The Good, The Bad, and The Funny– Penn State 2013 Edition

Over the past 12 months, a lot has happened in State College, making it a year to remember. From the start of the “Hackenberg Era,” to eLion crashing for senior scheduling, to a past professors getting in a heated argument with the Willard Preacher, there has been good news, bad news, and just straight-up funny news spreading around the University. Here is just a small sample of everything we have been through in 2013, the good, the bad, and the funny.

The Good:

This September was a very good month in State College. The month started with the return of Aaron Carter. The singer and younger brother to Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter performed in the spring last year but clearly had to come back for more, and this time at Levels. The club felt like 2001 again as Aaron performed such throwback songs as “I Want Candy” and “Aaron’s Party.”

Speaking of good songs, one of the best songs to ever grace Beaver Stadium made a special return in the middle of September at the home game against Kent State. As the student section freaked out with screams and shouts of “It’s back!!!” Sweet Caroline was played for the first time since the 2011 season. This felt like one of the first time that things were getting back to the way they used to be at dear old State.

September wrapped up with Homecoming weekend being taken over by the happiest 5k on the planet. The Color Run was held in State College this year with the race running itself right through the middle of campus. What’s more fun than watching kids covered in red, blue, pink and orange colored powder run around outside your window? Well, for one thing, being a part of the event was probably a lot more fun, at least that is what 10,000 participants probably thought!

Just after September ended, the Eisenhower Auditorium was graced with the presence of my favorite gymnast (and biggest celebrity crush too), Shawn Johnson. The 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and more recently the 2012 Dancing with the Stars winner spoke to a packed audience of students and community members. Just another reason why I love the concerts and speakers that this University sponsors!

The Bad:

THON 2013 was a great success with the final reveal showing that we surpassed last year’s total by more than $1.5 million and brought the overall total for the Four Diamonds Fund to more than $100 million for the kids. But the fact that students were developing symptoms of hypothermia while waiting in line to get in the BJC did not make for a good end to THON. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and plans are already in place for THON 2014 to make sure nothing like that happens again.

2013 was not a good year for Ticketmaster, especially in a very clutch moment and for a very special game. Ticketmaster first crashed just as the freshman football season ticket sales were beginning, causing mass chaos to ensue. Then later on in the year, Penn State Athletics reported that the Ticketmaster glitch over the summer caused them to oversell student tickets for the Michigan game. Thankfully, 1,100 compensation packages were offered to the students, which were grabbed up in a little over a day.

For the last few weeks of the fall semester, the HUB Late Night movies have not been offered to the students. Apparently, part of the projector has not been working properly for a while now, and ARHS decided to officially end the weekend movies until the holiday break. Luckily for us, plans to fix the projectors were made over break, and the once popular weekly event should be back in business next semester!

There have been many different responses to the Penn State Lives Here advertising campaign both good and bad, but mostly bad. I am not going to share my beliefs; I am merely here to say the campaign cost a lot of money (more than $800,000) and needed a tour to explain its goal. Recently, the signs that hung from many of the major buildings in State College were taken down and put into storage, so it looks like the end it near for this campaign.

 

The Funny:

With the end of the Penn State Lives Here advertising campaign in sight, the signs on Pattee Library, the Sackett Building, and Rec Hall were all taken down recently…or so we thought. Turns out, the sign on the Sackett Building was stolen. When OPP went around collecting the signs, it was reported that the $1,700 Sackett sign was already gone. There are no police leads so far and the Facebook community has already rejoiced in the news.

Over the summer, State College received “one of the largest non-tropical storms in 20 years,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Piggot. The streets downtown were flooded with rain water from the past few days, so much that locals were seen swimming and boating through the small rivers. Good thing the flooding happened during the summer, I can’t imagine the absurdities that would have happened during the semester.

Some fans of opposing teams can be annoying, but one Michigan fan at the Penn State vs Michigan game this year crossed the line and paid the price. From an eyewitness report, one Michigan fan that was standing with his buddy in the stands became confrontational with the students who surrounded him. At one point after Michigan scored, he began taunting everyone. That’s when security came in and attempted to escort him away before he grabbed on to the railing, refused to leave, took some swings at the state police, and got pepper sprayed in the face before being dragged out. It’s true what they say: A picture can say a thousand words.

