Not as planned; better

Thanks for the ride.

Things rarely go as planned. I was never supposed to be an undergrad for five years. I was supposed to be a history teacher by now instead of writing my last column for The VN the morning we lay out the paper. (I sprained my wrist, so typing has not been easy.)

I have spent lots of time trying to figure out what to write here and despite trying to avoid being cliché, this is a column about the beauty in things not going as planned. 

Five years ago, my family moved me into a single room in Shiple. My intended roommate had decided to join the army instead of attending school here.

Less than three months later, I would give up that room and move in with a guy who partied way too damn much. I had met this guy when he walked into my room and sat down on my couch because he liked the music I had on (“Weightless” by All Time Low).

He was drinking Captain and Coke at three on a Monday.

This person would be my roommate for two years. He let me crash at his house for the weekend for the third year. He’s gone to countless concerts with me on a whim, gotten way too drunk with me way too many times and has often showed up at my parents’ house just to check in.

His name is Shawn and without him college would have sucked. He introduced me to some of my best friends. One of them I call mom. Her name is Kristen.

I was scared to death of her for two months because I am socially awkward and was convinced I had no business being friends with her.

Over the next four years, we would become really good friends. She’s talked me out of many dark places, gotten me ready for more than one date and has been there for me lately when “adulting” just sucks.

Then I met this short high school quarterback, also through Shawn.

This kid hates all the sports teams I like (aside from the Tigers). This person is Quigley, and I have gotten into too many crazy late-night sing-alongs with him, as well as quite a few Tigers games. I know I am always welcome at his place, and I spent more time in his room on campus than in mine. 

Oh, and then there is Barkume. We don’t agree on much ever except sports, and I don’t think a week goes by that we don’t have a long text conversation about sports. I have traveled to a few places with him for sporting events, and I expect more in the future. 

I can’t think and talk about all of the Shiple 401 crew, but to all of you, thanks for all the good times.

There is one more person I have to give a shout-out to: Vito, without you, dude, I would have never ended up with my second major and gotten into writing or on the radio. Thanks, V! It was a hell of a ride on UDM radio with you, and I can’t wait to see what sports stuff we get into next.

It’s somewhat funny. I saw all but one of these friends Saturday, and that never happens nowadays. We’re just all too busy.

But back to the point.

If things had gone as originally planned, I wouldn’t have met Shawn or most of these people. 

I had always wanted to be in a fraternity but didn’t get into the one I wanted. If I had, I might not have forged the bond with all these people.

I also would not have gotten involved with SGA here and never ended up being president my senior year. I would have never gotten back involved in Scouting and made some friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

The biggest thing is this: I would not have gotten into coaching soccer, a hobby I love.

And if things hadn’t panned out the way they did, I most likely would not have attended every men’s basketball home game in my five years, and I would have not gotten close with CB.

I would have never gotten close with Drew Peters. He’s not just been an advisor and mentor to me, but he’s become a friend.

When things don’t go as planned, it’s almost always a good thing.

It’s really always about finding the silver lining. Things did not go as planned for me at UDM but I couldn't be happier how the “ride” went.

I want to leave you with a few more bits of advice:

1.    Explore the city. Eat at mom-and-pop places in the city, and enjoy it during your time here.

2.    People here are normally really nice. If you have a question, ask.

3.    Remember to breathe. Things don’t go as planned, but in the end, everything will be alright.

4.    And enjoy the ride. It ends way too fast.

Finally, I conclude with a Wonder Years lyric, as once again I went with a Wonder Years title. This one is from their “Living Room Song.”

“If the world ends, I hope I’m in my living room with my best friends.”