Categories
lifestyle

The Most Life-Altering Text Message I Have Ever Received.

Sometime in the summer of 2011

“Hey, this may be a weird question and I don’t mean to offend you, but are you bi or gay? I’m kinda getting that vibe” This was probably followed by some emoji to relieve some of the tension.

“Hahaha no I’m not.” I didn’t think so.

People made “gay” jokes towards me while growing up, but I never took offense to it because I genuinely didn’t believe I was gay. I also went to a Catholic elementary school, so I guess the jokes were really only jokes in my head. Flash forward to the summer I was going into 10th grade – the first time I began seriously questioning my sexuality.

Were people right all along and I never really noticed?

I had girlfriends in middle school. I know that doesn’t really count, but it still says something. At this point, I’ve realized that attraction and sexual orientation are two seperate things.

October 31, 2011

I celebrated Halloween night the way any 10th grader would. I went to a local elementary school with some of my friends then walked around the town and did 10th-grade stuff.

“Hey, Tom. Where are you? Want to meet at the middle school playground?”

“Hey! I’m walking back to my friend’s house now. Once we get there, I can probably sneak away.”

This was the first night I had ever made out with a guy.

Making out with boys is the same as making out with girls. I don’t think after this night I knew I was gay, but it furthered my understanding of the difference between attraction and sexual orientation. It didn’t feel wrong. I didn’t feel uncomfortable. For me, this night verified that I’m attracted to both boys and girls, but I was still figuring out the whole sexual orientation thing.

November 2, 2011

“Tom, want to come over and watch some TV?”

“Sure! I’ll be over soon.”

I don’t remember what we watched, but I remember we made out again.

I wasn’t very sexually active at this point in my life, so I had a boundary that I wasn’t going to go any further than making out until things were exclusive. Remember… I was in 10th grade. But after this night, I began to catch “the feels” for this guy and it was way different than with any girl I’ve been with beforehand. I never felt the need to be sexually active with a girl, but now, I was starting to feel like I wanted to be. It was weird af for me. I finally began understanding what sexual orientation is.

I had been told being gay was wrong while growing up. Well, maybe not that it was wrong, but I always got the hint from teachers, family members, and my parents. I grew up in the age where “You’re so gay!” was yelled at someone who wasn’t doing what was desired. And I can’t forget to mention how my mom would mutter snarky comments under her breath if we ever saw someone who was “feminine” walking around in the stores she dragged me into. C’mon mom, we’re in Khol’s. What do you expect?

I never really thought about it because I guess I was never encouraged to. I wasn’t ever in a situation where I felt like I could explore the thought of myself being gay. Not that I was suppressed by any means, I just was never put in a situation where I felt like I was gay. So, why even think about it?

December 4, 2011

“Hey, Mom. I have something to tell you…”

Not going to lie, I chugged a whole 4 Loko in 5 minutes after doing this. It was 10th grade.

The next year was the hardest of my life so far. My dad then found out, then my brother. “Don’t you dare tell your sister.” Constant tension in the hallways of my house. Texting fights so no one could hear. I never felt suppressed until this time of my life by the person who mattered most.

Strangely, things started looking up when I brought my first “boyfriend” home to meet my parents. Maybe my family was seeing that I’m still who I was before coming out and it’s not a big deal. Everything was all out on the table and my dad started making jokes about it. I’m the type of person who likes to laugh at myself, and these jokes weren’t offensive. It became normal. It got better.

It’s better than ever before.

We’ve never been living in a better time in terms of the views on LGBTQ+. Yes, the big guy in the White House isn’t necessarily the ideal candidate for this community. Yes, there are so many tremendous problems in our world due to ignorance for other communities of people. Yes, we could be in an even better time. This may be just my opinion, but being part of the LGBTQ+ has never been so, okay.

We still have a long way to go until America is really “great again.” People need to stop killing other people; people need to start respecting each other. We’re all alive for a reason. It’s time to encourage each other to fulfil our passions and let each other do it in their own unique way.