After a video of Jeremy Fry, a Celtics Fan who exploded into song and dance to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” at a Celtic game went viral four years ago, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to do the same. That’s exactly what Devon Fields did in the new Pegula Arena. It doesn’t quite stand up to Fry’s version, but it’s still plenty entertaining.

Top 10 Penn State Moments of 2013

In the spirit of “Top 2013” lists, I figured a Penn State list would be in order. It was a long year filled with plenty of memorable moments in both sports, campus life and beyond. Though this year was full of many different newsworthy events, all of the significant events that I listed were events that I think brought us all closer together as a university and as one big family. We’ve been battered and bruised in the past, but we have been making great strides every day to show the world that we are (still) Penn State!

#10- Pegula Ice Arena Opening

This fall, the Pegula Ice Arena opened its doors to the public and to the men and women’s ice hockey teams after months of construction. The arena now hosts both teams game’s in its 6,000 seat main rink, with 1,000 of those seats being part of the Roar Zone—the hockey student section. It gets awfully loud in during a game, but that is exactly what Mr. Pegula had envisioned. On the night the arena opened for the first public viewing, he spoke about how he wanted this arena to be the loudest, most feared hockey arena in the nation. He also had hopes for the arena to be able to host state, regional and national ice hockey events. All of this will hopefully become a reality in the New Year is hockey season is already under way.

#9- McGloin’s Big Start in Oakland

It was a big deal last year when Matt McGloin got signed by the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted in the NFL, and it was an even bigger deal when reports this summer stated that McGloin was making a big impression on the higher-ups and pushing for the spot as backup quarterback. But the best news came about a month ago as he was named the starting quarterback in a game against Houston Texans, a team which had the top passing defense in the NFL at the time. I know my eyes were glued to the TV that weekend as McGloin brought honor to us all by beating the Texans 28-23. He threw 197 yards, completing 18-of-32 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His performance hasn’t been nearly the same since, but he sure had a stellar come-out game.

#8- World Campus Turns 15

In 1998 Penn State World Campus was first launched with only 41 students. But now, 15 years later, the campus has almost 12,000 students studying more than 90 programs or degrees. World Campus was originally created to help, “adult learners who may be balancing career, family, and education,” said Wayne Smutz, executive director of Penn State World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach. But now, students in many age groups and from all 50 states and 54 different countries are enrolled. World Campus is constantly growing and always improving as it was named No. 2 for online graduate engineering programs and No. 5 for online graduate computer information technology programs in 2013 by the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Online Education Program Rankings. Now there is something I bet you didn’t know!

#7- Beating Michigan in Men’s Basketball

You know it’s a good game when the crowd rushes the court afterwards. That was the case in the 84-78 upset against #4 ranked Michigan. As Michigan was attempting to make its way to the #1 seed only a few weeks before March Madness 2012, we defeated them at home, on Senior Night, in our first conference victory of the season. Pat Chambers was quoted after the game saying, “I kept saying we were close. I knew we were going to earn one somewhere, somewhere down the line. I didn’t know when and where. But what a great night to do it.” What a great night indeed…

#6- State College Ranked #3 College Town

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) ranks the best college towns in the US every year, and State College was ranked the third best college town once again (we received the same award in 2012 too). What makes this specific award more significant than the other awards that State College receives is the ranking system used. Based on 12 different subcategories ranging from the cost of living to entrepreneurial activity to student diversity, the judging committee looks at the entire college experience, including, “The people students meet, the places they go, and the jobs they may hold,” says the AIER. We rank #2 in research capacity, #3 in student concentration, and #3 in city accessibility, just to name a few.

#5- Coach of the Year: Bill O’Brien

Many times this past year Bill O’Brien was awarded “Coach of the Year” honors from different organizations for the work he did with the 2012 Nittany Lions. He was first names ESPN’s Coach of the Year, then Maxwell Club Collegiate Coach of the Year, then the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year, and then B1G Coach of the Year, and finally the Big Ten Men’s Coach of the Year. Not only was he awarded all of these honors after he lead our team to an 8-4 record, but he accepted them with the utmost humble gratitude. O’Brien has never been one to hog the spotlight, he has always put the program and everyone involved before himself. I guess we will have to wait until next year to see which honors and recognitions come his way in 2014!

