This post is kind of funny to me considering I was never expecting to go Indiana anytime soon, not to mention ever. I am apart of an organization on my university’s campus called IFC. IFC stands for Interfraternity Council and it is exactly what it sounds like; It is a group of men pulled from their organizations that creates an executive team acting as the governing body over all fraternities on campus. We traveled with two other councils and our Greek Life Coordinators consisting of twenty one individuals.
Just for a little innuendo, I did not know about this trip until two weeks before going; AKA I did not plan on going back North during the winter season and left all my warm clothes at home. I also had to reline-up my entire class schedule and do a weeks worth or work in three days.
Day 1: Thursday
Our day began with a connecting flight from Myrtle Beach, SC to Charlotte, NC on to Indianapolis, IN. I have never taken a connecting flight before that I can recall of and to give you the slightest suggestion DO NOT. It made a hour and a half plane ride into a four hour journey; I guess this is better than a sixteen hour car ride, but still.
Once we arrived in Indiana I was pleasantly surprised at the aesthetic of the airport. There was a lot of marketing for “Indy” which is the nickname of the state, I guess. I didn’t process what to expect for the weather considering I had never been to the state or region of the country before. It was pouring rain and 56° the moment we stepped outside. Not only did I have to leave the beautiful temperature weekend in Myrtle Beach, but I also had to leave the sunny weathered part behind too.
The car ride was a fifteen minute ride to the downtown metro area, which again, I was surprisingly intrigued. The downtown reminded me of a less energetic Providence, RI; We love Prov. We arrived at the hotel approximately around one o’clock in the afternoon; We were staying at the JW Marriott. This hotel was hosting the AFLV conference and housing over 3,800 fraternity and sorority students from various universities (major props given to them putting up with us).
The IFC Executive board decided that we were going to enjoy the 57° weather before it dropped down to twenty and check out the city. It was really decent and felt like a nice fall day. Later that day we went to some OK conference opening sessions followed by a Coastal pizza party.
Day 2: Friday
7:00AM. This is the time we woke up to begin our day. Fighting with 3,800 students for Starbucks coffee and trying to go the days opening ceremony. Two sessions in and an affiliation lunch later another less than desirable cup of coffee. The sessions were long and spoke of things we already knew. The affiliation lunch, however, was was a great experience. The lunch-in was the first time I left the sides of my friends from Coastal and I got to meet other FIJIs from across the nation. We got to talk about things only FIJIs would know about and the great thing about is that we didn’t have to personally know each other to share things only FIJIs know.
We had a debrief later that day while eating local Chinese food and getting ready for the night time entertainment: The AFLV stroll competition. This competition was right up my alley; It was basically a group of schools making up performances based on what we have learned throughout the conference. We ended the night on a high note at TGI Friday’s.
Day 3: Saturday
On Friday we were told that there was an important presentation to be held in the morning and that it was absolutely necessary we attend. It was extremely important to attend considering it was about hazing in fraternal organizations; It wasn’t exactly explained what the presentation would be about and we all assumed it wasn’t anything we haven’t heard before. HOW WRONG were we. The event consisted of hearing from parents of children who were hazed at numerous universities and died due to the extents of it. I hardly ever get emotional, but coming from me it is a lot to say that the real life events that had happened to these families was heart breaking. I went into this session very ignorant; Now, I believe it is very important to have these conversations and understand the real effects of not only hazing, but anything that can have a negative impact to people’s lives.
Later in the evening we had a formal dinner where awards were announced. It was obviously my favorite part considering I got to get all fancy and look real cute; This naturally turned into a photoshoot. The food the entire weekend was very mediocre, SO, again we ended up at the very close in proximity TGI Friday’s.
Day 4: Sunday
Sunday was the earliest day with no events other than going home, finally. With the amount of people we traveled with there was two separate flights that we were on. One flight had a connect in Charlotte, NC (my flight) and the other flight was connected to Pittsburg, PA. Nothing is ever perfect in an airport and even the slightest delays can corrupt your connection.
Our journey to Charlotte was fine we arrived and rushed to our next gate. While we were rushing to our gate we received messages from the Pittsburg crew that they missed their flight because of delays on the previous flight. Charlotte crew got onto our next flight, however, the thirty minute flight turned into a fully seated cabin and the airline booked too many passengers; This turned into an hour and a half on the ground where we could have went back and forth to Myrtle Beach in that timing.
As for the Pitt crew, the next flight to Myrtle Beach was not for a long time. They decided to fly into Charlotte from Pitt and drive three hours back to Myrtle Beach through a car rental system. None of the craziness was ever expected, but when I woke up at day at 5:00AM I knew nothing could possibly go the way we wanted.
All and all it is important to take note that every aspect of this trip was a complete shit show. This obviously had to do with the people on the trip, the timing of the events, and staying out late to wake up very early.
Although I would never decide to go to Indianapolis, I am happy that I was invited to go and experience the moments with people I did not know well until now. We built bonds that will help us operate in the future and we got to know each other on a more personal level. Most importantly, I got a new shot glass for my collection at home. We were tired, cold, and overwhelmed, however, we persevered and made the most out of the trip!
Thank you for coming along for the journey.
recreated from post on 2/12/19, itsprobablyrob.blogspot.com