I've learned several things in the past few days. I've learned that there are worse things in life than having an unusable laptop for 72 hours. I've learned that no one is a harsher critic than that person in your mirror. I've learned that a hot dog can be a sandwich if you believe in yourself and follow your dreams.
But most importantly, I've learned that the future is soon. In fact, it may have arrived completely unheralded, as if it had rolled out of bed at noon on a Saturday and waltzed over to the cafe in sweatpants and an old t-shirt.
I should probably explain a bit more before I can't find a way to stop my speech from defaulting to metaphors. I've been back on campus since August 29th, when I moved into Mustard 11 after the end of my last summer work day at Marshalls. I've settled in nicely here at The Village - it's still totally the Taj Mahal of on-campus housing. It's nuts just how much space that my roommate Jonathan and I have. If I wanted, I could write an entire post about this place, and in fact, I actually planned on it until my four year old laptop decided it would be appropriate to overheat every 30 minutes and unceremoniously flash the infamous Windows Blue Screen of Death at me before crashing. It only just came back from the repair shop a few days ago, and in the time since its recovery, I've been hit repeatedly with that profound realization above.
Yes, the future is on our doorstep, people, and recent events have made that abundantly clear. They might not seem all that connected, but I swear I have a point and I'll get to it in just a bit.
First, let's talk about the Delt Haus, my home away from home away from home. The poor thing has been in a state of near constant flux and renewal since surviving a fire two summers ago. The fraternity as a whole, after we all worked so hard to rebuild the Delt kitchen and the rest of the property to its former glory, unfortunately let it go to seed a bit. None of us were good at keeping up its maintenance beyond basic cleaning tasks, so our front and back yard pretty much turned into a jungle. What we needed to do was take a step back and see what we had let our Shelter come to, and none of us particularly liked what we saw. Basically, we've reaffirmed that we want our Shelter to match our vision of what Delta Tau Delta represents: excellence.
Thus, in the days before classes began, we began a massive yard renovation project. We completely retilled our front yard and parts of our backyard, planting new grass and pulling every weed we possibly could. Our volleyball pit, which was an excellent hangout area until we let it go to waste about a decade ago, got the same treatment. Old couches, desks, bed frames and unused firewood were all taken to the dump. On the inside, we've scrubbed every surface, cleaned every dish, and made everything sparkle in preparation for our Rush events. Derek, our current president, even found the time to donate all the accumulated junk we had stored in our downstairs area to the Idaho Youth Ranch, effectively cleaning all of that as well.
Ultimately, we've got some major plans for our renovated Shelter. It's not even close to being completely done yet, but soon, in the future...
See, there it is! The future! That elusive phoenix we've all been waiting for!
And that's not even the the most recent time I've come across plans for the future. I've been planning ahead for the Academic Support Center since returning to campus - as Head Tutor, I've been organizing classroom visits to introductory level English, Biology, Chemistry and Spanish classes to get the word out about the Center as a resource. We aren't officially opening our doors for open hours for another week, but the ASC team has been hard at work handing out flyers and making the rounds to classes since this week began. With luck, we'll be getting students the help they need very soon!
And what's more, I've been thinking of my own, personal future. This is going to be a running story thread this year, being a senior and all, but I'd really like to know what I'm going to be doing next year when I no longer have school to fall back on. That's where I'm hoping the new PEAK Center and the Center for Experiential Learning can help me out. For those that haven't heard about it, the PEAK Center is a new location for students of all classes to get help in a variety of things, from planning PEAK maps to determine which classes to take at which times, to getting assistance with internship placements and basic business things like writing resumes and such. All things that, you know, help plan for the future. Two of the directors were running an info booth about all the stuff that the PEAK Center has to offer, and I'm mulling over when the best time is for me to make a visit there.
Here's what I'm getting at with all this future stuff: the Future, that phoenix that never seems to go away forever, is constantly on its way. A future may be realized, but a new future will always replace it. And what I've come to realize is the future is what we make of it. The other Delts and I are determined to make our Shelter the best on campus...in the future. I want the ASC to do well...in the future. I want to have a job...in the future. But here's the thing - none of that stuff has much of a shot of happening if I sit back and do nothing.
The future is what we raise it to be, and I plan to make all my futures as successful as I can.