiences of Little Five were a blast.

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