Dance, or else!

I know what you’re thinking, “No! Not another cheesy self-indulgent farewell article! Quick, where is the Sudoku? Where are the police reports? And where is the Holy Grail?” I’ll answer these for you in order: back page, page (insert page here) and Tom Brady’s house. All of these are fine areas to investigate, but hear me out, this is my last article for the Exponent (hold your cheers for later) and if I have any parting advice to give, it’s a slight variation of YOLO, though without the hipster music.

My freshman year in college the Langford RHA (which I was a part of) organized a Christmas dance. Fresh off my breakup I invited a friend of mine from class to attend the dance with me. I was attracted to her, but shy and afraid I would mess it up. I thought to myself “Will, no one wants to spend three hours with you, cut it in half.” So even though I was free to dance all I wanted, I gave her the lame excuse of “I’ll join you in a little bit, I have to watch over the refreshments.”

Wow, that was a tough paragraph to write. Even years later I can feel how lame that decision was just by typing it out. You can guess what happened next. I stood there with my thumb in my butt waiting for the right moment when suddenly a suave student showed up and swept her off her feet. I felt like Chandler in “Friends,” though without the redeeming qualities, since this mishap was entirely my fault.

She and I have spoken about this and we’ve become good friends. Years later I’ve come to realize we had little common and would not have been a long-lasting couple. However, that realization came after a year and a half of asking “what-if” rather than just going for it and dancing.

This brings me to my graduate years. I always felt that I didn’t experience what I should have during my undergraduate years. It’s true that the course load played a role, but if I’m being brutally honest I oftentimes used this as an excuse, rather than trying something new or meaningful.

Which brought me to the Exponent. I missed writing, and felt I could contribute with sports-themed articles mixed with the obscure and irrelevant (hence the Mel Brooks references). I was lucky that Nicole Duggan and Megan Bernhardt, and later Cassia Wagner, Erin Murdock and Davis Connelley welcomed me and my strangeness to the Exponent.

My writing usually followed the following pattern: Obscure area of sports (press conferences, recruiting, time-travel) plus theme of random references (Blazing Saddles, Gilmore Girls and/or Henry Kissinger). Really, I still can’t believe they let me write.

As a result of writing at the Exponent, and other interests I’ve used my graduate years to pursue, I can truly say I enjoyed these last years. As tacky as it sounds, it really does matter how you mix your work with your play.

Writing and sports broadcasting work may not be what gets you going, and that’s not the moral here. Rather I hope you don’t end your undergraduate years as I did. Instead, and it kills me to say it because it sounds too much like a song from “Fun,” do what you enjoy … unless it’s really stupid.

“Will said to do what I enjoy! Quick! Light these fireworks in my butt!”

“Will said to do what I enjoy! Quick! Attach these cinderblocks to my feet, I’m going swimming!”

“Yada yada yada! Quick! Get the car! I’m voting for the Bull Moose Party!”

It’s important to take this time to study and improve yourself academically and professionally. It’s also important to take a chance, try something you love and then overdo it to death. We only have so much time, otherwise we risk becoming an Adele song.

To summarize, I’ll end my writing here with the following advice: Dance, or else!Illustration by Will Hamel