Night Riders

Two weeks of the school year left and I’m totally not freaking out so let’s not even talk about it again okay great.

In all honesty, I have been too busy to freak out. I call it The Final Paradox (oh! Totally rad band name idea!) and it happens at the end of every year; I get so overwhelmed working on final projects and papers that I don’t even realize the school year has ended until its mid-June and I’m at home eating cereal at 3 am.

So I’ve been a little busy. The last few days, I’ve gone on a hiking expedition to study the ecology of timberline forests, wrote three separate papers, designed an in-depth presentation on the disturbingly charming mating habits of birds, read a couple of books, and managed to look cute through all of that. But this blog isn’t about the last few days. This is a story about two very different, very similar, nights.

First up, last Saturday. Last Saturday night, I was utterly convinced I was dying. I was sure of it. That was the only explanation to describe what I was feeling. It was the Relay for Life and me and half the school spent 10 hours walking laps around the gymnasium floor, raising money for cancer research. It was a beautiful, rewarding experience and I will probably never do it again because it has been a week and I still can’t stand without my spine drooping to the side alarmingly. As a school, we raised over $3,000 and all it cost us was our health and sanity.

It wasn’t all walking, however. There was also a bouncy castle, a dunk tank, more pizza than is strictly allowed by OSHA, and musical chairs. But let’s not talk about musical chairs. No, too late. We’re talking about it. I placed second in a twenty person musical chairs competition and I am so furious, I’m pretty sure I can justify becoming a supervillain now. I was SO CLOSE to winning! I am convinced it was rigged and a full investigation is pending. I’ll keep you updated.

But the icy sting of agonizing failure aside, the relay was amazing. My team was comprised of my friends and that was a beautiful choice on our part. Nothing is stronger than friendship that is formed in the crucible of physical torture.

Speaking of that, let’s move on. Thursday night, magic happened. The last three years of my life were leading up to that specific night. At 11pm, me and my ragtag group of torture friends sat in our seats, pulled out popcorn and illicit red vines, and settled in to watch Age of Ultron. Now, the thing about superheroes is that they are the very best gift that the world has been given and the only thing better than one superhero is a group of giant sad nerd baby superheroes teaming up to fight crime with friendship. Thus was my Thursday night. The movie was amazing/spectacular/marvelous/wonderful, obviously. Everyone should see it. You’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.

The best part of both of these nights was that they were defined by friendship. The relay for life would have been miserable if not for my team. They’re the tops. And seeing the Avengers with them was everything to me.

College is hard. There is no denying that. But it goes a hell of a lot smoother if you’ve got back-up.

Until next week,


Ashley is a junior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.