Tag Archives: PCC

PCC – Relationships like no other

I have to start this off with a big disclaimer. I have lots of friends outside PCC. When I write about the significance of relationships made at PCC, there is no intent to say that relationships outside of PCC are less than. There is simply a bond which PCCers share which I’d like to attempt to put into words.

They say it’s something you can’t explain. They say that your friends and family outside the program are unable to understand what goes on there. I have tried over and over to explain it to friends outside the program. When I got back to college in the Fall, friends would ask, “What is it?” I would typically respond,

Summer Camp

But that’s not what it is, anyone who has gone or worked there knows there is something else to it. There is a common aspect that goes unspoken during the 6 week period. The silent theme ringing in the ears of all who inhabit the campus brings hope and happiness to all who are there. It is one that we try everyday to bring to school, work, life in general. But one that people continuously fail to demonstrate in their everyday lives.

The theme that everyone at PCC acknowledges is that there is NO judgement. For 6 weeks, you can be whoever you want. And more often than not, the person who you are during those 6 weeks is the person you wish you could be forever more. But unfortunately outside of the safety net which this program provides, there is judgement and insensitivity and ridicule. But at PCC everything you see, is everything you get.

Can you imagine a world were there is no judgement? Most cannot because no such reality exists. This world is full of judgement and criticism. But at PCC we don’t allow it. We strive to not let bullying exist. We strive to not let fear exist. We strive to create the most comfortable atmosphere possible.

One of the last nights of PCC, we hold a candle pass for each floor. And there is a portion where each proctor gets a chance to say a few words to the 40-50 young adults present. I remember when the candle came to me and I stood up and looked at all the familiar faces. All the memories from 6 weeks flashing through my head. I had been thinking all week-long of what I wanted to say to those boys. About 5 minutes before we all went out for the candle pass, one of my boys ran onto the hall in tears because his girlfriend had just broken up with him. I looked at him leaning against his bunk just sobbing and thought of all the times I’d just run to my room to break down.

When I got up to speak to my boys, I began by saying one of my favorite quotes.

“Not you, me, not nobody, is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward.”

The reason I chose that quote to share with them was because I thought about how many times in life we fall down because of people’s criticisms and judgements. And how so often the hardest but really the best solution to it all, is to keep moving forward and not dwell. I told them that I’ve made poor decisions and been judged for them.

But that’s not what PCC is about. PCC is about taking those poor decisions and looking at what we did wrong. We look at what we did wrong and we learn. But more importantly,

WE GROW.

We become better people from our past selves.

To quote my favorite band (Guster),

“Stay right where you are, you’ll be half of who you were.”

If we didn’t make mistakes, we’d never learn. And if we didn’t learn, we would only weaken ourselves. But what makes learning hard is the judgement and criticism that come along with it. We exhaustively encouraged young yet growing minds to understand that judging someone gets both of you nowhere. It only holds you both back. So why not stop judging people and help them understand, help them GROW.

The things you can learn from 14/15 year olds to this day causes me to be speechless. You can learn at how insignificant things become. You can learn how to stop judging. But you can really learn that if you actually open your eyes, you might see that individuals of every age possess the capability to learn from their mistakes and move forward. Because standing still gets nobody nowhere.

For these reasons, I cherish all my PCC relationships very dearly, both with the young adults I proctored over and those who I proctored with. Because while we may not have always seen things the same way or agreed with one another, we respected each other, we never judged each other and helped one another GROW. And in my eyes, there is nothing more beautiful in a friendship.

I’m dedicating this blog post to one of my closest PCC friends. This is almost 2 months overdue and I made sure she pestered me to get it done, which she did at least once a week. She is one of the most selfless and genuine people I know and is a perfect embodiment of who a PCCer is.

The fairest Bebes of them all.

The fairest Bebes of them all.

Sarah Beberman was the floor leader of the Pink Ladies. As much as I make her life difficult, she is a wonderful friend who has taught me a lot about relationships whether she knew she did or not.

The toughest mudder of them all.

The toughest mudder of them all.

And this is her playing Mr. Frazier in the skit “If I were a Male Proctor”. She is certainly the toughest mudder I know.

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PCC – What I know now, that I didn’t know then

I feel bad that it has taken me so long to start writing these posts.  Job hunting is a full-time job in itself. But now that that has ended, I am happy to get back to the blog.

PCC is a 6 week advanced studies program for bright and gifted high school students. It is a detailed program including 2 morning classes with a master teacher and intern(s), downtime, afternoon REC and an evening core course which features a guest speaker or performance promoting some form of an educational lesson.

