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The Most Important Lesson I Learned At College

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

A lot of people used to call me weird when I was growing up; whether it was because I normally didn’t drink on the weekends, dressed up like a teacher to school once a week (still kind of weird), or when I just wouldn’t follow the status quo. I used to take it to heart when people would call me weird because I cared a lot about what people thought about me. Now, I have kind of embraced my weirdness. I'm not talking about to a large extent or anything like that, but I am just talking about if someone says, “That’s weird,” I take it more as a compliment now. I guess you could say, “I’m weird, but cool with it.”

It was my freshman year of college at UW-Eau Claire. I was bright-eyed and still had yet to experience the infamous Water Street. It was one of those lazy Saturday mornings in November where it wasn’t quite warm enough to go outside and throw the pigskin around. I thought I would stay inside and stay in my nice and cozy dorm room. (Alright, I'm going to level with you. My dorm room was not all nice and cozy. It was hotter than that babysitter that you used to have a crush on. Which, in my experience, was pretty darn hot. We had to sleep with the window open in the middle of winter with the fan on.) I shut myself in and prepared for another unproductive day.

I started to get bored after watching college football all-day long, and I didn’t have any homework to do, seeing as how I normally finished my homework before 10 AM on most Saturdays. My roommate would normally sleep in like most college students do on Saturdays. Hell, they served breakfast until two o’clock in the afternoon. It was like they were encouraging students to sleep in and work off their hangovers. I would sneakily grab all of my stuff and make my way down to the basement of Murray Hall to grind out some homework most mornings. I made it a number one priority not to wake my roommate up because he was a lot stronger than me and I knew he could probably kick my ass.

You can only watch college football for so long, so I decided to build a blanket fort. My roommate was gone playing a football game for Eau Claire so I didn’t have to worry about him walking into the room and giving me a puzzled look or a "What the heck are you doing here?" I grabbed all the blankets I could off my bed. After I set up my two blankets to make the fort, I wasn’t satisfied. I did some debating on whether or not I should grab his blankets and use them and finally I just said, “Screw it,” and I grabbed his blankets too. With his two blankets addition to the fort, it was looking pretty fearsome. I called it “Fort Murr." I puffed out my chest and opened up the door so that all could admire the blanket fort that I had built. I was proud of myself. This was a turning point for me in college.

The first couple of months at college I kind of kept to myself for the most part and to be honest, I really didn’t want to be there anymore. I talked to numerous people about dropping out of college and starting up my own small business back in my hometown.

I turned on some cartoons (it was still Saturday morning in my book) and waited for the people to come into “Fort Murr." After a while of watching Scooby Doo by myself, some people started to come into my room and check it out. “Wow, you built a fort? That’s badass!” they would say. (Never would I have thought the words “badass” and “blanket fort” would be used in the same sentence.) My RA from across the hall thought that it was pretty cool as well. I even got Resident of the Week because of it. It was one of my finer moments. From that point on, I learned to embrace the weird and just be me. The cartoon watching, blanket fort building, kiddie cocktail drinking, ugly sweater wearing, bad karaoke singing guy commonly known as “Crazy D” was awakened.

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