Charlie Murphy! It’s a Celebration!

April 22, 2009

Celebrating accomplishments is an interesting thing. I have had quite the internal debate (between the many voices in my head… I hear there is medicine for this but then who would I talk to?) about when it is appropriate to celebrate and when it is seen as just plain bragging.

So a bunch of people I know decided to celebrate when they got into graduate school. I think this is great (I really do… In fact, I attended these celebrations with no qualms whatsoever), but when I got into graduate (law) school, I decided not to celebrate. Why you ask? Because I expected to get in. I know what you are thinking: “You’re going to celebrate after graduation right? Didn’t you expect to graduate?” The answer, of course, for both questions in yes. But after graduation, I plan on celebrating the past four years and the unexpected surprises and great times I had–not the fact that I am a college graduate (in fact, this is depressing and not worth celebrating whatsoever–this is just the first of many steps getting closer to the real world).

In the past couple days, I have received the pleasant news that I am receiving some honors at graduation. This was a complete surprise and I would love to celebrate these accomplishments. However, let’s look at this situation:

Mike: Hey friends, come with me to celebrate the fact that I got these honors and you may not have.
Friends: You are a conceited egomaniac.

I guess because I am in direct comparison with my friends in this situation, if I want to celebrate over this, there is the potential that I offend them because I received these honors and they may not have. Therefore, I really don’t want to celebrate (I celebrated this accomplishment by playing a spectacular game of Madden for Playstation 2. I won big in case you were wondering).

So, when is appropriate to celebrate? Do you celebrate when everyone expects something? Or do you celebrate when something is completely unexpected? It seems that the safest, most politically correct way to do it is to celebrate the former. However, in my opinion, what is the point of celebrating something you expected to happen? Derek Jeter expects to hit over .300 and when he does it’s no big deal. It’s quite the conundrum. I don’t know if there is a right answer.

Sidenote: This post was not a ploy to get people to ask me what honors I am receiving. They will find out when I walk around on graduation and tell them how much better I am than them.

Postscript: After writing a draft of this yesterday, a bunch of friends and I went to the bar. I was reluctant to bring up my honor that I was receiving, but I was really happy about it (and slightly buzzed) and brought it up. People said congratulations and moved on.

Law School Versus Undergrad

April 13, 2009

Now that I have sent in my deposit for law school and know where I am going (inquire within), there are a bunch of things I have been thinking about. Mainly is the difference between undergraduate and law school. Here are some topics that I think might be different:

In general, through my four years of undergrad, I woke up about fifteen minutes before class, put on a wrinkled t-shirt (usually a t-shirt with my school’s logo on it) and ran to class. In my overly creative head, this is how I think it will be in law school: I wake up an hour before class and stare into my closet. Do I wear my dark brown sweater vest or my greenish-brown sweater vest? I of course pick the greenish-brown sweater vest, as I want to save my brown sweater vest for my Young Lawyers Association meeting. I then go to my dresser drawers and pick out one of my numerous white collared shirts to put under my sweater vest and put on a pair of newly pressed khaki pants. Okay, I’m joking about this. When I went to visit law schools, I saw people wearing sweater vests, but I also saw people with t-shirts. I have to decide, do I want to be the same Mike who is casual, or the Mike that is always professional? It is a big decision. Hopefully I find a healthy medium.

Another thing that could be different is the difference in people between law school and undergrad. In undergrad, there are obviously incredibly intelligent people here (the idiots go to crappier schools… unless they are in-staters). But, in law school, everyone is intelligent. And, there are no such thing as in-staters. Will it be ultra competitive? Will people be nice to each other? Will I have to foil a plot of my murder because I did well on a test, thus ruining the curve (this is, of course, assuming I do well)? I exaggerate a little, but still, it is way different then undergrad.

Move-in day might be a little different as well. In undergrad, everything is so optimistic: you have the next four years to “find yourself” and grow as a person. The thing is, in law school, everyone has found themselves and are old. I could potentially be the youngest person there. Imagine me moving in with a 35 year old. He would look at me and say something like, “Son, turn around your backwards Yankee hat… Oh, god! The brim has rips in it! Just throw it out.” This obviously is yet another exaggeration in the world of Mike, but you get the point. It’s different.

Going with this move-in business, is it still cool to have posters in your room? And can they still be unframed? This, in addition to my wardrobe, is something I have been wrestling with in my head for months. If anyone has been in my bedroom in my apartment in undergrad, I take pride in how awesome it looks. But is it still cool to have Derek Jeter, Eli Manning and Eric Cartman hanging above your bed in law school? And can you imagine a framed South Park poster? How tacky and condescending is that? Seriously, I never beg for comments on my posts, but please, please, I need input on this.