#4- Completion of South Halls New luxury suites Dorms

If you have been in the newly built Chace Hall, or the recently renovated Haller and Lyons Halls, then you know how nice they are. New furniture, new appliances, air conditioning, and a much more modern look make these living options some of the nicest on campus. Chase Hall, which was completely new, has the nice addition of a Learning Station where four students with their own laptops can plug in to one single monitor to collaborate on group projects. Haller and Lyons Hall are mainly used for sorority housing and offer similar amenities that Chase Hall has. Sororities housed in these buildings have a shared meeting room, along with a kitchenette and a living room area for each suite. Construction is not quite complete on the entire project which is estimated to be finished around December 2014.

#3- THON 2013

Last year was quite the record setting year for THON. As people were freezing—literally, some students were treated for minor cases of hypothermia—waiting in line to get inside, the floor of the BJC was hot with dancers and musical performances. With performances by the RAM Squad, the Penn State Drumline, My Hero Zero, Go Go Gadget, and many others, the electric atmosphere never faded throughout the event. And when it was time for the final reveal, we had surpassed last year’s total by more than $1.5 million and brought the overall total for the Four Diamonds Fund to more than $100 million for the kids!

#2- Women’s Volleyball Winning their 6th National Championship

Just a few nights ago Women’s Volleyball made history yet again. The Nittany Lions defeated five other teams starting about 3 weeks ago to get to the championship match in Seattle, Washington against No. 12 Wisconsin who had upset No. 1 Texas just days before. The match against Wisconsin was not as easy as it may seem with the Badgers being ranked No. 12 and our team being ranked No. 2. Wisconsin gave it their all, but we ended up on top, winning 3-1 and clinching our 6th National Championship, the first one since we swept 2007-2010, winning four straight.

#1- Beating Michigan in Football in Quadruple Overtime

The highlight of this year’s football season was, without a doubt, the white out Michigan game. This was one of the most heart wrenching and emotionally battering games I’ve ever witnessed and it went on for four overtimes. It set the record for the longest game in Beaver Stadium, culminating in a 3-yard run on fourth and inches and then a 2-yard run for the touchdown that made the final score 43-40. This was one of those games where I felt like I was completely emotionally invested in the action that was taking place on the field, even though I was cheering from the stands. And quadruple overtimes just added to the excitement and the fact that this game will be remembered and talked about for many years to come.

7 Things Every Penn State Freshmen Should Have Learned By Now

As the semester is coming to a close and everyone is occupying the library, battening down the hatches, and cramming as much knowledge as they can in their brains for finals, it’s important to relax for a second, breathe, and look back on the road we’ve traveled to get to where we are now.

As a sophomore, I like to think back not only to the beginning of this semester, but also to the beginning of my college career entirely. After my very first semester of college a lot of thoughts were swarming through my head about all I had accomplished, the things that were completely different from how I had imagined them being, and how much closer I was to reaching the real world (dun dun duuun!)

Here are the seven things I think every Penn State freshman should have learned by the end of their first semester.

1.      College is not the same for everyone.

Despite what the movies may show, college is completely different then what you may have thought it would be like before coming to Penn State. That’s why your preconceived notions and newfound realities vary from person to person. College is different for everyone depending on the friends you make, the groups you’re involved in, the classes you take, etc. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just something to keep in mind if it seems like other people are getting more or less out of their college experience than you.

2.      College is what you make it.

If you haven’t already realized it, I’m here to tell you one last time: Your college experience can be whatever you make it. Penn State is a humongous university, but it can easily be made smaller by the choices you make. Getting involved is the easiest way. Find a club or organization that you will enjoy being a part of, and you will likely find friends there. It’s always tough to initially put yourself out there, but once you do I guarantee it will pay off. Everyone is in the same boat; don’t forget that you aren’t alone in your search for the right friend group. Don’t give up if you haven’t found your niche yet, it takes time to find friends that are the right friends for you. They’re out there.

3.      We are all Penn State.

Every last one of us is Penn State, even the Willard Preacher. Once you’re here, you’re family. You can transfer, you can graduate, you can even drop out, but you will always be a part of Penn State. Going here is like joining a lifelong brotherhood that will follow you everywhere in your life. You can try to escape it, but Penn Staters can sense each other from a mile apart, so good luck avoiding it. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing; it will most likely come in handy in job interviews or in breaking the ice with people you’ve just met. Be proud of where you come from, it can only do you good.