What was your coming out story like? Are you part of a suppressed community in modern society? I want to hear what you guys go through because the more we know, the more we can feel empathy for each other. Please share your stories in the comments below.


Freedom of Speaking is an online store building a brand around expressing who you are and not being afraid. Their mission is to provide a one-stop-shop for people to purchase apparel and accessories so they can express who they are, and what they support, with pride. They’re giving away some free stuff and discounted items! Check out their sales page for more details.

https://www.freedomofspeaking.com/collections/limited-time-sales

Categories
lifestyle

3 Things I Learned from Moving Across the Country.

Tuesday, June 10 – 3:30 AM

We left New York around 12:30 AM. By this time, Lexi (my sister) and I were on I-80 cruising at 65 mph.

Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into? I completely underestimated this drive across the country. We’re 3 hours into 42 hours of total driving. You can still turn back, Tom. We haven’t gotten that far, yet.


I’ve been living in San Diego for 10 days at this point. I still think back to all of these thoughts I had rumbling around as I stared out at a pitch-black windshield, only able to see as far as my dinky headlights can shine. Lexi was sleeping so it was me, myself, and my thoughts. I started becoming terrified of what was happening and I almost bailed. If I had, I would have never learned these 3 life-changing lessons:

Lesson#1: The United States is really fucking big.

The thought, “I completely underestimated this drive…,” was not wrong at all. I totally did. Now it made sense why everyone’s reaction to me saying, “I’m driving there,” was, “REALLY?!” I did not think it was as big of a deal as it really was.

Driving cross country is something everyone should check off their bucket lists. I will be the first to tell you: it is 100% glamorized. I’m not kidding, points of my trip required me to drive 10+ hours on flat nothingness but grass. It was boring and longer than you can fathom until you’re living through it. The magic of doing so, on the other hand, is I completing the trip and fully understanding how big the US is. In reality, I didn’t even see much of it, but still allowed me to grasp the vastness of this country. The United States is really fucking big.

Lesson #2: You are in more control of your reality than you think.

If I turned around at 3 am on the first stretch of the journey, my life would have gone in a completely different direction. I acknowledged the thoughts I was having were irrational. I believed I could do it and I kept going. I remembered I wanted to live in San Diego and I kept going. I kept going. I am in complete control of my reality.

I decided I was moving here and I did it. If you establish something you want, someone you want to be, or somewhere you want to live, and you never lose sight of that, you’ll get it.

As long as you can realign your thought process when you’re doubting yourself, you’ll be empowered and even impress yourself. It may scare you shitless, but if you work a little past that, it’s all downhill. You are in more control of your reality than you think.

Lesson #3: Execution is key to getting what you want.

After I battled my own doubtful thoughts, I realized what I was in the process of doing doing – I was moving across the entire country. Ultimately, this made me realize my decision making process. I don’t think about the emotional part of things – I take an idea, use logic to figure out the steps on how to obtain it, then execute appropriately.

I didn’t want to be in New York anymore, so I wasn’t going to stay there.

Now where do I go? I’ve been to Colorado and I wouldn’t be upset living there. Also, Natalie, a college roommate, makes San Diego look great. Okay, cool, there.

I know there wasn’t really much logic to this decision making; however, it was simply an idea in which I figured, why not? I love new experiences so my first experience there would be moving in. Seemed pretty cool to me.

I wanted to move to San Diego because it appeared to be an amazing place to pick everything up and start my professional life. From there, I figured out the necessary steps to make it there and I executed. Execution is the key to getting what you want.


July 23, 2018 – 10:23 PM

I’m sitting in my backyard surrounded by the sounds of cricket and I can see the stars. Yeah, it’s only been 10 days, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Now I can happily say, in San Diego, “I’m home.”

Categories
lifestyle

Why I Cannot Stand Living on Long Island Anymore

I lived in a house with 7 other people. It was a college house and, inevitably, we wound up going through a lot of cans and bottles. From the beginning of our lease-year, we collected our empties and brought them to Target to deposit them and get the money back.