That is the basic outline that people are given before the program starts. But there is so much more than that. Even in training for proctors, there is little preparation for what will actually occur in the 6 weeks which come to follow.

My recent assistant program director I think put it the best, “PCC is a place where you learn to grow up. You learn how to mature and become a young adult. And while you are learning all of this, you get to be a kid. Because what is so hard to understand in today’s world is that you can grow up and still be a kid.”

I never got to go to PCC. When I was of age to go, it was too much money. As detailed and thorough as this program is, it costs quite a bit. A good amount of my friends went though. It was hard to say goodbye at the beginning of summer and then come back to school in the fall to them talking about the best summer of their lives. I listened to it for years and never got it. No one who doesn’t go to the program ever will. After my sophomore year of college, one of those close friends went back to PCC to work there. Again I said goodbye to him at the beginning and came back at the end to hear how this was this best summer of his life. I didn’t get it. And then he came up with an idea.

“Why don’t you work there with me next summer?” It was such an odd concept. Could I even do that? I didn’t go to the program, could I work there? But a few months later he forwarded me the application info and said do it. And it was the best decision I could have made.

Now I have the pleasure to say I’ve had two wonderful summers with PCC. I’ve cried more than I ever thought I would, I’ve met some of the most wonderful people I ever could have imagined and I have learned some of the most important lessons of my life.

Things I know now that I didn’t know then.

I have done lots of different kinds of work. I have worked in the food industry. I have done international service work. I have been a designer, a writer and a speaker. No work is as rewarding as working with young teens. I pinpoint on that age group for a reason. When I look back at my life at that age and look at the kids I have worked with in the past two years, I have seen how imperative that age is as a growing stage. I consider myself blessed to witness the transformation of so many young gentlemen and ladies. Working with teens is so rewarding because while you will teach them so much and give them all your time and energy, they will teach you more than you could ever imagine. Whether it’s how to make a friendship bracelet, how to do a card trick or how thankful you should be for the blessings in your life.

If you don’t cry, that is a problem. Not really. But after 6 weeks, possibly 12 if you have the chance to see a student go through the whole program, it is amazing how much you invest in them. What is so hard is that when you say goodbye, for some it is goodbye forever. There is no security or guarantee that your relationship with them will continue and that is hard. These kids teach you so much about yourself, and you teach them all about growing up and act as a role model. So as the program winds down and the realization that your relationships with these students has an expiration date, it becomes a very emotional process.

A good teacher has no shame. I once had an English teacher who was trying to help my class analyze a poem. There was a word representing a sound and none of us knew what it meant so she stood in front of the class and made the sound. It was a horrifying growl that startled all of us. When she was done we all stared and she looked disappointed. She then told us that a good teacher has no shame. They will do whatever it takes to teach. Working at this program, you must have absolutely NO shame. Part of growing up at this age is learning to be comfortable with yourself. They can’t learn that if they don’t see a staff who is comfortable with themselves. And you have to be really comfortable with yourself. Nobody told me of the things I would do while working at this program in front of 500 teenagers.

Nobody told me that I would pretend to be sexy sax man

Sexy Sax Man pumping up the crowd

Nobody told me that I would wear spandex

80’s All Male Dance Troop

Nobody told me a guy would kiss me in a kiddie pool

Mr. Estrella and me getting it on

Nobody told me I would do any of those things. Some of my friends outside the program ask how I am so comfortable with my life and I don’t get awkward or anything. I worked at this camp for two years and these are only 3 instances. But if you could see the look on kid’s laughing faces when you make a fool of yourself. If you could hear them crack up and scream at your ridiculousness. If you could hear them say things like “If someone could do that, I could do anything.” If you could witness their growth because you were just being silly and having a bit of fun, you would have NO shame too.

There are so many stories to be told and I’m sure explanations will be wanted for the above photos, and I continue to share. What you have to understand at the beginning is that this is no ordinary summer camp. There is no job like it and no experience that can be related to it. It is something completely different. Keep reading to try to get a glimpse.

GROW.

I am dedicating this post to Ms. Nguyen for her birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAMMY

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the PCC stories

PCC is something that no matter how many blog posts I write I can never truly put into words. Some people call it summer camp, some call it summer school. It has many variations of what it actually is. When people ask what I do all summer long, I usually just say I teach / work at a summer program for high school students. It seems to be the easiest way to explain it. Because if I were to actually try to sit down and put into words or relay my experiences, I couldn’t do it justice.

