Right in the core of your midterm cramming and classwork peak of the semester, your phone rings.
It's not Mom or Dad; it's not your boss or some telemarketer; it's your friend from out of town filled with eagerness in his or her voice and a wallet full of money.
"Of course you can stay here! This weekend is going to be awesome!" you shout with naïve innocence in your voice, pushing back the mountain of papers and tests you should be studying for. And as your academic schedule is squeezed into a bag and pushed in your closet, your only focus is the obligation to show your friends that you know how to have a good time.
You wish schoolwork was the only pie slice of your life being consumed by this monstrous event, but anyone who has been to more than one tournament knows your wallet's emptiness skyrockets like the price of hair gel and tanning oil in New Jersey after the premiere of Jersey Shore. So you muster up some Craigslist sales or maybe get desperate enough to donate plasma, eating Ramen and drinking tap water for the optimism that waits.
Then it finally comes. The early weekend greatly accepts your sacrifices and shoves you in a bus filled with awkwardly lapped-up fraternity members and giggling first-timers (high schoolers) yelling profanity at innocent bystanders. Chanting and singing various songs and pre-war battle cries, you arrive what seems like an hour later, hoping no one pukes on you. Shoved through double doors like herded cattle, you finally get to spend $40-60 on a band you could have whipped up in two minutes with printer paper.
I can only imagine what the police have to go through on this night, when the cumulative BAC is most likely higher than the cumulative GPA of the enthusiastic crowd. With that in mind, the police are toughest during Boxing Weekend, handing out citations for everything from well-deserved drunk disturbances to any sarcastic inflection of a "yes sir" that they don't find worthy – I actually witnessed a pledge brother of mine get kicked out for saying yes sir "sarcastically." If you can throw the attention off yourself and survive to make it to your group of friends, you can enjoy the boxing you have been waiting for.
Unless you have a spare pair of walking stilts, a pogo stick or the height of an NBA basketball player, you were not seeing any fights unless you were on your tippy toes. Accompanied by flocks of girls and guys pushing on every side with the intensity of moms at Disneyworld with strollers, you maybe find a sliver of light to see through. Regardless, being sight impaired in no way stops you or anyone else's desire to yell until your voice box short-circuits. There is no stopping the barbaric yelling of profane statements that would make George Carlin's "seven dirty words" look as elementary as the alphabet. Get back on that fun bus ride and let's go see Waka Flocka and Tech-N9ne.
Psyche! No concert for you! Regardless of whose fault this year's big boxing after party concert is for not happening, we were all teased into a failure that had more hype than Insomnia Cookies.
But we all had fun. Through the obscene packing of human beings like sardines, through the late nights, and through the impending doom of our academic and financial status, we all made memories that we will keep forever. Boxing is a tradition that identifies our school and gives glory to all those who had the relentless determination and work ethic to train so hard for so long.
Brush the mustard stains and peanut remains off your worn out clothes, and take some Advil. Tennesseans don't whine about the high cost of having fun; we thrive in it.
Cullen Hamelin is a junior in chemistry. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.