4.      Football games are the place to be on Saturdays.

And that means no matter the weather either. The last home game of this year which was against Nebraska was freezing cold and snowing for most of the game, but it was one of my favorite games of the year. It was a great way to send off the seniors and a great way to start Thanksgiving break. And don’t even get me started on the Michigan game this year. The best game of the past few seasons by far. For those who went, you will be telling your grandchildren about how amazing it was (well maybe not, but you get the point). If you didn’t buy student tickets this year, you might want to reconsider your life choices and buy them next year.

5.      The Freshman 15 isn’t just a rumor.

Personally, I only gained 12 pounds my freshman year, so I consider myself one of the lucky few. But the easy access of food nearly everywhere sure doesn’t help keep the pounds away. It’s tough to have some self-control when you can smell the Grilled Stickies from across the street or when you see fresh west cookies come out of the oven. Thankfully, the dining commons do offer healthy food options every single day. Whether you choose to eat those options instead of a bacon double cheeseburger is up to you though. Just remember, new eating habits can start anytime, and they can benefit or hurt you down the road. And for goodness sakes, skipping a meal is never ever a smart way to stay healthy or skinny (take NUTR 100 and thank me later).

6.      Penn State is the beginning of the real world.

Time to face reality, because it’s been knocking on your door all semester. College may be the first time some people have ever lived away from home for more than a week of summer camp. It’s extremely scary at first, knowing your family isn’t just in the room next door, having to make all the important decisions without your parents by your side, and having to make a whole new friend group. I found trying to be self-motivated to be the toughest thing about college. Along with all the added responsibilities to your life, it’s tough to stay sane. But for all those freshmen reading this, I promise it only gets easier. As you get more comfortable with college, these problems will start to disappear and become simple realities. One day you will look back on your first semester and laugh at your freshman self for thinking CAS 100 was a tough class.

7.      College is a blessing.

We all have those days where we don’t want to get out of bed and go to class, where we wonder why we are even at college, paying x amount of dollars for a degree in whatever subject. But then there are the days where we realize how lucky we are to be going to such a great university. College may not seem important now, but you are learning for the future every single day in every single class. Studies show that a college degree increases your salary and decreases your chance of unemployment. And once you graduate, the degree you will have with you will carry the best name along with it: The Pennsylvania State University. So savor the short amount of time you have at Penn State, be thankful for the fact that you are attending such a prestigious school, and never forget to relax, live in the moment, and the future will fall in place as it is meant to be.

Put Down the Phone and Welcome to the Real World

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot more of the tops of people’s heads while walking around campus. It’s not because I’m getting taller, or because people are getting shorter, or because the tops of heads interest me. It’s because of technology, specifically cell phones.

I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about when I say a good majority of people are constantly on their cell phones, absorbed into technology like zombies. Strolling around the mall, walking on the sidewalk, at the gym, right before they go to bed at night and as soon as they wake up in the morning. Smart phones have taken over people’s lives, it’s the sad truth. As they stare down at whatever device is in their hands, all I can do is shake my head at them and walk on.

It has become a major issue, the fact that a lot of people are so reliant on technology that they feel the need to always be connected to the internet and to share every single picture or event that happens to them. We all know people like this, and become really annoying after a while. How do they even have enough time to post 30 Facebook statuses in one day? Whose attention are they trying to get with all these messages? And what’s the point really?

I think the whole downward spiral of face-to-face communication all began with texting. It gave people the ability to keep two separate conversations going at once; one with the person in front of their face, and one with a person anywhere in the world. It was convenient, easy to use, and best of all it provided instant feedback – something that has become more difficult for people to live without. Today, the same still holds true, sometimes rising to a more serious level.

Quite frankly, I think texting is terrible. I would much rather see someone face-to-face or at the very least call them on the phone rather than text them. Unlike texting, verbal communication provides so much more emotion and feeling that texting can’t provide (but tries to with the use of emoji’s). Also, texting can be taken many different ways, which can end in arguments or major miscommunications. I do admit, it is convenient, but that’s where the positives end.

As sort of a snowball effect (speaking of, how ‘bout this weather), manners and proper etiquette have gone out the window along with face-to-face communication skills. It’s rare that I can count on people to be on time to events because everyone has resorted to being “fashionably late,” which I don’t think is very fashionable at all. When I visit a store or a restaurant, it’s rare to see employees my age looking at me when they talk to me, being proficient in the work they do, or providing customer service when I have a question or a problem. Now that could be the fact that it’s a little bit awkward to treat a customer that is your age the same as an adult customer, but those kinds of situations are something we need to get more acquainted with as younger generations start to become the primary job holders.