One time I went with my housemates to deposit the bottles. I was standing on line at customer service with a handful of receipts from the deposit machines. “I can help who’s next.” I walked over to the counter where the lady was standing. “Hi, how are you? I just want to cash these in.” She grabbed my receipts and quickly handed me the cash in return, “Have a good day.”

This encounter may seem perfectly normal. It was – especially because it happened on Long Island. The thing that bothered me most about this was not how direct and short the conversation/exchange was, but the fact that she didn’t even look up. I completed the entire transaction without the Target woman even looking me in the eyes. I don’t know why, but this pissed me the fuck off. It was rude and the worst “customer service” I’ve ever received.

Let’s talk about another circumstance which highlights why I cannot stand living on Long Island anymore. Driving. Now, I have a feeling this problem exists everywhere in the world, but people do not even ackowledge each other’s existence here. When I drive, I follow the right-of-way laws. Far too many times recently, I’ve noticed people don’t give a shit about who’s around them and they drive as if they’re the only ones on the road. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I let people go, even if it’s my turn, and they cannot even put their hand to communicate “thank you.” I’m not letting them go for the thank you, but the least you can do is acknowledge my existence.

And finally, everyone needs to either smoke some weed or take a chill pill. I am disgusted by people’s attitude toward each other for absolutely no reason. I’ve lived on Long Island for 22 and a half years now. I’ve always known this was the general attitude here, however it’s more in my face than ever before. I’m absolutely sick of this “I’m the best” perspective most people here seem to have. We should be helping each other out, not making each other’s lives more stressful.

These are just a few of hundreds of reasons I cannot wait to move off of Long Island. I can no longer live a life where people do not acknowledge each other’s existence. I love Long Island and it will always be home, but I think if I stayed here any longer, I would never step foot here again. If you live on Long Island, please take a moment to observe the way people here interact with each other. If you can make it better, please do. I feel I’m going to move away and never want to come back because this general attitude is only going to get worse.


Does anyone else feel the same way about where they life? How do you combat the way society interacts with people? I think it’s time to we take it upon ourselves to make this world better, even if not everyone is on board.

Categories
lifestyle

A Personal Letter to Hofstra University from a Soon-To-Be Graduate.

When my alarm went off this morning at 10 am (exactly an hour before my class starts), I decided to take the L for the day and miss my first class. I wanted to get to the gym but I didn’t want to go at night. I rested my eyes a little longer then checked my phone. 10:22 am. Alright, fine. It’s the last full week of classes ever and the second to last class for the course. I’ll go… I fumbled out of bed, got ready and dragged myself to class. I shared my mental struggle of the morning with a few classmates as I logged into the Hofstra computer. I’m in a social media and web design class so I’ve spent about 4 hours last week working on my ficticious company’s website home page. My last task of the assignment was to export it and upload it to a website simulator. 5 clicks and I was done! “Could not complete request because an unexpected end-of-file was encountered.” Lit.

My original vision of the day involved getting stuff done and skipping class. A “thriving” type of day one might say. But I changed my mind to go to class. A “responsible” type of day one might say. As the days pass, I catch myself verbally reminding myself how many days I have until graduation. “17 days,” I said as my professor told me to “start over. It’s not that complex.”

Despite the beginning of my day, I had the most amazing 4 years of my life at Hofstra University. I started as a Psychology major to get prerequisites done for a Physician Assistant Graduate Program. After one semester, Hofstra extracted realization I don’t want to fucking do that. (Side note: Professor BIO 12 and Professor Daniels are the reasons I came to this epiphany.) I spent hours in the library and still getting 60s or worse on exams. I don’t take it as I wasn’t smart enough for it, I simply realized that my brain doesn’t think the same way one does in the medical/biology field. I ran with this lesson and swithed my major to Marketing.  From there, my life fell into place.

