Monday Funday

Well, most people (including myself) wouldn’t cut right to the chase and call Mondays fun. As a tired college student, I generally despise Mondays–especially last semester, since Monday was not only the start of a busy week, but it also happened to be my busiest day of the week.

So, no, I generally wouldn’t call Mondays fun.

Yesterday, though. Yesterday was different. It probably would have been better than an average Monday already, seeing as I am still on break and have zero immediate obligations. However, yesterday was just an all around awesome day
for a couple of reasons:

1) Meeting up with my 3Aers

I am currently a student Hall Director at Morris; before having this job, I was a Community Advisor (more commonly known as a Resident Assistant or RA) for two years. My residents and I didn’t really click the first year I was a CA so I don’t really have a good relationship with any of them anymore. Usually it’s just kind of awkward when I see them around campus, to be honest. My residents from last years, though? Oh, my (that’s a good oh my, mind you!). 3A was quite the floor last year and I loved being the CA of it. My 3Aers were, on the whole, a fantastic group, and I still keep in touch with a few of them.

Two of my former residents transferred to other colleges this year; Mitchell came to visit Morris in August, but I haven’t seen Tab since I checked her out of her room in May. The three of us decided it was about time for a reunion; yesterday, we met up as close to halfway in between where we were all coming from as possible. Hanna, one of my other former residents who still goes to Morris, also joined us. Even though we still go to the same school, I definitely don’t see her as often as I did last year since–we live in different buildings and are both busy doing our own things, after all.

The four of us went out to lunch and saw a movie together and it was great. They were the same as ever and it was just so fun to see them.

If you would have told me in August of last year that my residents would end up being some of the best people I’d meet during my junior year of college, I probably would have laughed; I really didn’t have a good relationship with my floor my first year as a CA and I was so worried that it would turn out the same last year. I’m so glad it didn’t. Wherever these kids go (and I know they’ll go far) they’ll always be my residents; I watched them grow from the baby freshman that they were at the beginning of the year (Mitchell was actually PSEO, so he was even younger) to well-seasoned college students, after all. I went through some difficult times last school year, particularly during spring semester when I was experiencing such bad anxiety. My 3Aers were always a constant in my life, though; they were such a crazy and fun bunch and they could always put a smile on my face regardless of how I was feeling.

These kids! I miss them! They were such a great group to have in my last year as a CA.

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From left to right: Myself, Tab, Hanna, Mitchell. IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE THEM!

2) Seeing Ari Herstand in Concert!

Yesterday, I met up with my best friend since kindergarten, Nicole, at her Minneapolis apartment; from there, we proceeded to tackle the current, frigid Minnesota weather in order to get to First Avenue, a local nightclub and music venue that is prominent in the Minneapolis area for hosting lesser-known musicians who are looking to kick-start their careers. Ari Herstand, a native-born Midwesterner who moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, was playing there as one of his stops on his Midwestern tour. He started his musical career in Minneapolis in the mid-2000’s, prior to moving to L.A. in 2010 in order to further his career, and it was very clear that this was a really special show for him, in a homecoming of sorts.

I was first introduced to Ari when he visited my high school and played for the band program back when I was a junior–this would have been five years ago, then. I was in band all four years of high school (I played the flute for all those who are interested) and had the pleasure of hearing him perform in the band room at my school. He’s an extremely talented musician who can play multiple instruments as well as sing and I was really impressed by the performance he put on in the band room. I’ve kept up on his musical whereabouts for the last five years and would have loved to see him at any one of his previous Minneapolis concerts, though I was always unable to for whatever reason. So, when I heard he was coming back to Minneapolis for a concert at First Ave. at the same time that I’d be home for winter break, I jumped on the opportunity. I asked Nicole to join me even though she didn’t know much about his music before last night, because I know that she always loves discovering new musical artists. Also, we have a history of being concert buddies, ever since 2008 when we had the pleasure of seeing the Backstreet Boys live at the Minnesota State Fair…yeah, that happened…my first concert ever, people…Backstreet Boys, ’08…ohh man.

Anywho, back Ari to. OH MY GOD THE CONCERT WAS AMAZING! I own some of his music and took the time to go see him in concert so, obviously, I knew that I liked his music and knew he was a phenomenal musician. It’s always different hearing performances live, though, and when he started singing the first song of the set on stage, I was a little dumbfounded; I thought, damn, I forgot he sounded so good live! It has been five years, folks…

To make it better, he is so personable and so fantastic at interacting with his audience. He clearly loves what he does and he loves his fans. He invited one of the opening acts to come up and sing a duet with him and he even had his younger brother come up and perform one of his own original songs on stage. I thought that was so cool! Not only does he love what he does, but he loves supporting other artists and reaching out to them, which is way awesome.

After the concert, he came out and talked to fans and Nicole and I were able to have a conversation with him for about five minutes. I bought a CD of his new album, Brave Enough, after the concert and he signed the cover. He gave Nicole recommendations for what she should order at a diner in Minneapolis that she’s never been to before.

After Nicole and I left First Ave., we went to a bar and got some cider, which was the perfect way to warm ourselves up a little bit given how cold it has been in Minnesota the last couple of days.

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Post-concert selfie

All in all, it was a fantastic day. Quite a fun Monday…a nice change from the usual, that’s for sure!

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