As the first of four undergraduate years of college is coming an end, I think about how I can properly sum it up. After yesterday, it was pretty clear that this entire year can be defined by one organization, one family: VSU Modern.
My entrance into college followed a long period of sadness for me over the summer, and so being this happy my first year was not at all expected. I had become a shell of my former self, and was stuck in a rut, feeling like there’s no way out.
During the fall quarter, and for a majority of winter quarter, I absolutely hated being at UCLA. I hated the pretentious attitude that seemed so prevalent in the people I met or always saw, and I hated the “bruin pride” that everyone felt the need to show every single waking moment of their lives. It was annoying as fuck, if I may say so myself. I spent most of my time missing my friends at other schools and watching Netflix, and was completely miserable.
But everything changed when I decided to audition for Modern again at mid-years and miraculously got in. Hearing that there was an interview process, I was extremely paranoid that the negativity that had completely taken hold of my black hole of a heart and mindset would render me unfitting, given the team’s charismatic nature. But for some reason, being myself—my actual self— at that interview, was easy. Last night, Michael prefaced my derpy superlative award with a short story about how, as Lship, they didn’t know what to expect from me at midyears, but were pleasantly surprised and “loved” my personality at the interview. Coming from someone that I’ve grown to look up to, and a group of leaders I absolutely admire, I was really moved. I couldn’t fathom the idea that for once in a really long time, I was a good person to be around.
Being on Modern gave me a family of people that could uplift and inspire within moments of being in their presence. It was a change of pace from the cut-throat competitive side of people that I’ve seen for my first quarter and a half at UCLA. It was amazing to find people that would appreciate my socially awkward, caffeine addicted, and innocent minded self. It was unbelievable that there was a group of people who would laugh at my puns and occasional Mean Girls references. I knew, then and there, that Modern had become a crucial part of my life—it gave me my closest friends in college and a niche that I could call my own. It gave me hope that the next few years of my life wouldn’t be like the past months that seemed so completely horrible. Every 10 hour practice during hell week, every shit-faced party, every study session at the Room of Requirement is something that I wouldn’t give up for anything in the world. Despite how tired I get or cranky, I know that it’s always worth it if it means spending time with Modern.
To my big and grand, thank you so much for taking me into your family and showering me with all of your love. Victor, you are the best big I could have ever asked for. Seeing you dance and be the way you are around everyone never fails to make my day. I love that we’re so similar and different at the same time because I can see myself both learning from you and relating to you every time we talk.
Although I still have qualms about calling myself a “dancer,” feeling sub par to the many amazing ones I’ve seen and met, I hope that one day, I’ll get there. I have seen this team grow so much in the short few months I’ve actually been on it, and I can only imagine how it would be given more time and more experiences. Personally, I want be able to be someone that noticeably improves, and in the future be someone that a new member can look up to.
So in short—my life as a bruin has definitely been changed for the better, and it’s all thanks to you all. I know that I don’t have a lot of you on tumblr, but thank god because this post is complete #cheese (the hashtag was so necessary). Stay humble, stay hungry, stay amazing.
Dancers first, family always.