Thursday, September 30, 2010

One of my new favorite things

See these bad boys right here?

Yeah. These guys are attached to my feet more often than shoes are. I call them my sheilas. Not out loud or anything. Just in my head. But yeah. I ride them to class, in between classes, after class...I love it. I usually go out and cruise campus with them late at night several times a week. Sure, I probably look like a tool using them, but still. It's wicked fun. And it's super efficient too. One of the beautiful things about USU campus is that it's all very close to everything. A person can walk from one end of campus to the other in about 10 minutes. So, if I strap these guys on, I can get across campus in two minutes. This comes in handy when I leave my dorm at 8:28 for my 8:30 class. And yes. I still get there on time.

One problem comes from using these bad boys all the time though. Generally, there are other people on the sidewalks too. There isn't anything quite like the adrenaline rush you get weaving in and out of the 8:30 sidewalk traffic while on blades. That fact has made things hazardous on occasion. One morning for instance, I was booking it to class because I was late. I was going at least 50-60 mph. I was weaving in and out or people with my mad skills as usual. But then I came to a big crowd of people. There was a gap on the left side though, so I decided to go for it. As I did, a biker all of a sudden came out of nowhere heading straight for me. I veered left into a lawn, which I discovered was wet. My feet came straight out from under me and I landed flat on my back. Right in front of all the people. I bruised my coccyx and my arm got nice and scraped up. It was awesome! It's been the only spill so far, but it still hasn't stopped me from tearin' up the streets.

If you've never tried blading before, you should consider it. It's quite awesome.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Open Your Mind and Let Go

Ya know, I've been learning a lot up here at college. I've been learning about biology, government, music, myself, and a whole other bunch of good stuff. After all, you're supposed to be learning at college, right? But lately, I've been learning a principle that hasn't been taught in the classroom, and I think it's the most valuable thing I've learned thus far:

Open Your Mind.

Up to this point in my life, I haven't really had the need to look at the big picture. All I needed to do was worry about maintaining my GPA, planning the next school event, having a healthy romantic life and keeping track of the relationships of others, increasing my religious faiths without really exploring nor caring about the beliefs of others, etc. As long as I had my dominion over my high school life, there wasn't a need to look at what was going on outside of Snow Canyon High School. Life was mine to control.

But now, everything has changed. Suddenly, everything isn't in a straight line in front of me. I came up here thinking I could go through college with the same frame of mind I had in high school. Boy was I wrong. To quote my mentor Vernon Parent "Going to college is like going from being a big fish in a small pond to a little fish in a vast ocean." (I did inflate that language a little bit, but I figure Vernon still deserves the credit =P) I've definitely had to adjust to that change in many ways. One big one is learning to accept diversity. I talked a little bit about that diversity in my last post. There was very little of that degree of diversity back in high school, and coming up here was a big shock. I just learned about stereotyping and prejudice in my social psychology class, and I won't lie, I fell victim to implicit prejudice when I first arrived. It was easy to see people who I had never encountered as an "out group." This is something I've had to learn to embrace with an open mind. These people are just the same as me. They may have different skin and speak a different language and worship another God, but innately, we are the same. That was a big opening of my little bubble.

Another opening I've had to make in my mind is to religion. I just submitted my mission papers today (woot woot!!). I've been preparing fervently for the next two years of my life. But, having my beliefs back home were easy. 90% of the people I knew shared my beliefs. Here, probably only 50% of my new friends do.Yeah, I know, its not that big of a difference, but I've never had the opportunity to strike up a conversation about religion with a complete stranger of another faith. And I've been doing it without the need to impose my beliefs on them, but just so I can learn what they believe. I've even experienced quite a bit of prejudice for believing what I do. I still stand very strongly in what I believe, but opening my mind so I don't view those who don't share my beliefs as "different" has been one of the coolest learning experiences I've had so far.

The hardest way I've had to open my mind is with the second principle I've learned up here:

Let Go.

