The Mark Side of UCSB: Give In to Your Impulses, Get Wild on Campus

Friday, October 27, 2006

Like most students here, I’m finding it harder and harder to get some leisure time. Trying to juggle lecture, discussion, lab, midterms, papers and a job has gotten me on edge. Wait, no, that’s a lie. I only go to class if there’s an exam. I only do my assignments the night before they’re due. I only exert the smallest amount of effort to receive a passing grade. I’m actually having the time of my life. But I do recall how it felt like many years ago when I still gave a shit.

People stress out because they can’t fit anything fun into their hectic schedules. How can a person get plastered with friends if they’re too busy trying to figure out how to make a computer program solve the Towers of Hanoi? There’s a simple answer to that. Do something impulsive. With so much stuff to do in one day, the only time to have fun is in short spurts. Impulsive activities can last anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes.

When’s the last time you’ve done something crazy and impulsive? I’m talking about when you’re stone sober. Think it’s fun unraveling the mystery of last night’s blackout? That doesn’t even compare to the thrill of doing something and realizing the possible consequences seconds after the fact.

The trick is learning to spot the most opportune moment to act. Is there a parked bike blocking your entrance to the bike path? Kick it out of the way. It was illegally parked in the first place. Is one of your roommates trapped by a faulty bedroom door? Kick that sucker down. Tell the landlord it’s their fault for having such a craptastic door. Unsightly tents on the Pardall corridor? Kick them down as well.

If there aren’t any people around, my personal favorite activity is lying down on my skateboard and going head first down the hill near the lagoon. If there are people walking on a path, I skate down and intentionally try to plow into a person from behind. Most people are aware enough of their surroundings to get out of the way. The unlucky few learn a valuable life lesson. I’ve rammed into plenty of girls from behind and surprisingly enough, they were the ones who were apologetic.

You don’t even have to be the one to initiate the impulsive activity. Just the other day one of my co-workers suggested a session of traying in Storke Plaza. That’s when you take two trays and use them as skates over a smooth, pebbly surface.

“Sounds like an activity that can potentially injure me. I’m down. Hell, let’s get a photographer to take pictures.”

After a couple successful rounds, we added a bike and an extension cord and upgraded to tray-skiing. After that we replaced the trays with a skateboard. Suffice to say, hilarity ensued as Assistant County Editor David Ferry found himself thrown twelve feet off his board and nearly cracked his head open on a staircase. Even though he almost died, we can still look at the photos of the event and laugh our asses off.

I’d be lying if I said being impulsive isn’t dangerous. But that’s not the point. You’ve got to learn to take pleasure from the little things in life, like accomplishing an act you haven’t properly thought out. The crazier, the better. If you can enjoy life in these short bursts, then imagine how much fun you can have when you aren’t busy worrying about schoolwork.

Daily Nexus Art Director Mark Batalla is going to be in a world of hurt the next time he tries to pull a stunt like this.

Posted by Batalla at 9:53 AM  


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