The last difference is socializing. In my head, I feel like I will be in social isolation for three years, thus eliminating any chance to find a girl and replace my friends from undergrad with elitist New York intellectual friends (this is a joke–I will cry every night longing for the days of heavy drinking, practical jokes and outrageous situations from undergrad. Also, I will probably stalk my friends’ Facebook profiles and see how much more fun they are having than me). In all seriousness, it will probably be somewhere in between; I can kiss the weekend starting at Thursday good bye and will probably work my ass off. Accordingly, when I do go out, I will probably party hard because I don’t know when it will happen again (not like every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at undergrad).

So there are a lot of questions I have going into this new experience. Obviously I’m not rushing the next four weeks of undergrad away but putting down money for law school got me thinking. I know one thing: I’m gonna be busting my balls for a couple years. Everything else is the next three years is pretty blurry… except for the fact that Eric Cartman is staying on my wall, no matter what.

One More Thing…

April 1, 2009

So, my last post got the most hits EVER, which is pretty cool and probably not that great for my already bloated ego (it was also the first one I proofread.  Hmm, maybe there is some kind of correlation).  What can I say though, keep on visiting–I appreciate it.  I’ll also blog more of my funny stories since people seem to enjoy those (and will file some away for the very distant future if they offend/embarass people I will never see again after college).

Also, in attempt to stay cool and hip with the college kids, I have added a Twitter to my  page.  Although it is a poor rip off of a Facebook status, Twitter is pretty cool because I could do updates via text message, giving my “fans” (I use that word very lightly) up to the minute updates on ridiculous and funny things I see (it really also completely emphasizes my immature sense of humor, which is something I thought this blog would do, but doesn’t).   So thanks again and keep coming back to the blog.

“And to think of how I’m feeling right now…”

April 1, 2009

…I still remember how I felt 4 years ago
and when I think of how things are right now
it’s the same old song from years ago.”

That’s a lyric from Less Than Jake, one of the more underrated bands of my generation. These lyrics ring partially true in my life, as I do sometimes reflect on where I am, where I’ve been, and how I’ve progressed. However, when I think of four years ago and compare it to today, the song I sing is very different.

It’s weird to think that just a short four years ago, I was in a completely different place, with a different mindset, different values and just a completely different life. As a senior in high school, most of us are shallow. We care about being the big men on campus, which girl we are going to take to prom, and how we are going to miss the people we have spent the past thirteen years with in school when we go away to college. I know I was self-centered and that high school was the end all be all of life. There was nothing more important to me than my high school friends, prom, girlfriends, etc., etc.

What’s weird is that looking back on that situation, I had my priorities and values completely wrong. The things I cared about in high school are just ridiculous. My friends and I would have petty arguments with the basis being jealousy. I was so focused on these immature relationships, but more focused on myself and how to better my situation. In fact, when I look back at Mike at eighteen years old, it seems like a fiction story of a kid who cared for one person, and that was himself.

Now, four years later, there are some similarities in my life (besides being excited for a semi-formal, or prom with liquor). I guess I’m just as sentimental, but have a completely different outlook. Whereas in high school, I swore my friends would be friends forever (which turned out to be completely untrue), I have a similar mentality. I think I will always consider my college friends to be friends forever but to think that we will all end up in the same apartment building sharing meals together for the rest of our lives is just insane and a pipe dream. We will be all over the country, but can and will always relate to each other because of the memories we share and times we have had and will have.

Moving on from the gushy shit about friends, I guess the biggest difference for me over the past four years is my change in values. I can’t really put it into words, but when I look back at my thought processes four years ago and compare them to my thought process today, the only thing I can think is, “What the hell is wrong with me?” I guess this change in mentality happens when you mature (I think I’m halfway, at most, through that process) and when you finally find a niche where you are comfortable. I know I didn’t really find my passion or my calling until I found a group of people I was comfortable around and loved hanging out with.

I’m reflecting on the change in me over the past four years because I am in the home stretch to the end of college. Spring break has passed and the next momentous occasion is graduation. I think it’s always good to reflect on where I have come and how I am incredibly satisfied with the person I have become. They say college is the best four years of your life and that you grow significantly as a person. I would agree with whoever said that (I believe “they” said it). I can’t believe that my growing experience is almost over. I don’t want it to end, but part of me knows that it has to.