Still Awesome: How I Started on Top and Stayed There

By, Adina Gitomer

I wish I could say that I wanted to write an article about being awesome and the photo/title combo was simply a magical, serendipitous chance happening.  Such was not the case (I am arguably slightly more modest than that), but obviously the picture and title is incredible and it would be unfair to all of you not to use it. Needless to say, it is highly likely that there are far more browsers just reading the title than the piece as a whole. But enough about the process behind this blog post, and more about the thing itself: being “cool” at TY is not the same as being “cool” in other places and that is HUGE.

Adina in 2011 and 2015 Adina in 2011 and 2015

Let me lead with an example. I am someone who has a tendency to bring a deck of S.E.T. with me practically everywhere because it is a fantastic game and I love it. That being said, it is not “cool” by any means. In fact, I wrote a college supplement essay entitled “celebrate your nerd” exclusively about my S.E.T.-centric obsession. Yet, when I settle down with the cards and a few friends at TY, we attract such an impressive crowd that you are probably having trouble visualizing it. This is one small instance where being “cool” just means enjoying yourself and wanting to share that with the people around you. And because such a thing is considered cool, it in turn emerges as something people strive for, which ultimately makes TY into the unbelievably inclusive and healthy space that so many people go because of.

The most important aspect of “cool” at TY, however, is passion— passion for anything. Apathy is disinteresting and makes for a generally bland summer; caring is what makes one noticed and promotes a memorable camp experience. Whether it’s being extremely spirited during maccabia or unstoppably committed to your tikun group, passion consistently stands out as the underlying and integral factor of being “cool” at TY. Because being carefree and passive seems to be society’s model of “cool”, TY completely breaks the mold with its own definition. Consequently, TY celebrates the opinionated and the fearless, which leads to growth and progress in a way that I have yet to discover elsewhere.

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