Tales of a Tugboat: The Little Things

Hello, my name is Trent Hooley, and I am going to cut right to the chase.

My first semester at NC State has been a mess, but I can’t deny it has been a great time. I’m sure that many of you can understand this. After all, the transition to college life was a big change from my small hometown of Cape Carteret, which boasts a booming population of 2,000. I love the independence, I love the people, and I love that I can set my own schedule and hold myself to it. But there’s one thing about this place that stands out—there’s one thing that consistently surprises me more than anything else. Behind all of the bricks (I still can’t believe how many bricks there are here), this campus has so much going on at all times. Every night, I leave the dorm and do one thing that isn’t homework—just to keep from burning myself out—and every night, I find something new about this place. Tucked in those little nooks around campus, there are places and people that just amaze me by how unique they are.

Maybe I should dedicate this post to the smaller things on campus. I mean, I don’t like talking about myself ad nauseam, and this gives me the chance to show just how much of a freshman I truly am.

I’ll start with my favorite study spot. Outside of Withers Hall, there is a small garden area overlooked by a tree inscribed with various initials. Underneath this tree, there are a few benches. This is where I study on Tuesdays and Thursdays before my 1:30 p.m. Honors seminar. The midday sun shines through the leaves and dapples the ground in shimmering shades of green, and it is just quiet enough to enjoy the scenery without the need of headphones. However, now that the weather is getting colder, I might need to relocate indoors.

A small bit of info I’ve learned from the 2:00 a.m. painters in the Free Expression Tunnel is that there is an access to the upper-level of the tunnel on Yarbrough Drive. It is not difficult to access, but the drop to the lower-level leaves me rather uncomfortable, so I do not plan to go anytime soon.

Just this week, I found out that there are recording booths at D.H. Hill Library. I can’t shake the feeling that I should’ve known about them earlier. Between them and the media studio, I feel like I could just spend all of my time tinkering and toying with the professional-grade audio recording and editing equipment, feeling my way around foreign tools and programs until something resembling music leaks out of the cracks in my ineptitude. Actually, I’m writing this in Sound Booth 4, and I have no idea how to use this drum pad.

I am not telling you to seek out each of these places that I have described, it wouldn’t make for a very exciting scavenger hunt. Maybe the message I’m trying to get at is that just stepping away from everything for a few moments once in a while has exposed me to things that I never knew existed. I’m not saying that I drop or neglect my responsibilities, nor am I saying that this would work for everyone, but I have been enjoying life a bit more since I’ve been keeping myself out of class-induced tunnel vision.

Maybe it could help you, too.