But here, I can try.

What is nice about having a blog is that I have infinite space to tell my tales. Not totally true since WordPress does have a limit eventually. But I have quite a ways to go. But I tend to dabble in eloquent writing and I am hoping that I can somewhat relate to whomever is curious to read these stories, what I actually lived through for two summers.

This post is a buffer. No real adventure accounts quite yet. These are very detailed stories of individuals, moments and memories from the past summer. For the record, I won’t be using names because I was dealing with students. I usually don’t use names for courteous anonymity. But this is a bit different. For my safety and the safety of other’s identities, its more of a precautionary measure. As I get into the  stories and they become more personal then you may see why it is I am explaining this. I may occasionally use fake names if I am highlighting one individual, which I intend to do.

Back at the end of April, a close friend convinced me to come back to PCC. I told her I wanted to write about it and she was curious what my take on it would be. Being someone who never attended the program as a student, it changes the perception of everything you experience over 6 weeks.

So as I begin this journey of storytelling, I hope you enjoy what is to come. There are lots of moments to share. My next 10 blog posts won’t all be PCC either. I intend to mix ’em up.

GROW

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Tough Mudder Part 1 – A year to get there

I have been wanting to write this blog post for just over a month now. I could have tried to write it during my time working at Stonehill, but I didn’t want to half ass it. I apologize now to my PCC friends who heard nothing but students screaming “TOUGH MUDDER” for the last 4 weeks of the program. I taught a workshop about the philosophy and training for the event and it lead to kids screaming it obnoxiously all summer. Regardless, it was a very significant event in my life that I won’t forget anytime soon and absolutely something worth writing about. From hearing about it a year ago to crossing the finish line, this was a process and challenge that really put me and my friends to the test. This is a long story, definitely worth telling, and I think worth hearing.

Part 1 – Discovering and Deciding

Last summer, a year ago, I received a message via Facebook chat from a close friend. It was a link with a comment that said, “Check this thing out. This is absolutely nuts.” I clicked the link which brought me to the Tough Mudder page on YouTube and watched the trailer for one of the events. I watched the muddy display of pain and struggle before me and was hooked. She was right, this looked insane. But I wanted in. My friends know I am not one to turn down a challenge any time soon. I picked up my phone and quickly called my oldest friend David Muir. I told him I was sending him  a link for a video to this event I just learned about and that we were going to do it. If anyone was crazy enough to join me in this insane venture, it was him. After about two minutes of hearing the faint sounds of the intense video through the phone, Dave laughed and just said, “YES”. At the time we were both working at Stonehill. We slowly started to spread the word around that we discovered this race and we were going to do it next summer. We found ourselves obsessed with training videos and occasionally did little spurts of training for it.

One day in particular we were at the beach swimming and drinking with friends and he looked at me and said, “Let’s run to the end of the beach, it’ll be good TM training.” I agreed. A belly full of beer, a three mile run, on a beach…not a good combination, nor a good start to the “training” we engaged in.

The summer ended and we both went back to school but both promised not to forget the race. As the Fall semester began, I spent a decent amount of time in the gym, but never focused on any specific race training. Winter break came before I knew it and we were out at a bar and after a catching up and reflecting on the fact that we were about to have our last semester, we talked about the summer. TM was brought up and we both quickly agreed that it was still definitely going to happen. We agreed that when we went back for spring semester, we would train hard so that by the time summer came, we would be in great shape to run the race. While in Ecuador, I became friends with two girls who ran track at Assumption. They gave me great advice for training to run. I got back to Assumption and ran for about three weeks. But as the semester went on, like every other semester, it became harder and time spent at the gym was limited.

A few days after graduation I called Dave. His was a week after mine so he was still engaging in senior week activities. I asked if he was serious about running the race. It was late at night and he was a bit drunk, but screamed yes into the phone. I could hear him screaming in the night air of his actual location that we were going to be “Tough Mudders soon enough”. About a week after his graduation, I called him and said we needed to register. It finally came time to decide. Were we going to do this? Commit to this insane event? After some back and forth, I got a phone call from a good friend from high school who we remained close to over the years named Greg Grillone. Dave called him and chatted and he was calling me to ask if he could run it with us. The three of us thought about it, talked it out and made our decision. We registered and we were officially, TEAM RAGE FACE. If you are an imgurian or redditor you will understand the reference. If not, it’s a comic strip. Time to train.

