Skills

I didn’t think cliques existed until I went to a different high school in 12th grade. It was there that I learned that schools like the ones in Mean Girls really did exist. Okay, maybe my high school wasn’t completely identical, but students in the cafeteria did separate themselves. There was a table for the popular kids and a table for the kids who played with Pokemon cards. Not only that, but people also put themselves into groups based on social class, religion, ethnicity, etc. My high school was very diverse, only that diversity wasn’t well-represented at the tables in the cafeteria.

But everyone seemed to be okay with that. No one was uncomfortable sitting at a table filled with people that were ‘just like them.’ I’m not saying that people should be uncomfortable doing that because it’s completely okay to seek out people you have things in common with. However, people who constantly do that become unaware that they’re doing it and it soon becomes their comfort zone. A comfort zone is a place that people tend not to step outside of because of how familiar it is and how relaxed that familiarity makes them feel.

For example, if I’ve only ever been friends with people who played on the girl’s basketball team, then I’m more likely to sit with them at lunch and choose them as partners for group projects if we have classes together. I don’t do this intentionally. I’ve just known these people a lot longer than I’ve known anyone else and I feel comfortable around them, so why change that?

Why is it important to branch out and make connections with people outside of my normal circle?

The answer to that is simple: it’s a part of life.

Not everyone in the world is the same. The sooner we learn to accept that, the sooner we can truly embrace it. For some people, going to college might be a huge step for them because they’re leaving behind their small town for a college town a few hours away in a different city or state. I’m not going to speak for every university, but the chances of you attending a school that is diverse in more ways than you’re used to is very high. Moreso if you’re going to a large university.

Once you are there, you might seek out people you assume you have a lot of things in common with because that’s what will make you feel comfortable. If you end up going to the same school as a couple of your friends, you might choose to only socialize with them.

Starting college (or high school) can be very overwhelming and intimidating so it’s good to have a familiar face or at least someone who you can relate to because you have a lot of similarities. But if you want to make the most out of your collegiate (or high school) experience, don’t clique up; don’t separate yourselves from others because they’re not familiar or because you’re afraid to leave your comfort zone. College is all about learning; not just inside of the classroom but out of it as well. You can learn so much from people that come from other parts of your country and from people who come from around the world. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone you meet in college has the potential to be a lifelong friend.

Oftentimes we might not think that we have much in common with someone whose first language is different than ours or someone who subscribes to a different religion. We get so used to gravitating towards people who share obvious commonalities that we forget that the people we see as ‘different than us’ can also have some (or many) similarities. You just have to find the courage to move outside of your comfort zone and talk to people you think you wouldn’t have anything in common with. Don’t spend your entire time at college with the same people because there are so many people to socialize with; so many opportunities to learn about a different culture or religion or to even just get a different perspective on life.

College is one of the best ways to get people from all over the world to come together under one roof, metaphorically speaking. It is truly a beautiful thing so use this time to your advantage because, thankfully, college is not high school. So, step out of your comfort zone. Better yet, try your best to knock it down. I know it’s not easy to get rid of it all at once, but the world would be a much better place if we worked at breaking down the barriers that exist  between each other a little each day.

Image: morguefile

Culture

When the lights went down on stage and the guitars started to hum behind the darkness, Carpe Juvenis could tell something special was about to happen. The jittery, high-strung excitement in the back room of Brooklyn’s Trash Bar was magnified by the cheers from fans and bright, random flashes of light from cell phone cameras.

As the lights went up, lead singer Connor Frost belted out the opening line of “Where Are the Children” from the debut 2012 album Sundial, and the crowd went wild. They seemed to be absorbing every note and beat of the drum, bopping and swaying to the jam. Tonight would be all about the music.

Dizzy Bats are unique because their punk-rock vocals and high-energy tempos are still relatable, enjoyable, and accessible to a listener who is unfamiliar with the intricacies and style of the genre. Take the track “These Kids I Teach,” for example, with its raw lyrics and straightforward attitude; the song has a vibe of its own that invites new listeners in and keeps the old fans wanting more.