Appreciation encompasses my feelings towards Hofstra as my time comes to an end here. What better way to show this than write a letter to Hofstra discuss my unfiltered opinions about the university itself? So, here we go.

 

Dear Hofstra University,

First of all, there really wasn’t anything you could do to get the bars back?  I feel like there was definitely some sort of agreement between you and McHebes.  Whatever, I’m not here much longer anyway.  I wanted to take the time to express my gratitude regarding my experience over the last 4 years as a student of this beautiful university.

I want this to be a mainly positive letter, therefore I’ll start with my complaints. Frankly, we all feel like you’re constantly trying to get money out of us. One time you took $4,000 from me without telling me. You also charged me $100 because you didn’t approve my loan efficiently and it didn’t get processed to you until after the due date. Aside from that, I only went to an advisor twice.  During my freshman year, I wasn’t sure how to do my schedule so I went to her to discuss what to do.  She told me to take a spanish credit because my college credit from high school didn’t fulfil the requirement. Guess what, Hofstra, it did. I wasted a semester in Spanish 3. It seems like a tactic to get as much money out of me as possible. Another complaint has to deal with, and I’m sure you get this a lot, the parking. You’re in the process of assembling a building in the middle of one of the parking lots. You had a parking issue to begin with and this construction is not helping whatsoever. Oh, and one last thing, HofUSA used to be tight; now it’s iight. I understand it’s a business and you were probably going to get more money out of it, but you’re thinking short term. You’re beginning to build a poor reputation which will wind up losing you more money in the long-run. Some friendly advice and my opinion as a consumer.

I would also like to share something else. I received an email about a month ago with the headline saying “We’re offering a new course – you may be interested!” Of course, it’s a social media marketing class. Long story short, I’m diving into the social media marketing/management field upon graduation. It’s not your fault, but I spent the last four years getting a degree and the semester proceeding my departure you’re offering probably the most useful class I could have taken; more useful than any class I had to take as an undergraduate student. I’m just being selfish because I understand it is a new and growing industry, therefore I want to thank you for providing this class to students. It could spark their interest in a growing industry and that’s ultimately the goal of college.

With that being said, let’s get back to the main reason I’m writing. Thank you so much for the experiences I’ve had here. I rerouted my career path and I’ve never been more excited about a job. I’ve made friends with hundreds of people who have made an incredible mark on my life. I joined Danceworks, I moved into their home, I became family with members of the club and I currently am the President of the club. This is one of the most impressive college organizations in the world which has taught me tons of things about myself as a person, professional and leader. I’m insanely honored to have worked for this organization and proud of my sucesses. I’ve also recieved an incredible education. Although sometimes many of them are of no interest to me, your courses are tedious and they establish a work ethic I never had before attending. I’m the most confident I’ve ever been in myself as a result of who I’ve become over the years as a Hofstra University undergraduate student.

I appreciate everything you have provided to mold my mindset and life. The friends, knowledge, empowerment, confidence, determination. I’m completely prepared for whatever life throws my way. Unfortunately and inevitably, it’s time for me to go.

Hofstra, we’re going to be homies for life. I will perpetually look back on these past 4 years with fondness and appreciation. Without you, I would have never learned crucial lessons about myself and the world around me. I will succeed because of this experience and for that, I thank you.

Stay Positive,

Tom Fraher

 

Life is about the experiences we have and the lessons we learn from them. The more we learn, the better we evolve as a person.  Hofstra University has given me the experiences I needed to lead a successful life after graduation. Positivity radiates around campus as everyone is waiting for summer. I, however, radiate positivity as I wait to begin my life.

 


 

Are there any other undergraduate students on the verge of graduating or have already? How do you feel about your undergraduate experiences? I’ve been having this conversation with my peers and the positivity keeps me going!

 


 

Follow my Instagram account for a glimpse into my personal life!

Categories
lifestyle

Breaking Up with my Phone

I ran downstairs to put my laundry in the washer machine at around 10 a.m. the other day.  “What are you doing up so early?” one of my housemates said as I half startled her while rushing to the laundry room.  “I’ve been getting up earlier recently.”