Part 2 – Training

I’ve been an avid gym goer for about four years now. But never have I trained as hard as I did. I did a lot of thorough research about the event. I read blogs, watched videos, analyzed obstacles. I probably over obsessed in preparing for the race a lot, but I wanted to be prepared. I was not in any way going to show up on event day and leave without finishing this thing. For the first two months of summer, I spent every day in the gym for about 3 or 4 hours. If I wasn’t lifting in the gym, I was running.

On top of the research that went into training for the race, I changed my diet to support myself for heavy lifts and long runs. I didn’t lose much weight in this time period, but I gained a lot of muscle.

SIDENOTE – When I get into talking about obstacles, I had little trouble with them because I had an immense amount of body strength to get through them, however I wish I ran more in the training period. 

The tough mudder training site recommends being able to a minimum of the following before running in the event.

  • Run 5 miles
  • 30 Push Ups
  • 6 Pull Ups

That was it? After running this thing I can say, I’m glad I trained harder than that. But by the time I had to slow down my training I could run 5 miles and was plenty satisfied with it. After I finished a four week intensive weight training regime, I switched over to the tough mudder endurance training workout. This was a 50 minute workout that had me crawling out of the gym the first week of doing it. It was an interval based workout that rotated between hard cardio and hard strength training for 50 straight minutes.

IT. HURT.

But after a week, I could finally do it pretty decently. It still had me keeling over by the end, but I was definitely feeling prepared for the race.

Part 3 – Keeping fit at Stonehill

I was well aware that my job was going to be an interesting obstacle before the event even started. I had been training hard for two months and I was starting a 24/7 on call job two weeks before I would run this race. Would I still be able to train during the program? Would I go without any kind of training and just have to show up the day of and hope I was still at my peak condition?

My two weeks were interesting. Some students remembered from the year before that I would be running in it and were quickly interested in hearing updates. At PCC, it is pretty hard to keep something quiet if a student knows about it, so naturally within the first week, I had a lot of students asking about it. I tried to organize my days to force me into hard activity to keep my body conditioned. I kept in as much tough with Dave during the first two weeks and confided that I was nervous about the lack of training to which he responded, “a day at PCC is harder training that anything you could do in a gym.” Sad thing is, he was kind of right. But I kept positive and did well keeping active. Any spare time I had during the day I would work out in my room trying to just keep up.

In all my time of ruthless training, I was very cautious to not get hurt. I started the summer off boxing a lot and despite it only being against a heavy bag, I slowly strayed away from it to not get hurt. I was very aware of pains and aches and treated them thoroughly. But then the worst happened. My race was Sunday morning. It was the Wednesday before. The REC directors asked me the night before if I would be interested in hosting the proctor/student kickball game that afternoon. I agreed and showed up to a very popular event. We played for about an hour and a half and had a lot of fun. After our “at bat” we ran to the outfield and I hopped on first base. A few students went and then one walked up to the plate. The balled was released and  he gave it a light bunt right back to the pitcher. Keeping my foot on the base, I reached out to her and shouted for her to throw me the ball. With my eye on the prize, it happened, the most searing pain. In an instant, I fell to the ground. I didn’t see what happened. My boss explained it to me later.

The student was running to first base and saw that I was about to catch the ball and decided his best option was to throw his body at the base. In doing so he slid / fell / THREW HIS FREAKING BODY on my foot.

I quickly climbed to standing position to make sure I could, but it hurt. The pain just wouldn’t give up and I felt the blood drain from my face as the pressure built up. My boss who was playing with us ran over to me and asked if I needed the nurse. I nodded and hobbled to her golf cart. I put my name tag in my mouth and bit down until we were out of earshot from any students and just started screaming in pain. She said the second I fell she knew it had to have been painful. I went to the nurse and after taking my shoe off, blood was just draining from my toe and my nail was welling up. The nurse just shrugged and said, you are going to lose the nail, just a matter of time. I quickly snapped back that I was running a 10-mile military obstacle course in 4 days and “a matter of time” wasn’t going to be good enough. After some back and forth, I went to the ER where I had a hole drilled in my toe to drain the blood so I could run without pressure.

I called Dave to tell him the story and he asked if I could run still, I said I didn’t care if I had to walk, I was finishing this race.

I returned a bit disheartened. All this time training and it seemed like it might all go to waste because of this accident. But I still tried to stay positive. Two days later the kids were packing up to leave class when my fellow intern screamed out loud that there was one more thing to do before the weekend. I had no idea what she was talking about and out of her bag she pulled a big card signed by all my students.

A card from my fellow intern and wonderful students.

