Monday, September 28, 2009

The College Days(Part 2)

I was going to talk about my junior and senior years in college, but realized that would just be an extremely edited version of events anyway. That is the problem with trying to market this blog to a wide audience, I can't say everything I want to say. Anyway, I feel like I experienced everything there was to experience in my time at Umass. I met some of the best people around, and was able to really see how the real world lived for the first time. I encourage anyone who can afford it to live in another state for a few years, it really gives you a new perspective on life.

Like I said before, I always heard that college is the best 4 years of your life, and in a lot of ways it was. At the same time, I don't necessarily think it is the best, but rather the most unique. There are so many people you meet, and so many different experiences you have that you will probably never have again. It is the only time in life that you can have a 1 hour work day. Free time in college is immense. I wish I had started my blog then, I'd have so much more time to work on it.

What do I miss about college? I miss the freedom of not having to worry about what the hell I'm doing with my life. Sure, I worried about getting a job my senior year, but for most of the time I was in a 4 year safety net from the real world. I miss the house parties at college, and the $2 beers at the bars. Now, there is no such thing as a house party for the most part. You may pregame, but you always end up going out and paying $5 for a Bud Light. I miss going out with the Boys to cheap bars and all the stories that would come out of those nights. I miss the Patriots games at my apartment with Jim, the late night runs to Antonio's pizza, the legend of Wild Bill.

Most of the people that read this have already graduated from college. For those that haven't, make sure to live it up every chance you can and appreciate the moment. I remember driving to graduation listening to the song Learning To Fly by Tom Petty with two my best friends Jim and Steve. I realized at that moment that this was the end of an era. It was bittersweet but also exciting at the same time.

Thanks for reading everyone. Have a great week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The College Days(Part 1)

With the beginning of fall I feel like it's an appropriate time to reflect on the college years. College was a great time, but during that last semester I was ready to move on. It's interesting to me how people miss it so much, almost not being able to accept it's over. The fact is it is like anything else in life, it has an ending.

Fun doesn't end after college, in fact in some ways it's more fun cause you have money. I don't buy the notion that you have to suddenly wake up and be responsible and stop drinking after college. You should take steps in cutting down, but you can't expect to wake up the day after graduation a new person. Life doesn't have to change unless you want it to. That is until you are married with kids, then that life is over for good.

It is true though that there is no other time in your life like college. I remember always hearing that it will never be the same, and now I realize that is true. It's not that it is bad, it's just different. You meet a ton of new people, hang out with them for four years. You keep in touch with some, but many you never see again. Kind of sad when you think about it.

College is a time like no other. It's the last time everyone is on the same playing field. It's a four year safety net from the real world. We're supposed to go to college for an education, but let's be honest, it's all about how we grow as a person. I remember when my parents left that late August day. I looked at the massive campus in front of me scared as hell, but excited too. Starting over is always tough, but especially when you are in a different state and don't know anyone. I think the moment your parents leave the dorm your adult life begins.

Each year of college took on a different theme for me. Freshman year was all about adjustment. Adjusting to living with a roommate, adjusting to doing my own laundry, basically adjusting to having the freedom to do as little or as much as I wanted. Sophomore year was the party year. Junior year saw my first serious relationship, senior year the year of the wing man.

Let's start at the beginning. Freshman year was awkward for me. I knew no one and had to adjust to living with a person in a small little dorm room. Thankfully my roommate was a really chill kid and also happened to have a girlfriend who lived a few floors down, so essentially I had my own room for most of the year. I'm a loner at heart, what can I say. That first year I took classes on insects and natural disasters. I met a 23 year old hippie named Nat, who to this day is one of the chillest guys I've ever met. He'd cook up food for me and a couple girls from upstairs and we'd watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force every night during that spring semester. I played ball at Boyden gym in the winter, and at the Southwest courts in the couple months it was nice out. I witnessed campus riots after Red Sox games where the true meaning of being an angry Boston Sports fan was put on display. I went to my share of frat parties which were in retrospect, a lot like the Guards in Georgetown; hot, crowded, and dirty. The only difference was the beer was cheaper. I also probably told the story of why I chose to come to Umass about a 1,000 times. For those of you who don't know, I wanted to get out of Virginia and I figured Amherst was a lot like Cape Cod. All Massachusetts people are laughing right now.

Sophomore year was probably my most "college year." Let's just say my floor liked to do their share of partying. The good thing is, for the most part we all got along and no one got seriously injured. I lucked out again with another great roommate in Taylor Buckoski. He was 6'8 so everyone would always ask him if he played basketball. I'm not the tallest guy anyway, but looked like a smurf next to him. I also met one of the most unforgettable people I've ever met that year in Erik Draugsveld, or "Draugs" as we called him. To this day he is probably the most unique person I've ever met, a true Viking at heart. He would go on these philosophical rants that may have been far fetched, but were interesting all the same. Meeting someone like Draugs is the reason I went to Umass. There is no way I would have met a guy like that in Northern Virginia. At the end of that year I would meet my first serious girlfriend(Shannon), my best friend for life(Jim), and the person that is most like me(Steve). Steve Perry, I would never have though I'd meet someone that loves 2pac,Phil Collins and basketball as much as me. A lot of people say they like 2pac and Phil but it only takes a few minutes to know they aren't true fans.

Sophomore year was a year I'll never forget. The Red Sox and Patriots won titles that year, and I was on campus to see the deciding game 7 win against the Yankees to cap off the greatest comeback in playoff history. I even delivered pizza for a month missing the entire Super Bowl, on my first day at work. In retrospect I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I will forever hold a soft spot for all delivery drivers. My car smelled of pizza for at least a year after that. Sophomore year was the year I broke out, the year that changed my life forever.

Well that is part 1. I've probably left out a ton but I'm sure I'll be back to this topic in the future. Look out for Part 2 later in the week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Last night I went to my friend Brian Crane's wedding at a beautiful wine vineyard in Leesburg. It was a surreal experience and an amazing time. If you've read some of my past blogs you probably can tell I have skepticism about marriage and commitment in general. But as I watched the emotion of both the bride and groom I realized how powerful marriage is. Think about it, you are committing yourself for eternity to another person. That is some really deep stuff and not to be taken lightly.

Wedding are such happy events. In fact, besides Obama's inauguration, I've never been to a place where there is such universal happiness everywhere. Weddings are crazy in that you have total strangers with all different political,religious, and cultural backgrounds coming together to celebrate. In any other setting these people would probably never hang out but for at least that night they are all dancing up a storm. Hell, even I dance at weddings and for those unfortunate souls that have seen my dance moves, you know that isn't a pretty sight. Everyone is drinking beer, dancing to sappy love songs, just generally catching that wedding fever. Special shout out to Pat Dean who made a great speech about Brian. That guy has a career in stand up ahead of him.

I've got awhile to go before I walk down the aisle but I sure hope at some point in my life I will be able to be that sure of something. You could tell that both of them were completely in love and that is something that all of us should be lucky enough to feel at some point in our lives. Happy Labor Day everyone. Blog about college is next.