If you were to ask any of my friends about my sleeping habits a month ago, they would tell you I go to sleep way too late and wake up past noon everyday.  This wasn’t detrimental to my success because I purposely schedule my classes later in the day.  However, I’ve been reading about numerous success habits and I’ve come to realize my sleeping habits are damaging to mental health.  I decided to take action and make some changes to my lifestyle to improve my focus and mental stamina.

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that little changes yield big results – jumping into a lifestyle change is never going to work.  One slight change I made to my life was breaking up with my phone and not sleeping in the same bed.  Said without the metaphor, I began sleeping with my phone on my table about 10 feet away from my bed.  This did two things: I couldn’t lay on my phone in bed wasting hours scrolling through feeds and I wasn’t always anxious to check my phone for no reason right before falling asleep or if I got up in the middle of the night.

Until now, I have always had struggles falling asleep.  My childhood night terrors led to my mom giving me Melatonin every night to help put me to sleep and keep me asleep throughout the night.  Inevitably, I grew a dependency to and tolerance against Melatonin.  My only memories of going to sleep up until this point in my life involved laying in bed for at least an hour; tossing and turning to get comfortable and shut my brain off.

To focus on how fast this little habit has transformed my life, let’s look into the past 3 months of my life.  On January 23th, I (most likely) went to bed around 4 a.m. and layed there until I fell asleep around 4:30/5 a.m.  I woke up the following day around 12:30/1 p.m.  This was my usual sleep pattern for the first 3 and a half years of college.

On March 23rd, I went to bed around 1 a.m. (with my phone on my table – more than an arms reach away) and fell asleep around 1:30 a.m.  Although I was watching some Mad Men, I fell asleep easier than I did 3 months prior.  I woke up from this particular sleep at 9:30 a.m. (30-minutes before my alarm goes off).  It was my off day from the gym so I decided to read a little before getting up and taking a shower.  Over the past few weeks, this has evolved from a rare night’s sleep to a reoccuring habit.  I naturally get tired around midnight and fall asleep before 2 a.m and I get up before my 10 a.m. alarm everyday.  This gives me time to wake up, read and/or go to the gym, which makes me feel way more energized throughout the day, before I go to class and get work done for my job.  It’s been an incredible little habit that has transformed my lifestyle completely.

This is only one habit of a few that I changed to fix my atrocious sleeping schedule to match one of a (almost) normal human being.  I’ve also forced myself out of bed everyday by 10:30 a.m. with a 10 a.m. daily alarm.  This has trained my mind to turn on around the same time everyday, thus waking me up naturally without the use alarms.  It is the best waking up every morning feeling awake without an obnoxious alarm, rather than waking up and fighting with everything you have to get your head off of your pillow.

Do you have any tips or tricks for better sleep or to change your sleeping habits?  I’d love to hear them.

Categories
lifestyle

5 Ways to Overcome Senioritis

I cannot stand my professor as he babbles on about something I have absolutely no interest in. He shouts and uses ridiculous code names for scenarios to exemplify his ideas. I am currently 40 days away from graduating and I actually do not think I can make it that much longer.

Because I’ve already thrown tens of thousands of dollars at my university for my education, there’s no point of dropping out now.  Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways I’m combating my serious case of senioriti

Write a blog post about it.

I’m extremely limited as to what I can do to keep myself entertained as I sit in class. I’m on my laptop because “phones are distracting” (what’s the difference if I’m not paying attention on my laptop or not paying attention on my phone?) so I have to make it look like I’m taking notes.  Writing a blog post to vent about my third-world problem of being anxious in class is a fantastic way of making it look like I’m taking diligent notes, when in fact, I’m not listening to a single word.

Count how many people in the class you’d sleep with.