But contrary to everything that is going on in the world, I think chivalry isn’t dead. I’ve seen signs that there is hope. People still hold the door for me, occasionally, and sometimes I hear the words “please,” “excuse me” and “thank you” as I ride the bus around campus. These are little things, but sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference, and these little things are a good start to getting better at face-to-face communication.

I hope those who read this can see that technology and our cell phones are pulling us farther away from each other. So put away your phone for a little while, don’t worry about who might send you a video of a cute kitten chasing its tail in the next hour. Other people can wait while you enjoy yourself. It’s not your job to respond to everything thrown at you 5 seconds after it happens. So put away your phone, look up, smile, and take a deep breath and take it all in. Welcome to the real world.

The 4 Parts of A College Student’s Thanksgiving Break

As Thanksgiving came to an end, it was tough to realize that school started today. Yes, for those of you who are still sitting in bed at home, classes began again this morning. It’s was especially tough to be motivated to go to class today because some high schools had today off. You know what they say though, Penn State never cancels class for anything, not even national holidays.

It never fails to amaze me how fast time flies while I’m on break, yet as soon as I step foot on campus time slows down to the pace of a sloth. But finals will be here before you know it and then the second semester and soon enough college will be over. Sorry, getting a tad ahead of myself there…

Anyways, this break has had four very distinct parts to it, parts that changed without notice, and I’m hoping I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Sleep:

Sleep started as soon as I got home, a few hours after the home football game Saturday. It was freezing – literally – so it took a good bit of time to thaw out before hitting the road and getting caught in the normal football traffic. But once I got home it was warm greetings from the family, a quick meal, unpacking the essentials, and then off to bed.

My bed at home is infinitely better than my bed at school. It’s larger, warmer (especially with the added bonus of a cat curled between your legs as you sleep), and much quieter because it isn’t in the same room as two other beds. Even when I’m not sleeping I’m still in bed; relaxing, reading, watching terrible (yet wonderful) movies on Netflix, or just daydreaming. I love my bed, it’s one of my most favorite things about being home. And no classes equals no problems, so my bed is where I lay for most of the beginning of break.

Boredom:

Too much of one thing can always be bad, no matter what that thing is. Eventually, this seemingly wonderful laziness turns into boredom. There’s nothing good on TV, Facebook hasn’t changed in hours, and doing something productive actually seems like a good idea. As I venture out of the bedroom and down to the kitchen, there’s still nothing to do. Boredom is like a disease, once one person gets it, it seems to spread to the entire family. Before you know it, everyone is lined up in front of the TV, in their PJs, all ready for a night full of, well, nothing. When all hope is lost, I felt I may never find anything to do, but eventually my pain was relieved on Thursday.

Family:

Finally, Thanksgiving is here to save the day. As my family and I piled into the car, I couldn’t help but think of all the family members I hadn’t seen in months or even years. As strange as family can be sometimes, especially when they try and comment on your Facebook posts, you still have to love them, because they’re family.

Thanksgiving is always a special time for me for many reasons. First, it’s a time that signifies a good bit of the birthdays in our family, so there is always cake and presents on Thanksgiving. Also, stuffing your face is almost a cultural norm. Thanksgiving food – turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and mashed potatoes – is some of my favorite holiday food. And lastly, corny as it sounds, giving thanks for the things that my family and I have is one of my favorite parts of the holiday. It’s always nice to reminisce on the past and think about how much has changed since last Thanksgiving.

Stress:

I have a paper due Tuesday morning? I thought that test was the next Monday!

After a long night of digesting, all the realizations of post-Thanksgiving seem to hit me at once. The time that I had planned to spend with friends or my family now must be focused back on school before school even begins again. Looks like I’ll be locking myself in my room for the next few days, not to relax more but to get schoolwork done.

And along with the stress of next week’s classes, finals are just around the corner and many companies are starting their internship or post-graduation job interviews. Everything seems to hit full force the second break is over.

