Learn from not quite perfect dating experiences Thursday, Jul 15 2010 

Hormones, hormones, hormones.  I blame them.  They are the reason we end up in the most awkward situations with the opposite sex, i.e. the date.  The buildup of hormones explains why we feel butterflies in our stomach as well as other feelings that may be too sexually inappropriate for a College Lifestyles blog.  Regardless to the chemical stimulation, we are in college and it is fun and natural for guys to want to be around girls and vise versa.

Hormones, hormones, hormones! This is how we work it.

Pleased to meet you, I am a stuttering estrogen maxed out goof who has a dating experience to make your head spin.  My father is only sane because I inform him that I am joining the convent or going to play bingo every time I walk out the door with a different guy.  From the amateur moments where I learned how to kiss, to the serious and great relationships I have had, there are a few hysterical dates that stand out enough to either make me blush or to simply laugh to tears- but who are we kidding, that could be the progesterone.

Carly rolls her eyes as she recollects dating silly guys.

Let’s start with the, “The Creepy Cuddler.”

The summer before going into college, my family and I lived on Fire Island.  Picture a small beach town with sidewalk roads made only for bicycles and a quaint row of restaurants and bars ready to fulfill ultimate partying and grooving.  It was in the beauty of Fire Island that I met an outgoing and fun blue-eyed guy who we will call, “Elvis,” due to his side burns.

Elvis and I played volleyball at the beach, boogie boarded in the ocean waves, and drank Snapple Apple from the endless supply in his mini fridge since his father worked for Snapple.  Perhaps because we were so active and usually hanging out with groups of friends, I was blind to his ultra- sensitive side.  Don’t get me wrong, emotions are perfectly normal.  But there is a fine line between honest feelings and nauseating behavior.  Nothing prepared me for Elvis’s little cherished hobby.

As he nestled his head on my shoulder to confess his bedtime secret, he shared that he most enjoys snuggling with his mother.  Take into account that Elvis was 19 years old when he confided this information.  This is when I made my speedy escape, and found something more entertaining to do than cuddling.  Even bingo won that time.

Next is, “The date heard around the world.”

Also a summer fling, I met this lumber jack-esque guy through friends.  For kicks, we shall refer to him as Paul Bunyan.  He had a very dry sense of humor and crunched his posture to fit in his too-small car.  The two of us were complete opposites.  When we went bowling he attentively kept score on the computer screen while I moon walked to the lane to inevitably toss the bowling ball into the gutter.  However my friends liked that he could balance my silly behavior.  It turned out that Mr. Bunyan could be even sillier than me.

Paul Bunyan and his Babe. Hopefully the ox will be a better companion than me.

Just as I had mentioned that hormones exist, so does flatulence.  Everyone has a different opinion of what one has the liberty to call, “farting.”  When Dr. Oz said on Oprah that it was “unhealthy” to hold in a fart, men around the world suddenly felt in style.  Since Oprah has not yet farted publicly on the show or among her many media outlets, I can assume that it is still not safe for women to openly fart.  Personally, I let it go with my brothers who will only laugh and then outdo me.  (Seriously, like on command powers.)  Besides not eating corn before a date, it is also unacceptable to fart on a date.  Poor Paul Bunyan was not informed.

As I was making us drinks in my kitchen, he farted.  Loudly.

The aftermath moment was silent and stunning.  But then I just burst into laughter.

He was stone cold and completely ignored his gas blowing stunt.

Rather than join me, he waited for me to contain myself and then proceeded on with, “How about them Yankee’s” conversation.  If he had laughed it off, everything would have been fine.  Instead, all I could hear was that fart when I looked at him and the fling could no longer go on.  Poof! (No pun intended.)

In college and out of college we will deal with weird secrets, farting, and hormones.  The bottom line is that nobody is perfect.  Within this realm of our youth, we are trying to figure out so much, let alone about the opposite sex.  Many of us are enrolled in summer courses to better advance our education to do the best we can upon completion of college.  Yet we still make minute decisions like whether or not we would like to continue dating someone.  Go with your gut instinct.  (But not necessarily his gut).  Realize that we are in the same shoes as classy college co-eds and are hoping to enjoy ourselves today.  Date or not, it is important to acknowledge people for what you like about them.  Standards are fine, but there is no point in focusing on them until truly knowing a person.  Have fun, smile big, and be yourself.