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Following closely on the heels of his solo-West-coast tour, Frost shares with Carpe that he feels “more excitement around Dizzy Bats’ music in general” and that his latest tour “was unbelievably rewarding.” His gratitude and enthusiasm were both felt at the Girls 7” Release Party as the band opened up for the wildly popular Chicago-based funk/soul/rhythm group whysowhite.

Carpe dug around for some behind-the-show information and found out that each set list is fine tuned to take the audience on a ride. There is a certain “ebb and flow” Frost creates to hype the listeners up, mellow them out a bit, and then “amp the crowd back up” as he finished with a popular tune that everyone has been waiting for. That last song at this show was “Appendectomy” from the 2013 album release with the same name.

Something special is happening with Dizzy Bats – with a brand new album coming out this year and a quality sound making its way across the country, this band is not one to miss out on. Check them out at Bandcamp and iTunes.

Make sure to “Like” Dizzy Bats on Facebook to keep up-to-date on everything Dizzy Bats related!

CultureEducationSkills

“Whether things are going really well or not so well you just want to play one play at a time and stay in the now.” — Russell Wilson

russell wilson seahawks

 As Seattlelites, we are huge Seahawks fans. This season has been a great one for the Seahawks, and as they head into the Playoffs this month, we will be supporting them every step of the way. If you’ve ever seen a Seahawks game, you’ll notice the incredible teamwork and passion on and off the field. One player in particular that stands out for his passion, skill, and leadership is the quarterback, Russell Wilson. Watch this video of Russell Wilson from Seahawks.com to watch his leadership in action – it is seriously impressive and admirable. From this video, the dozens of games we’ve watched him play, and his interviews, Wilson demonstrates the qualities of a strong leader and a devoted team player. Just from watching Russell Wilson play football, these are seven leadership traits he possesses:

Russell Wilson Leadership Traits

1. Maintain a Positive Attitude. If a play doesn’t succeed, Wilson does not let that affect his positive attitude. Instead, he looks at the bright side and uses encouraging words to pick himself and his teammates back up. Wilson praises his teammates and gets his team excited and re-energized.

2. Know your Goals. Leaders should have goals – for themselves and their team. Ask Wilson what his goals are and he doesn’t even take a moment to hesitate. He has four: be dominant, be consistent, be clutch, and be healthy. Know your goals at the top of your head so that they will always be a part of your every action.

3. Admit your Mistakes. If a poor pass is made during the game, Wilson is the first to acknowledge his mistake. By admitting what he did wrong, Wilson can then take the necessary steps to improve and not make the same mistake twice. It is not weak for leaders to make mistakes; in fact, your team will appreciate that you aren’t trying to be a hero or a faultless leader.

4. Separation through Preparation. Wilson stands out on and off the field by preparing and being as ready as he can be for game day. Wilson is incredibly focused and will spend hours and hours studying film that will help him better understand his opponent and how he can move better on the field. By taking the time to prepare, Wilson is ready to handle anything that comes his way on the field.

5. Pay Attention to Details. Wilson focuses on the little details, which in turn help him improve his game and skills.

6. Set the Tone. Before a practice or a game, Wilson sets the tone by arriving early to work and leaving late. Wilson remains composed and confident – on the field and during press conferences. As a leader, setting the tone for your team or group will establish a solid foundation for expectations and how you intend to lead and treat others. By showing up early, prepared, and ready to improve, others will follow suit.

7. Leave a Legacy. Wilson frequently visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital on his days off and he is the National Ambassador for the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. When he is not in-season, Wilson hosts the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, a youth football camp that teaches the fundamental skills of being a great football player.

What leadership traits have you learned through watching sports? 

{Image via, Russell Wilson, Seahawks}