But there, in the horizon, an oasis! Christmas Break is only three weeks away, two Monday’s of classes and a week of finals. And it will be here before you know it, it always works like that. Time to hit the books, finals here I come.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving this year was spent in Westport, Connecticut at my aunt and uncle’s new house. The house was only completed a couple months before last year’s Thanksgiving, so that was the “breaking-the-house-in” Thanksgiving so to speak. This year’s holiday has been much more relaxed in comparison to last years, considering the house has been lived in for more than just a few months. With family and friends gathered around the dining room table, (piled high with the traditional recipes – such as turkey, stuffing and ratatouille) it is nice to be spending a calmer Thanksgiving with those closest to me. It’s always a rare occasion to get everyone together for the holidays, and the fact that we hail from Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Connecticut and Virginia doesn’t make it any easier. But this year, all but one of the cousins (who happened to be off in China traveling, lucky guy) is accounted for.

After plenty of hordervers, a heaping plate of food, some homemade pumpkin pie, a couple of home videos, two or three friendly games of billiards, and the chance to meet some new friends of the family, it was off to bed. It’s true what they say, turkey and good conversation really do make you sleepy. Even day-old turkey is having the same effect on me as I lounge on one of the couches, yawning intermittently as I type away at this piece. But last night, as I lay in my makeshift bed, I couldn’t help but think of all the things that I should be thankful for.

There are a couple different categories of things that I think we should all be thankful for in life. The basics are, of course, the health (mental, physical and emotional) of ourselves and our family, and the happiness we all share together. I think the friends and family that we have are extremely important as well, whether they are surrounding us at the dinner table or are thousands of miles away. And lastly, the physical possessions that we have either earned or that have been given to us.

Along with these ideas, most of which are fairly basic and which cross my mind frequently, there are other more individualistic things that I am happy for as well. Often when I think of the past, I think about where I am today and the journey I’ve taken to get here. From starting my schooling career in Pennsylvania in 3rd grade to now being close to done with my 3rd semester of college, a lot of time has passed from then until now, time that has been filled with memories and adventures from elementary school to well through high school.

Along this line, I am very thankful for where I am today. I’m thankful for the college I am a part of every single day, even when I’m not in class or even on campus. I’m thankful for the knowledge I have learned at school, which has helped me get to where I am today. Being a hospitality major, people think that all we learn how to do is hold doors. But in reality, the knowledge I have gained from these classes has helped me succeed in my field of work as well as in my everyday interactions with new people and working on projects. With the future being a common topic around the Thanksgiving dinner table, I’m glad I have a plan in the works for mine.

Plans sometimes don’t always work out though. We often forget that the unexpected is always lurking around the corner, easily able to turn a seemingly flawless plan into a disaster. But those failed plans can always become equally fun memories, another thing to be thankful for. The experiences behind these memories are something I always hold close to my heart. Over the summer, I discovered a quote from the famous author/composer who goes by the name “anonymous,” that said, “In a world where all is, in the end, ash, the only real moments of glory we have are in the moments of experience.” When you think about the world we live in this way, I think it really rings true to the fact that our lives are what we make of them. We are not defined by the things we own, but by what we do with those things.

Life is precious, it really is. Each day that we have on earth is a gift, and it’s our job to accept that gift and make the most out of it. Thanksgiving is a very special idea, a holiday that gives us a set date and an excuse to think about the things we are thankful for. But in reality, every day should be treated this way.

Only a few minutes before I began writing this article, at the top of my Facebook page was a post from an old friend about the unexpected passing of his grandmother. I knew his grandma well. She was a substitute teacher at my high school for a long time. She was strict to those she wasn’t familiar with, but once she got to know you, she was a very kind hearted and sweet lady. I can only imagine that the life of a substitute teacher must be an interesting one. A different class every day. A new adventure every morning.

This is exactly how she lived her life though, like it was a new adventure every morning. Each day was a new page in the book of life for her, and she was very thankful for every one of those days. At the end of the Facebook post, my friend wrote, “To everyone else who reads this, do yourself a favor and live each day like it’s your last because there’s no real way of knowing when that day will come.”

That day could be today. That day could be tomorrow.That’s the excitement of life; you never know what it may bring. Sometimes the thought scares me, but other times it energizes me. We are only guaranteed the present, the future is merely a thought in our minds. If today was your last day on earth, would you be happy with what you had accomplished in life thus far? Or would you be filled with regret, wishing you had said yes to some things you had said no to?

So, to everyone who reads this, do yourself a favor and live each day like it’s your last, because there is no real way of knowing when that day will come. Be thankful for today and every day for what you have. Life is a gift, accept it and reap the benefits of every single day.