second year evan lasseter

photo by kelsey dabrowski

photo by kelsey dabrowski

Rain fell across Lumpkin Street, cars were hustling about, and every parking lot was full. It was a Sunday. There I was, first year Evan Lasseter, rushing to an interview. After fifteen minutes of searching for a place to park, I made my way from the top of Lumpkin Street down to the Tate Center. I had no umbrella and; no rain jacket, as I plodded in the misty cold. In my head, I went over all the possible questions and how I would answer.

“Why do you want to be in The Chapel Bell?”

“What is something that inspires you that you could write about?”

I felt prepared, but my usual nerves were running high. I was nervous because I cared, and The Chapel Bell seemed like a great opportunity to grow as a writer and make new friends.

Finally, I arrived in Tate, and it was time to start the interview. I and two others walked into the conference room. In spite of the rain and the rush to find a parking spot, I kept telling myself one simple message: be yourself. We all gave our introductions and it was time for the questions to start. The first one, for me. Help.

“Evan, if you could pick one word that is your favorite word, what would it be?”

Out of all the possible questions I prepared for, this was not one of them. My brain went into a frenzy, and honestly, I kind of panicked. What was likely a few seconds, felt like minutes, until finally it hit me. One word, sticking out like black on white: swag.

Looking back on that moment, I can’t even remember the explanation I gave. But that was it, the most outdated, overused, middle school word I could have said. A word that I use in text messages so youthfully, something I may say off the cuff in conversation for no reason at all. It may have not been the best word, but it was honest, and it was me. When in doubt, be yourself. You are what got you here, if that makes sense. We always search for the perfect answer, the perfect decision, and even the perfect life. We plan and prepare to the fullest extent but inevitably life will catch us off guard. The questions you didn’t prepare for, will be the first ones asked. It’s happened to all of us before, and it will happen again. We are truly at our best when we are caught off guard, because we are forced to be honest and our innermost parts have to shine. I wouldn't be writing this article if I didn’t. So swag swag swagitty swag: Be. Your. Self.