After a very random and unexpected (but fun) Spring Break and eating lunch with a stranger I thought I would write a blog post about ‘rolling with it’. To me the phrase simply means letting things happen and enjoying them for what they are, rather than getting disappointed when things don’t go the way you wanted them to.
For me, Spring Break was the ultimate ‘Roll with it’. My friend Brittany and I had made plans to travel by Greyhound to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. However, when it came time to actually book the bus, we both confessed to each other neither of us really wanted to spend more than one hundred hours in total on a Greyhound bus without being able to sleep or shower properly.
So we decided to go to Memphis and Nashville, a relatively short drive through East Texas and Arkansas for a week of music and BBQ. Then mother nature quite literally put a dampener on those plans, as Memphis was flooded. Not knowing if it would be safe, or how the weather would be during our time there, we made hasty plans the night before we left to visit Shreveport, Louisiana and then stay extra nights in a small central Arkansas town called Arkadelphia before heading to Little Rock.
It sounds random (and yeah, it probably was) but I had a really fun week. Perhaps even more fun than going somewhere like, say, New York or Disney World where my expectations would be unreasonably high. Shreveport is a small city on the Red River where we explored small, quaint museums. After being disappointed that you have to be 21 to gamble in Louisiana (we wanted to put $1 in a slot machine just to say we’d done it) we ate some great mom-and-pop BBQ and headed north. Arkadelphia is a small town with two colleges in central Arkansas which is surrounded by natural beauty. We spent one day exploring the town and surrounding lake before heading to Hot Springs to look at the old town and see (aka drive through) the national park. Hot Springs is a beautiful, historical town that I’m glad I got the chance to visit. We ended up jettisoning the last part of our trip and not going to Little Rock, instead we took a day trip from Arkadelphia to visit Memphis Zoo. We saw the Giant Pandas, ate some even better Memphis-Style BBQ (sorry Louisiana) and then headed back to Arlington to recover for the weekend before classes started again. It was nice to spend time with my friend, and see places (kind of) off the beaten track for Spring Break and I wouldn’t change our hodgepodge road trip for anything.
Today I went into ‘Downtown’ Arlington to go and eat lunch, and a kindly old man who was sat alone gestured for me to sit with him. Being in a crowded and popular lunch spot, the only thing I feared was awkward conversation but nevertheless I initially declined. Then after a few bites of my burger, I felt so guilty that I decided to move and sit with him. We had a nice conversation, he told me about his grandkids and how his Alma Mata was doing in the ‘March Madness’ Basketball competition and as I left I noticed the server had given me $0.03 off my food for having a nice smile. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s ‘International Happiness Day’ or if it’s something they do all the time, but it made me smile even more.
So basically what I’m trying to say is that, in life in general but when you’re in university in particular, don’t be afraid to do the ‘random’ things. Things that you ‘just go with’ may end up being some of the best experiences you have, like Spring Break was for me. Joining Model United Nations in my first semester of my second year was ‘random’ but I’ve been able to visit San Francisco, and will be going to Minneapolis and Nice, to attend MUN conferences. When you’re in university, be safe and embrace the random!