Reading…My New Hobby

I think I just had an epiphany.  A  moment of solitudinal (and I think I totally made that word up) reflection of some sort.

As I sit in my apartment watching Monday Night Football, I am reminded of my undergraduate days at South Dakota State University.  My friends, those were the days.  I was 19…a newbie to undergraduate life who didn’t have a care in the world.  I can’t say it was my first time away from home because it really wasn’t.  Prior to enrolling at SDSU, I enlisted in the Army National Guard and headed off to basic training and AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  For 14 weeks, I endured a vigorous training regime that included, to the best to my memory, a lot of push-ups, front/back/go’s, road marches, etc.  After completing the training at Ft. Leonard Wood, I felt like I had figured a lot of things out for my life (directionally) and was ready to move in that next stage of life called college.

Now, I have never been a big study book reading guy.  For whatever reason, the reading aspect of learning was never hard for me.  During my undergraduate years, I never cracked a book …ever.  Ashamedly, at the time,  I was more concerned with two things:  (1) who was I going to find to  buy me a case of Bud Light (since I was 19) and (2) how I was going to sneak it into my “dry” dorm room.  Because, let’s be honest, watching Monday Night Football… in your dorm room…with NO beer…and  five other dudes is, IMHO, is lame-o-a-rama-thon.

During my undergraduate years, I didn’t take a whole of things seriously – including my education.  I wouldn’t say I studied a whole lot during those times and I relied heavily on my analytical strengths and being able to absorb information quickly and effectively.  But after being out of school for almost 8 years and reinserting myself back into the full-time MLHR graduate program, I am discovering that what I did before is not going to work for me now.  I have grown up a lot since then and have taken a more serious approach towards academics.  In order to survive a full-tilt graduate program, I knew I was going to have to be committed, focused and, most importantly, dedicated to finishing.  I feel the years I worked professional cultivated in me the necessary skills and attributes that will carry me through to graduation in 2012.

So tonight, almost 8 years later, I am sitting in front of my TV again…watching Monday Night Football…muted.  And I’m reading.  No beer.  No dudes.  Just me, a muted TV, a few books and a bottle of S. Pellegrino sparkling water with a lemon.  I find two things very applicable here:  (1)  I’m not getting behind on my reading assignments and (2) I definitely won’t be fighting some ridiculously STUPID hangover in the morning.

My epiphany:  In 2000, I was cracking beers…In 2012, I decided I’m cracking books instead.

Trust me, folks, that’s deep.  Like, Dr. Phil deep.