During the month of January, I found myself getting more and more morose on a much more frequent basis. It was sort of scary. I’m not quite sure what brought about the brooding, ill-foreboding demeanor, but I do know that it was starting to effect my work and my personal life. Some people would assume that it’s just normal to get that way in January due to the winter doldrums. Some may speculate that I got used to being a young twenty-something and was brought down by the fact that I was turning 26 at the end of the month.
I don’t know if it was either of these things that brought me down, though turning 26 was as uneventful as it could have possibly been. Just to imagine that 5 years ago I spent my birthday night out at the bar with 20+ undergraduates and alumni from my fraternity in a drunken stupor…but I digress.
Honestly, I think that the weight of my disgusting amount of student loans finally lowered its boom on my back. Sure, I’ve been paying them back since July, but when that small CitiBank loan kicked in at the beginning of December – that was the kick in the balls that I really didn’t need. Thankfully, I’ve already paid back 25% of this smaller loan and I anticipate having it paid off by the time the summer starts (if not beforehand). Stupid small loan trying to mess with me…
However, as much as taking a financial stand against my student loans has been a positive influence in my daily life I think that my volunteer work has been a bigger pick-me-up. It started when I went out on my annual trip to St. Louis for Sigma Pi Fraternity’s Mid-Year Leadership Conference. This is an event where the new undergraduate Presidents, Treasurers, and Recruitment Chairmen are each trained on how to operate the chapter while the alumni volunteers (me) are put into a separate education track for the weekend. Not only did I get to present at this year’s workshop (my topic was how to have better workshops), but I also enjoyed hanging out at some of St. Louis’ more famous landmarks (the Arch, the Budweiser Worldwide Headquarters, Laclede’s Landing).
The best part about these fraternity events, for me at least, is that you come back from them on a natural high about life. In other words, the whole morose feeling that was bringing me down prior to the St. Louis trip was gone.
And I only bring this up because I just remembered how crappy January was and how out of place it is for January to be a bad month for me. I’m a January fan, but this year sucked. I’m glad that I had a volunteer-based weekend in St. Louis to give me a nice kick in the ass. 🙂