- Letters to Editor
When my senior year began, I wanted to accomplish so many different tasks. This was my last year of college and I was not about to go out with a bang. The only problem was, I had no idea where to start.
One night, I was driving around with some friends in Lexington. We had intentions on going out and having dinner, which is not exactly living on the edge.
But once we arrived at the restaurant, it was entirely too crowded and we skipped out. Driving around just searching for something to do, we came upon a very interesting and free way to entertain ourselves: The world’s largest water balloon fight.
Believing this was merely a bad public relations scheme to get people to show up, we decided to drive by the University of Kentucky to see what was happening. But we were wrong.
After fighting through all the people, my friends and I saw a football field covered with water balloons. We took pictures with people we did not know. We screamed on video cameras with everybody we did not know. Then, we had a water balloon fight.
Immediately following picking up my first balloon, I was tackled to the ground.
I threw so many water balloons and dodged so many close calls it felt like I was in World War III.
But once it was over and we were drenched from head to toe, we just sat in the football field and laughed. Not knowing what exactly I had done, I realized I just participated in a world record water balloon fight with 11,622 other people involving 236,484 water balloons.
Following this night, I made a pact to continue doing things I have never done before.
The next week, I attended my first showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show live at the Kentucky Theatre.
Though I had seen Rocky Horror before, I had never truly experienced it. Drag queens and rolls of toilet paper being thrown about was definitely not something I was expecting.
Before the movie started, a drag queen jumped on stage and announced through a phallic object that we were going to play “games.” Suddenly, a handful of audience members were dragged onto the stage and forced to change clothes with someone of the opposite gender. Needless to say, it was one of the most amusing things I had ever seen.
As it started, the whole crowd began singing the opening song, “Science Fiction Double Feature.” But the beat truly kicked up, once everybody began yelling obscenities at Susan Sarandon’s Janet character.
Throughout the evening, people had been throwing breadcrumbs and toilet paper. But once the “Time Warp” started, things got insane. I was forced to stand and dance the “Time Warp.” And then, we did the “Time Warp” again.
It was in that moment of dancing when I realized I was truly participating in Rocky Horror.
But perhaps my most joyous and enrapturing experiences this year have been during my time at The Progress. Aside from stress-filled press nights and frantically running around to get stories, there were a lot of nights spent with people I never expected to become friends with.
When I first entered The Progress office, I was petrified. The editors terrified me and I was quite possibly the most socially awkward human being on the face of the planet.
But my senior year, I was on top. I was in charge of the newspaper. And being in charge, allowed me to interact with so many people on a professional level, which has led to some of the closest friendships I have ever had.
This year alone, I had traveled with these people to Chicago, St. Louis and Louisville for conferences. We have won awards together. We have grown into ourselves together.
When I transferred to Eastern two years ago, I was a frightened child with no close friends, no aspirations and no confidence. Coming to Eastern has changed me.
I am extremely confident. I have life-long friends. I’m graduating with more experience than I know what to do with and I have even more opportunities available.
But the most importantly I learned to do at Eastern is participate. I changed from being the frightened boy in the corner into becoming the confident man I am today.
Eastern helped me be myself. And that’s more valuable than anything I could have learned in a class.