Don’t lie to yourself, there are a few people in your class that you would definitely not say no to if the opportunity presented itself.  Classrooms are a great way to make friends but not necessarily the enviornment to get some digits and figure out if someone is d.t.f.. Use your imagination and daydream for a little!

Learn something you actually care about online.

There are plenty of blogs, YouTube videos and articles regarding a vast spectrum of interests on the internet.  Take the time to learn something you actually want to be learning.  For example, I’m a social media manager and digital marketer so I spend a good chunck of my class time reading blog posts about others who do a similar job or watch videos on the latest Instagram algorithm.  Instead of wasting your time paying attention to your teacher talk about something useless, find a venue to learn something that can better your future.

Organize your life.

I once heard the quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Yeah, you can get away with going with the flow and getting everything done, but planning has been a huge key to my success.  I use Google Calendar to plan out my weeks down to the minute.  Take the time in class to figure out assignments due, when you have class and during what times you have to be at work.  This has helped relieve some anxiety of getting everything done and has given me a visual of what my week looks like.

Reward yourself for getting through the impossible.

I like to reward myself with the bar.  I’m the social media manager at a bar and grill so my “work” time is going into the restaurant and taking pictures/videos of the food, drinks, and environment.  When my classes feel longer than usual, I plan to go up to CANZ and have a drink as a reward for putting up with my professors all day.

These are only a few ways I keep myself entertained in classes I don’t care about whatsoever.  We all have our own means of coping with boredom so take these as you’d like or leave them.  I’d love to here other ways you pass time in class – help me finish my last 40 days of school!

 

 

 

 

Categories
lifestyle mental health

How Coaching and Gymnastics Have Influenced My Mindset

I grew up and still am an athlete.  I’ve played tons of sports; baseball, lacrosse, tennis, track, skiing, volleyball – you name it.  When I was in pre-k, my mom was offered a job as a gymnastics instructor and took it.  At that point, I had already done gymnastics for a year or two, but my mom’s career influenced my elementary-school years to be spent in a gymnastics facility.  Once I was able to stay home alone without my parents, I stopped taking classes on a regular basis; however, my mom continued to coach and my sister became a competitive gymnast.  This may not be a surprise, but eventually I began coaching gymnastics myself.

By this time, I had learned a vast repertoire of skills.  On top of that, I can’t even estimate the number of gymnastics meets I’ve sat through.  I had developed an understanding and an eye for the technique and judging of the skills.  Through past training, countless observations, and learning how to coach skills I was unfamiliar with, I applied what I told my students to do to myself.  In my mind, the more skills I was able to do, the better and more effectively I could teach someone else.

Gymnastics coach with gymnasts at gymnastics competition
My Bronze IGC gymnastics team in the beginning of 2017.

This job enabled me to understand anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  Also, I learned that converting knowledge to action results in great rewards.  When I taught myself and executed a new skill based on my understanding of how to teach one, I would be flooded with accomplishment and pride.  Let’s be real, gymnastics is a scary-ass sport; you are literally throwing your body against gravity and doing things you probably shouldn’t . There’s a overwhelming amount of mental strength involved, so when you can overcome various fears, you learn what you are truly capable of.

Our minds are more fluid than we think.  In my opinion, if you want to be excel at gymnastics, you MUST have a stronger mind than body.  The same holds true for obtaining any goal.  In other words, if you break down the steps you must take to obtain a goal, you will have the building blocks on how to reach whatever it is you may desire.  From there, all you have to do is execute.

I think many of us expect everything to be perfect or accomplished instantly; I’m guilty of it too!  It’s up to us to take a step back and understand that great things do take time.  We’re going to accomplish everything we want to as long as we continue to work at it.  Looking back at my experiences so far, everything I haven’t excelled at have been things I didn’t allocate the proper amount of time and planning to be successful at.  If you want to succeed at something, you must put in the effort to define the goal, break it down, and execute.


 

For more inspiration, follow my health and fitness page on Instagram and Facebook!

Want a deeper look into my life, follow my personal Instagram page!