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.

Not your average party invitation Thursday, Apr 29 2010 

Little 500 at IU is the nation’s most pumped up party week.  Interestingly enough, class is in session.  Real Hoosiers don’t skip class, they incorporate it into their celebration schedule.

A good friend of mine named Alec McNees decided to host a party in his classroom.

He created a Facebook event for his fellow statistics (E370) students to play the “Mary Beth Camp Little 5 Drinking Game,” from 1:25-2:15 on Wednesday at Ballentine Hall on campus.

Not only did the majority of the class raise their cups, but did many not even enrolled participate.

The rules posted on the Facebook event are as such:

“Since no one pays attention to Camp during E370 lecture anyways (except Carl), let’s make a drinking game out of it while trying to earn some quiz bowl points. Bring a mixed drink to class on Wednesday and we will drink every time Mary Beth:

-Raises her hand to get us quiet
-Says “gosh”
-Cuts someone off during their answer and shoots them down by saying “No…”
-Says your TA’s name

And most importantly…

-Everytime Carl answers a question. Follow up questions count too!

Let’s have fun but be careful not to get caught. Invite your friends too!”

The initiative was bold, however we can all agree that there is no better way of joining together as college students than by a quiet and harmless revolt.  We do it for Little 5 and we do it because we can.  Go team!

The Sample Gates are Timeless Sunday, Apr 11 2010 

Can you believe it is already April?  Maybe we should stop blinking in between the porch hangouts, the late nights spent with Herman, and the pre-game for the pre-gaming.  Just as months zoom by like weeks, IU alum, Vicki Budreau, is astonished at how her college experience feels like yesterday.  Imagine what it would have been like to walk through the Sample Gates of 1974.

It was the Bobby Knight era where basketball tickets were sold as a lottery system.  Budreau lived the 1976 NCAA championship where students were flipping over cars, throwing people into the water fountain, and parading the streets of Bloomington in celebration.

“It was the craziest thing I have ever been through, but it was fun,” said Budreau who resisted from being tossed into the fountain.

The very attractive and bright eyed IU alum with auburn hair lived with three girlfriends in what was then called, “Pigskin Apartments.”  She was on the gymnastics team, fashioned a Farah Fawcett hairdo, and studied Physical Education and Health.

Currently happily married, she laughed as I asked her to recall the IU dating scene.

Once a year, the Union featured a dating service which paired together students by their most compatible answers to a questionnaire.  She said everyone looked forward to participating.  Budreau and her girlfriend completed the, “favorite hobbies?” and, “outdoorsy preference?” questions and headed over to Foster dormitory to meet their matches.  Budreau turned around and ditched after she saw her name-tagged date flexing his muscles in the mirror while he waited.  Yikes!

She enjoyed living in the Northwest area near the stadium where weekend parties started around 8 p.m. with a cookout.  After grilling burgers and drinking beer with close friends and neighbors, she would bounce around to different house parties where everyone was welcome.

Campus was wet and the drinking age was 21.  To enter her favorite bar, The Regulator, known as, The Reg, she smudged her green Indiana license with eye shadow to instantly age two years.

Today, Budreau is still in contact with many of her friends from IU.  This includes her roommate at Reade dormitory during Freshman year.  Pressure from her 25 year old daughter has motivated her to sign up for Facebook where she “clicks” through researching old friends.

“We were living for the day,” said Budreau about the best part of college, “All we had to do was study and party.”

Whether it is 1974 or 2010, Bloomington is the ultimate environment for going to college.  The town is ours, and there is something to fulfill every person’s interest.

The same way I met Budreau as strangers sitting beside each other on an airplane is no different from IU’s friendly attitude.  For four years, we have the opportunity to learn and grow with the people around us before entering a world of expectations more serious than a bike race.  Once we are a part of a lifestyle without winter and spring breaks, we should be influenced by a great college experience.  For now, I hope that we are all trying our best and having as much fun as possible.