Thank you Ms. Grab and company!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It definitely cheered me up after a disheartening week. I felt good and ready. That night I went to a bonfire at a friend’s house. Dave was there and as we left to go home and get a good night sleep before this crazy adventure, our friends hugged us, wished us luck and begged us to not die and come home safe. We said goodnight. The next day, the adventure would begin.

Part 4 – Getting to Tough Mudder

I awoke the next morning around 10 am. Filled with nerves, I double checked I had all my gear.

  • Waterproof under armor shirt
  • Light weight shorts
  • Running shoes
  • Gloves
  • Energy drink
  • Protein bar

Check, check, check, I was good. I printed off my team’s death waivers and confirmation papers, kissed my mom and sister goodbye and drove off. I pulled into Dave’s driveway around 11 am. I walked in and he looked off. He was flustered trying to get his gear together. I stood in his kitchen with his girlfriend Krystal who would be joining us and asked if he was alright and she said he seemed a bit nervous. Could I blame him? I had his freaking DEATH WAIVER in my car. We packed up his big van and headed out. We stopped for coffee and he admitted to the two of us that he felt like puking and just wanted to get there. We then stopped at Best Buy.

The reason we were at Best Buy was so Dave could buy his camera. This is a story that goes on through the rest of the post, but I’ll say now, it doesn’t end well. The camera was a Go PRO, a head-cam which videos what you see. With insurance, this thing cost $350. It was a really cool gadget. Lightweight and it shot HD video. 

We got back on the road and it was pretty smooth seas. We listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on audio tape on the way up. Everything was chill and fun until about half way up.

About a month previous to this, I asked if he was interested in getting a motel across from the mountain. It was going to cost extra money but was a ten minute drive from the base of the mountain where the race would start. When Greg had decided to join our team, the motel idea was dismissed because Greg lives in Vermont. I asked how far he lived from Mt. Snow and they assured only about 45 minutes. While I didn’t want to wake up too early on race day, this seemed reasonable.

As we continued driving, I said I was going to map out the next day’s drive to see what we were looking at for directions. I plugged in Greg’s address and Mt. Snow’s…

“No, that can’t be right…Dave, it says Greg’s apartment is 4 and a half hours from the mountain…I must have entered something wrong, let me try again…um, still 4 hours.”

Dave and I in a quick panic decided to call Greg.

“GREG, hi, we pulled up directions to the MT. from your house and it says 4 hours…that’s wrong? Can you check it?”

I listened to Greg’s increasingly heavy breathing as I heard him typing into his own map quest the two addresses and after a few moments just heard, “FUCK!” He quickly started apologizing. He was convinced it was under an hour. I hung up and looked at Dave. We were both letting it sync in that we would be waking up at 4 am to make it to the race on time. Absolutely. GROSS. After a few hours, we arrived to Greg’s apartment right outside Burlington, VT. He showed us around and we walked around the city for a little while. We then feasted on a big pasta dinner, as is customary the night before any big race. I had gotten a hair cut a few weeks before the race and decided to get a mohawk in good fun for the race. I brought my clippers and sure enough, Dave and Greg wanted hawks too. So I cut their hair and we passed out around 10pm. Before we knew it, the alarms were going off and it was time to leave. 

Hawks at 4am. From left to right, Dave, me and Greg in the apartment before leaving for Mt. Snow

We ate some light breakfast, loaded our bags, piled into the cars and we were off. There really is NOBODY on the road at 4am. We flew down to southern Vermont  and after some dirt roads and questionably sketchy towns, we arrived at Mt. Snow.

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I’ll Be There For You

I love the show friends. One of the best parts of every episode is just the theme song playing. Every American knows it and every one of us claps four times after the first line. But the one that is so strong in the catchy tune is, “maybe it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year, but I’ll be there for you.”

When I started writing this blog I did not want to share it with my friends until I had a few posts so that it was something substantial. I worked on it for a bit and didn’t realize that I had set it up so that when I published a new post it would be sent to Twitter. So when I wrote the post entitled, My Bed, it was sent to Twitter. Having my closest friends follow me on Twitter, they all received it pretty quickly. A few hours after it was published, I got a few questioning texts from the friends I had mentioned. They all seemed pretty wary. Usually I would get, “hey loser, meet us at the bar”…they mean it in the nicest way possible. But these messages were a lot nicer. It was my first curiosity as to the fact that something was off. They were just kind of proposing that I join them. I had other plans so I was unable to see them. But the next day I got another message from one of those friends asking if she could call me. I again was busy so I asked if tomorrow would be doable and she said it was quite alright.

