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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Orientation: Day 1

Welcome back to the start of a grand new school year. The rain came down in sheets, the dopey looks on the faces of the new flock brought something that resembled joy to my heart, and I even got a chance to speak/otherwise corrupt the masses. Today I spoke at the alcohol awareness/substance abuse presentation called "Molecules that Monkey with your Mind". As usual the presentation was fantastic. To no surprise, the most audience-receptive parts of the presentation were the parts involving sex or a monkey video--good to see HSC still thrives at what it's good at.

God I sound cynical.

Anyway, As I said, I got the chance to speak, and I promised some people that I would share my little speech on the site. Unfortunately I didn't print out what I read, so I just winged it. My delivery, according to my roommate's brother was "not perfect, but not terrible." I'm just going to copy what I wrote in this post: it has the same meaning and is just better worded. Besides, I can't even remember what I actually said. So here it is:

Ya know, they told us we should keep these stories concise and to the point, and that we should avoid rambling. Well I’m awful at both of those, so I just wrote down what I have to say. My name is Walter McCoy. Some know me as “Flash”. I’m a senior here, English Major, double minor in theatre and creative writing. When Shawn [White] suggested that I give my story, it was with the idea that I would represent the “Independent” type of student. I don’t really agree with that though, and here’s why: My freshman year was rough. I was shy. I wasn’t very good at making friends. I became very susceptible to bullying. By the end of my first semester I had dealt with the same types of immature bullying that you would expect from high schoolers. My second semester was much better, and by the end I had even had a paper vandalized with hateful messages. I almost didn’t come back, and I think that’s probably understandable. I did come back, though, and that’s because, despite the bullying I’d received, I still managed to make a few friends. My freshman year taught me that although I was a bit of a misfit nerd that didn’t drink, I could still find a niche. My sophomore year, I decided to do something to change my Hampden-Sydney experience. I talked to Shawn [White] and got started with The Student Network, which we just called “The Mentor Program” at the time. The idea was that I could prevent new students from having the same experience as me. The take-away message that I want to leave for you guys right now is this: look around you. Hampden-Sydney has this big stigma about how it is an all-male school with a whole bunch of people who are just like one another. The truth though is that, despite your similarities, each of you are individual, independent students. The best piece of advice that I can give is that you should always remember who you are. It sounds cheesy, I know, but seriously: don’t change who you are or act differently just because you want to fit a stigma. Just because HSC is known to be a drinking college, it doesn’t mean you have to drink all the time. Just because guys here will occasionally use certain substances, it doesn’t mean that you need to do so to fit in. I stand here now—a student here for four years, a nerd, perpetually broke, non-athletic, gay—and I think I manage to fit in here just as well as anyone else can. If you ever need someone to talk to you or help you, I will help you no matter who you are; even if we’re from completely different walks of life. That’s what the student network is about: We are all different, but we are all still a part of the same student body, the same network of students. Thank you.
Well that's the gist of my "Speech to the Freshmen". There were some receptive laughs when I mentioned the  fact that I wasn't straight, but whatever. I do what I want. Plus, I'm a senior now, so I really just ready to lay the beat down on anyone who tries to give me any shit this year...In a completely metaphorical sense, of course.

That's all I got for today. Will post more later!

--Your Editor

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