In my last notebook, I wrote about pulling my back, which led me to the conclusion that I need to take care of my health. This time around, I’m proud to announce that my efforts weren’t realized… because I didn’t make any. Honestly, the past year has been an unproductive rut of sorts for me. In addition to abusing my physical health, I have also grown stagnant in the things I’m doing with my life. However, after talking to friends (seniors in particular), I’ve started to reach out again. Despite my dropping grades and unmet obligations, I’m rediscovering all the small joys that I originally found as a freshman, whether on campus, in downtown Troy, or in the definition of what a good day is.
On campus, simply walking around (well, on a good day) can be fun. Much of campus has a rustic beauty, and it’s very, very easy to find a nice spot to sit and read, think, or people-watch. To fit the RPI archetype, there are even spots to sit with a laptop. I can think of three favorites off the top of my head, but I won’t be sharing those. They’re mine. Go find your own.
It can also be really fun to explore the buildings on campus—there’s so much variety, from the Instaworthy glass walls of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center to the rickety elevator in West Hall. There are still several buildings I haven’t gotten to know, and I look forward to exploring.
Downtown, walking through the streets or along the waterfront (once again, on a good day) is a breath of fresh air. If you’d like to visit an establishment, look no further. Everybody knows the classic Whistling Kettle for morning tea. But I’ve also found joy in drinking a cup of coffee and listening to live jazz with friends, perusing the shelves of the book shop, striking up conversation with a local potter (not that kind, pottery you potheads), and enjoying a nicer meal at one of the many hipster white food places. There, I said it. Downtown Troy is a happening place and, really, isn’t nearly as bad as the gossip says. South Troy is the part of town that’s actually bad, crime rates are much lower than they were a few years ago, and if you use your common sense regarding safety (don’t walk alone at night if you’re not equipped to), you’ll find that Troy is actually a very quaint city with quite a bit to offer. That’s something I’m really passionate about. In fact, keep an eye out—I just might start a column dedicated to all the ways we can unironically #EnjoyTroy.
And, last but not least, I’m looking back at what defines a good day for me. Slipping into the sophomore slums, I’ve adopted the attitude that I survive to reach the weekend; each day simply passes by. Now, I’m striving for the positive outlook that I used to have when I was younger. I’m striving to let the chirping birds or the nice sunset or the quirks of passersby be the uplifting things that make my day, as they once used to—because in the end, life doesn’t have to be boring or miserable like everybody tells you it does, and neither does RPI—because happiness is a choice.