This afternoon she called as expected. She told me that she was unaware that I had a blog, but it popped up on her twitter two days earlier. She has read the post mentioning our escapades in Boston and by the end, she felt bad. She told me that the group I was with had discovered the blog and all felt bad. Her and I had a long conversation and by the end I explained that I wasn’t mad at all. Had I been able to plan for the night in Boston I probably would have been getting my drink on right next to them. And had one of them tried to leave, I probably would have been as drunkenly obnoxious to get them to stay. And she said it to me right there, “we weren’t trying to be annoying, we just wanted you to stay”. Because that is what a good friend does. They do what they can to keep you around.

I believe a lot in good friendships. I think a lot of people do. I think we invest a lot in our relationships with one another and they help make us who we are in the long run. But I also don’t like to half ass a relationship. If I am going to be friends with someone, I want the long haul. I want commitment. I want to know that if I am going to be at my lowest point, I don’t want friends that are going to say what it takes to get me out of my hole. I want friends who are going to sit down next to me and either figuratively or literally put their arm around me to let me know that the support is there, and when I am ready, they’ll be there to stand up next to me as I face my problems. While I have such large expectations for my friends, I would be there for them in a heartbeat the same way I would want them there for me. I would them to do whatever they could to make sure they kept me around as I would do what it took to keep them around.

Keeping friends is hard work. It is very easy to lose them. Saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong can end a friendship or put a large dent in one very quickly. A few nights ago a friend called me very upset because of something she had overheard someone, a friend, say about her. She grew very upset and quickly jumped to question her friendship with this individual. I was talking to her about the situation and it came up that this individual had made a comment about me as well. She asked if it upset me and I told her no. She asked why not? I was honest.

See this summer I worked as an intern, proctor, resident assistant to a program called Project Contemporary Competitiveness, better known as PCC. I worked with about 500 teens at an advanced studies program as a leader, teacher, adviser and a friend. And something that I noticed as I grew closer to different students and developed more meaningful relationships with them, was that their problems were ones that I was experiencing among my own friends. I had been laughing at their problems and joking with fellow proctors at how young and juvenile their problems were. But it wasn’t until one day it hit me that their problems were the ones I deal with in my own relationships. In my head, I began to debrief about what this meant. Was it that certain problems don’t go away? Are there problems that we as individuals have to accept will haunt us from adolescence to adulthood? I say no.

When my friend asked me if I was upset because she was enlightened that an individual had been talking about me behind my back and I said no, it was because of what I decided to take away from my summer time epiphany. I did not decide to think that there are problems that we will face all through our lives. I refuse to believe that. My thought process took a different direction. It was quite the slap in the face realization that my problems among my friends are very insignificant. Why should we bicker and argue over stupid comments or actions that are made? I explained to my friend that evening that in 5 months, I am graduating from my under graduate career. I am probably going to remain in contact with a small handful of people out of the 3000 that attend my school, why should I care what someone says? Concerning myself with the comments of others is childish. I had to yell at 14 year old kids this summer to stop talking about each other because it was rude and inappropriate. I made the decision then to practice what I preach. Why should we as adults not talk and comment about other’s actions? It is childish. It is juvenile. It is immature. If you feel the need to do it, you have not grown up.

I’ve said it before, we all have different perceptions of life, each other and many other things. In my eyes, those are personal perceptions. Why should we let people’s perceptions of us mold us? Shouldn’t our own perception’s mold who we are and who we will become? If a person makes an observation and decides to comment on it, why should we let it bother us that much? Why do we let it direct our actions? I know the friends I intend to keep in touch with after college. I care about their opinions and what they have to say. But otherwise, I am probably never going to see a lot of these people again. Why should they get to play a major role in our life?

When it comes to good friends, there should be no reason to talk about them behind their back or comment on them. That is why I felt so bad when it seemed like I was bashing my friends via blog. Because when it comes to good friends, you keep them around. You do what it takes to help them out. You do not risk losing a friend by participating in a conversation which stems from petty things like boredom or flat out immaturity. Love your friends. Be ready to get down in the dirt to pick them up. Be ready to hold them when they are down. Forgive them for their wrongs. Support them when they are pursuing their rights. But if they are truly good friends, don’t let them go. Don’t risk it with judgement and gossip. Hold onto them. Even if it means drunkenly prolonging a hug in downtown Boston just to keep them around a little bit longer.

Goodnight,

Nicholas James

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