Be Kind…

….for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato

This quote hit me hard today as I was unwinding with an icepack on the therapy table at physical therapy. Every single person you meet is in the throes of some sort of predicament. What a concept! We’re human after all.

Remember that one person through grade school who just seemed to have it all figured out? Maybe they were super popular, or obliterated the ACTs without studying, or was a star athlete, or out-shined everyone else for the lead in the school play. And hey, maybe for you, normalcy was so beyond your battles that you longed to be normal too. Whatever your muse, we’ve all come across that person at some point that made us say to ourselves, “Ugh, why not me? Why can’t I be like that?” And the saddest part is, we start to answer our very own accusatory, self-destructive questions. “Because I’m lazy”, “because I’m just not smart enough”, “because I’m not talented enough”, “because I’m not physically fit enough” … and BAM! There’s your self-fulfilling prophesy.

Now let’s back away from the philosophy textbook for a second…. allow me to enlighten you on some tried-and-true experience. Once upon a time, I came to Oswego with a thirst for reinvention. But, because of my knack for letting others take advantage of my hospitality, I allowed my goals to become overshadowed with arguments and a depressingly slow start to making friends. I wanted to shed my high school persona and rid myself of the blame-game and create a college experience that would change me for the better.

But it was my love for all things Orientation that kept me on my heels and helped me focus on ensuring a wonderful summer for myself and others. I even made my first best friend at Oswego through Orientation (you know who you are!….. PS it’s fellow blogger Lizz Wetherby). I made sixteen close friends last summer while working with Orientation, and countless more as I gained an invaluable network of peers.

By Fall 2009, one of my co-workers turned me on to the idea of a co-ed service fraternity, and my other collegiate passion was born. Alpha Phi Omega, or APO surrounded me with another set of friends, and the bonds I’ve formed with my fellow Greeks through our community service endeavors still surprise me to this day. And now I’ve got two best friends in the same organization! My wolfpack is now three she-wolves strong.

Anyway, after my pledging semester, I quickly picked up an executive board position as Vice President of Service, second from the President (a fellow Orientation staffer and blogger, Kayle Light – who knew?!) and made 33 more friends as our HUGE pledge class kicked major service butt in the spring. With over 40 active members and a supportive alumni family, you can imagine how my friend situation has progressed over these two years.

So, back to fighting our battles. Amongst all of this lovey-dovey friend stuff, I’ve got my battles, all right. Knee surgery at the very beginning of summer really puts a damper on summer plans (no beach, no swimming, no driving to the movies, etc.) and I’ve gotta admit, it hits hard on the mental and emotional gauges too. And my family is 100% in my corner, but I can see that they’ve got their fair share of battles too. There are times when I find myself laying in bed at 3:30 am staring at the ceiling and my mind’s doing that “Why not me” thing again. But what I never realized is that those people who seem to have it all – and in my case, right now those people are in relationships and have healthy ACL ligaments – don’t quite know how to handle battles like mine. My battles are unique to me, and ya know what? … maybe that person who seems to have it all would buckle under the pressure of a reconstructive surgery and the consequences that go with it while I’ve stored up the secrets and tricks to overcoming not one, but two knee surgeries.

I don’t want anyone else’s battles but mine. But while I sat on that rehab table today, I was amazed at how very little we know about each other’s inner workings. Perhaps it’s a good thing to keep those battles under wraps, but I choose to record them here for others to learn that it’s okay to be fighting.

Rest assured, we are all fighting.

Busy start to spring 2010!

I apologize for my absence on the blogging since the end of last semester, but here’s a little update as to what’s been going on in my life:
Over winter break, I stayed in Oswego all but one week. I worked at Maurices and in the point, our student involvement office. The director of off-campus affairs and myself started to plan a spring picnic on Mother’s day at Breitbeck park here in Oswego. Our vision is to give back to the community for all their support throughout the year and celebrate the youth! There will be food available, games for the younger children, recreational activities and a ‘pamper mom’ station. We’ve collaborated with many businesses in town to have their support at the picnic. I’m really excited to get this project going, I hope this will continue on for years to come! I’ll be graduating soon and so will the student I’m working with to create this event.
Secondly, the assistant director of sustainability and myself have created a “GO GREEN TEAM” as well as coordinating a green kiosk with support from campus life, the department that runs the campus center and all the events that take place within. The Kiosk is designed as a ‘learning through involvement’ tool for students. We’ve allowed this to serve as a community service project for many students a well. I’ve had a lot of students inquire and donate their time to volunteer. We have created 16 weeks of sustainable topics that students can choose from to create their own kiosk week! The actual kiosk itself is made from recycled materials and is about 9 feet long. It’s awesome! In coordination with this, I’ve worked with students for global change, who Katherine Raymond is apart of (shes a fellow blogger, check her out!) to help us with it.
I’ve also been quite busy working with our Civic Engagement coordinator on a sustainability fair we’re hosting on Quest day. Quest day is a day when one, we don’t have any classes and two, it’s a chance for students, staff and faculty to showcase what they’ve been working on! The sustainability fair will run from 4-8pm in the ice arena. There are sooo many vendors coming and the biggest one being GM and their fuel cell car! We’re hoping to draw in a large audience for this event and I’m sure we will. There is a lot of faculty working on the event and I’m excited for it. It’s actually going to be on my 21st birthday too!
My last blog I was thinking about Italy and now…. I’M GOING TO ITALY! I can’t begin to describe how excited I am! I’ll be earning 6 credits while abroad for four weeks. I’ll arrive in Rome, the city where my professor is actually from! Then, we will travel south to Altomonte, the southern part of Italy. I have heard so many great things I’m exicted! There’s a mud spa that students have bragged about and I’m actually going to get to experience it! I’ve begun to budget my money so that I’ll have plenty of spending money! I’ve also started my passport process, which is an extremely long process I’ve discovered. Financial aid will help cover the majority of the cost and I’m looking at flights. I found one for about $970 round trip which is relatively inexpensive!
Aside from all my extra curricular activities, seems like I don’t attend class huh? Well I do I promise! I really enjoy all of my classes this semester. Which is weird, because there is usually one that I’m not a huge fan of but I can honestly say, I like them all! I’ve started dipping into my business courses for my minor and I started to second guess myself as to why I didn’t major in business, but then again I really love PR! So, I can’t complain ☺. I’ve also been searching for some graduate schools and I’ve fallen in love with West Virginia University. I love the mountaineer football for one, two I love the mountains and three they have a great corporate communication program (should probably be the number one reason for liking the school :-p)
So anyway, there’s an update on my life for now, there’s a lot more to come as it is time for the new Student Association president. I’m acting as the campaign manager for a candidate and it’s getting intense, the elections are March 10 and 11. I’ll update more about this later!

Have a wonderful day☺
P.S we still have snow, but it’s Oswego, we’ll have snow until about April. I really enjoy it though, it’s something to talk about 30 years from now and gives the city character☺