Anybody who truly knows me knows that I get attached to people or beliefs easily. Because of that, high school was basically my entire life when I graduated, and coming up here and leaving it behind was like cutting off a limb. Coming up here meant saying goodbye to my family, my accomplishments, my past life, my friends....I know that sounds selfish, but I felt like I left a lot of myself behind when I arrived at USU. I knew the best way for me to embrace college was to put the past behind me and open my mind to the future. That has been my greatest trial thus far. I can't explain how much I miss my family back home. I struggle to keep myself sane when reflecting back to special memories with special people. Above all else, I miss so many of my friends that are now across the state and will soon be sent across the world. I grew attached to all these things the past 18 years of my life. Yet, what I've learned is this: I must open my mind. I miss high school with a passion, but I can't let that attachment distract me from my new college life. Letting go of those emotional ties is something I don't do easily. But I'm learning how to open my mind to the future and the world around me now, and I'm learning how to let go of the past to the degree that it is still special, but not keeping me from my potential.

ANYWAYS! Sorry to go on a deep rant like that. BUT! To put it all into English: Friends, I miss you. A lot. But I'm learning so much up here and growing in ways I never thought I would. My mind is being opened to new things on a daily basis, and I feel myself becoming the person I was born to be. So...Be Strong, Stay True, and remember: Jump On It.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What the College...

So, I'm a college kid now. I know. Weird. I used to be so intimidated by kids in college. When you met them, they seemed like they were on drugs and wanted to beat you up. Not much has changed in that department. BUT! Now, I'm a peer amongst all of them. Its crazy to actually be here though. You think about it all your life and then you get here and it's like "this is it??" It hasn't been what I was expecting at all, not gonna lie. Here's a few ways I've been surprised by college thus far.

1) You have to do school work! I mean, what the heck! Everybody who goes to college comes home talking about the parties and the friends and the crazy good times. I think they just repress the fact they have hours upon hours of homework and reading assignments to go along with those parties.

2) People aren't going crazy about marriage like everybody is always talking about! In high school, that's all people talked about. Marriage = college. Yeah, I'm pretty sure 99% of the population up here could care less about marriage right now. They're too busy having fun and doing school work right now. Of course, I've only been here for 3 weeks so people really haven't had much time to 'get it on' yet, but all I know is that I've met two married people in all my classes with upper class men. Everybody else is single and don't intend to change anytime soon.

3) The diversity up here BLOWS MY MIND!! I knew USU had a large population of international students before I got here, but dang. I see women in Muslim hijabs every day. I hear African, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japenese, and a whole other load of languages in conversation as I walk down the street. I've seen full body tattoos and bodies covered in piercings. It's been quite a huge change compared to little sheltered STG! Probably the biggest change is the religious diversity though. Not a single one of my 5 roommates are LDS. In fact, it seems its hard to find others of the same faith as me. There's plenty of pros and cons of that of course. But that can be another discussion for another day.

4) Finally, the lifestyle is so much different compared to high school. Back in SCHS, I could easily name more than half the kids I passed in the halls. Here, I don't see the same people more than a few times a week. Living by my judgment has been very different. I eat when I'm hungry. I sleep when I'm tired. I go rollerblading when I'm bored. I watch balloonshop when I want to procrastinate. Ok sure, I did most of that stuff back home. But, it never happened on my schedule. There isn't a lunch bell saying when I can eat food. I don't have my parents making sure I go to bed. It's just me. Again, there's plenty of pros and cons to it, but I know having this much freedom has definitely changed who I am.

That's just a taste of the few things that have taken me by surprise up here. There's still so much more I could say about it all too. But all I know is that I'm doing my very best to adapt and embrace the new lifestyle I have now. I mean, why not? It's not like this is going to be how I'm gonna live for the rest of my life....oh wait...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welp...I did it!

Hello Friends!

So. For quite some time, I've been hearing many of my friends rant and rave about their blogs/the blogs of their friends/the blogs of their moms/the blogs of their dogs. I felt quite out of the loop! On top of that, it seemed that people would constantly tell me I needed to start one of these shin-digs. So, I gave in. And the results are in front of you right now. Sorry if its weird that I have one or whatnot. I just figure that there might be a few people back home who might wonder how close I'm coming to killing myself or what kind of trouble I'm in. I figure this would be a fairly good way to do it! I'm also doing this because I fail epically at writing things down as they happen in my life. This could be a good way to keep track of those kinds of events. Finally, I'm going to be going on my mission here in the next few months. A blog could be a good method for people who care to keep track of my whereabouts and whatnot. So. There ya go. I'm now one of those 'people' who have a blog. 

Let's see how it goes!