By Ian Seasholtz

Akko Cures Sad Boy Hours

By Ian Seascholtz.

Let us first preface this post with a rough definition of the colloquial use of the term “Sad Boy Hours.”


Sad Boy Hours: The time between two and four a.m. during which people are permitted to express negative emotions through the acts of venting and/or crying. May also refer to general feelings of sadness, apprehension, and anxiety.


Prior to my departure, one could say that the Sad Boy Hours were in full effect. As the previous semester came to a close and general feelings of anxiety and insecurity set in, I was experiencing more than a fair share of apprehension and doubt about my upcoming adventure, which I now find was completely unwarranted. In the days leading up to the trip, I was almost to the point of dreading the thought of leaving the comfort of home for an entire month to travel to somewhere completely new with a group comprised mostly of strangers. Would I enjoy the city of Akko? Would I like working on the Tel so early in the morning in the blistering heat? What kinds of people would I meet and befriend? All these questions racked my brain and fueled my Sad Boy Hours.


The First Days:

Shy and reserved by nature, the first days of the trip were riddled with anxiety, which was only compounded with and augmented by the extreme jet lag I was experiencing while attempting to catch up on lost sleep from the long flights and layovers. This left me on the brink of delirium for the first several days, especially during the mindless tedium of sandbagging on the Tel. Rip, dump, rinse, and repeat, all while barely uttering a word.

The second day on the Tel is when everything began to change for the better. After completing the last rounds of sandbagging in my still zombie-esque state, I was inducted in to what would become endearingly referred to as The Southern Colony, The Prison Yard, and, “that place that won’t stop giving us so much pottery to wash”: Area Black. It was here that my feelings of doubt began to dissipate and my confidence in my personal, social, and academic life began to flourish. The labor was arduous and backbreaking. The bullets of sweat dropped from my furrowed brow nearly as fast as the literal bullets were unearthed by square NN9. I enjoyed every sweat-soaked moment of it. Every sherd we drew forth from the earth that acted as the bane of the other squares was, to me at least, an exciting new discovery. Even when the thrill of constantly pulling up pottery waned, my enthusiastic supervisors, area mates, non-stop special finds, and the daily “Breakfast with The Beatles” playlist kept the excitement alive. The only negative being the infamous and nearly indestructible “spicy onions” that plagued Area Black in the first layers of topsoil.

Shedding the Shell:

The Fourth of July was when I really started to conquer the social anxiety that constantly chewed at my psyche. The celebration at Life Beach was where fun was had, lasting friendships were forged, and free sodas were consumed. From that point onward it was as if a dark cloud was lifted from my being. I felt confident, noticeably more positive and outgoing, and excited to experience whatever that next day had to offer me. For me, the Sad Boy Hours had vanished and were replaced by hours of happiness and fulfilment. I had done what I had previously assumed was the impossible; but we all know what happens when one assumes.

While I once dreaded the thought of abandoning my little nook for the unknown, I now feel as though the unknown is now what draws me further onward. My stay in Akko has taught me so much in such a short time that the only sad boy thought that crosses my mind is the thought of leaving such a wonderful place.

If there is anything to take away from this experience, it would be find what is to be found, be who you want to be, and to not fear what is beyond the nook. So, for now and onward the Sad Boy Hours have been cancelled.