Categories
dance lifestyle

Danceworks Productions is More Than Just a Club

Starting college is like jumping off of a cliff into dark waters; you see the water but the water is a mystery. Is the water going to be fresh or salty? Is it going to be warm or cold? Is it deep or shallow? For me, I jumped in with my arms out and mind wide open. I hit the water and made a fantastic group of friends. From there, it’s been nothing but a deep, warm, fresh water lake. I’ve learned a lot about myself. However, I couldn’t have done this without becoming involved in Hofstra’s largest club on campus, Danceworks Productions.

844x1500.jpeg.5bbd1d16527d4a96a3da149e67503349.jpg
Me posing for a dance recital around the age of 7.

Fortunately, I had a mom who wanted me to do (almost) everything. She made me, my brother, and my sister do dance for at least one year. My brother dropped it after the first year, but I continued to learn how to dance. I dance for around five years (ages 4-9). It’s not that I lost interest in it, I actually was annoyed by another dancer in my hip-hop class and decided to stop. Although that was it for dance lessons for me, I never stopped dancing whenever I was listening to music.

859985_10151788729048065_486964082_o.jpg
Dancing at my high school’s Battle of the Classes in 2013.

My first semester of college was the shortest amount of time I ever learned so much about myself. I was thinking about changing my major and figuring out how I’m going to leave my mark at Hofstra. My lab partner was a dance minor and got me to go to the fall 2014 Danceworks show. I had an amazing time in the audience; in fact, I went to both shows. Watching the professionalism of the students and the energy I felt throughout planted the idea that I wanted to be up there someday.

Just before the auditions for the following semester’s show, my lab partner texted me to remind me. We met up and both went to the auditions. This audition was much different than a normal audition; everyone created a welcoming environment and it was an amazing time. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it into a piece that semester.  However, Danceworks does more than just dance – it is also a social and philanthropic club. I went to hang out with the club members at their off-campus house by myself for a social event. Every member welcomed me with open arms. This was the start to how the rest of my college experience was going to pan out.

 

12182458_10153099021946050_378784452415896650_o.jpg
Hanging out for one of the first times with Danceworks Productions!

I commuted my freshman year and I hated it. I loved everything about Hofstra, except for the fact that I had to drive 20-40 minutes one way each day. This prompted me to apply to be a residence assistant. I got through both rounds of interviews and was awaiting the email regarding the decision made. On February 24, 2015, I woke up for class with a Facebook message from one of the Danceworks members. The message read, “Hey Tom I was wondering if ud be interested in living in the DW house next year?” I explained how I would love to but have to figure out the finances and logistics of living there. She told me to just let her know as soon as I figure it out.

Danceworks has club meeting every Monday at 6:00 PM in the Student Center (room 142 to be exact). I had class until 5:55 PM, and on my way to the meeting, I had received an email informing me that I did not get the RA position. YES! I know – not a typical reaction to not getting something you interviewed and worked hard to get. The RA job would have given me free room and board, which I would have saved a boat-load of money. However, deep down, I really wanted to be living off campus. I entered room 142 and gave the girl who offered me the room in the house the thumbs up; she knew exactly why.

11194590_10153417201467189_8853246190821921701_o.jpg
The night I was inducted into Hofstra University Danceworks Productions’s executive board in 2015.

I continued going out with the club. I began to get to know many members and became an active member of the club. As the semester dwindled to an end, elections for executive board positions came around. At this point, I had decided on changing my major to marketing, so I figured I would run of the Publicity and Promotion chair. Luckily, I got elected which enabled me to become even more involved in the club. I served as the P&P chair for two years (my sophomore and junior years). My involvement in Danceworks has been nothing but positive and I am grateful for the experiences each member contributes to my college experience.  Because of that, I ran for and am now the President of Danceworks Productions at Hofstra University.

I couldn’t tell you where I would be right now if my lab partner was not a member of Danceworks and urged me to come to the shows back in 2014. I would not have the family of friends I do now, have had the opportunity to grow as a dance, and have the honor to part of such an amazing club.

12474034_985016494886182_3027174306253520902_o.jpg
Me featured in Kevin William’s Danceworks Productions piece in April 2016.

 

Follow my Instagram page!

 

Categories
lifestyle

A Day In My Life

I’m trudging up Mt. Fuji making sure I don’t slip. As I transfer my weight from one foot to the other and I ascend closer to the top, my heart beats faster. I can’t tell if it’s the exercise or the air pressure dropping with each step. A gust of wind surprises me and takes my worries with it. I turn around and I’m instantly the only person in the world. I see nothing but the tops of clouds casting shade over the Tokyo outskirts. I feel invincible.

A blaring noise forces my eyelids open and I swing my right arm around myself to turn off my alarm. I no longer feel invincible, especially because I have 45 minutes until my finance midterm. I check my emails to see if any professor has canceled class for the day. Unfortunately none of them have but it was worth the shot. The comforter grabs me like it is telling me not to leave. My comforter doesn’t understand that I can’t spend my whole life in bed. Silly comforter. I manage to get up to prepare myself for the day ahead of me.

“What is the price of a bond if there is 10% interest compounded semi annually for the next bazillion years?” I didn’t even think bazillion was a real number; I thought it was used for hyperbolic situations only. I somehow make it through my finance midterm feeling better than I thought I would. I lightly jog to Au Bon Pain to grab a quick snack before my next class begins. I take a seat and notice my heart banging on the inside of my ribs. I take out my iPad and get my notes ready for LEGL 020.

“I’m going to end there because, frankly, I’m tired of talking. Have a good weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.” I love when my professor lets us out ten minutes early because it gives me some time to refill my water bottle and get another snack. I scarf down a chicken caesar wrap and I’m off to work.

“Coach Tom! You’re late!” “Veronica, I tell you every week that I am always going to be a little late to practice because it starts at 6 and my class doesn’t get out until 6. I wish I could teleport here.” I’ve coached gymnastics for almost seven and a half years now. Gymnastics has always fascinated me because of how much practice you need on one skill to perfect it. Every trick has specific requirements and judges can be brutal if they are not executed to the fullest. I’m also intrigued by how the sport is more mental than physical. Tumbling is relatively easy if you can clear your mind and just do. The biggest struggle I see with my gymnasts, as well as myself when I’m learning a new trick, is consciously knowing that your body is going to be thrown around in ways it isn’t meant to and you, yourself, has to be the one to actually just do it. Safety is huge and my first priority because, in reality, gymnastics is very dangerous. However, once you get past the fear, the possibilities are endless. It is an awarding feeling to see a young girl or boy’s reaction when they land a trick for the first time by themselves. I look at my girls as my younger sisters and want each one of them to succeed in everything they do.

“I’ll see you guys on Saturday!” I exclaim as I run out of the gym with my shoes on but untied. I jam to Kanye as I drive on the Northern State Parkway towards Hofstra University. It’s not always Kanye, but recently he’s been putting me in the mood for the upcoming two-hour rehearsal. My freshman year, I decided to start dancing again after my ten year hiatus from it. I now have the opportunity to dance every week for about 11 hours. When I’m dancing, I feel like I’m on top of Mt. Fuji again; my mind is clear of everything except for the choreography and music. Do you know what it’s like to win a scratch-off lottery ticket? I don’t mean winning back the $2 spent on it, but winning at least $100 from it. That’s the same feeling I get when my peers and I perform a piece perfectly. And doing it in front of an audience is like winning $1 million+ on a scratch-off, but the fact that I get to do it with the people that mean the most to me is priceless.

After rehearsal I usually get more food and then head home. I turn on Netflix or chill with some roommates to catch up on the craziness of each of our days. Going home to a house full of positivity and support prepares me for a brand new day packed with school, hard work, and laughter.

img_5702

I can’t say my life is perfect but the people in it are and I can’t complain about that.