Movember and NaNoWriMo: November is “cause” month, apparently

November is a bit weird in that it’s home to two causes that are very close to my heart: National Novel-Writing Month and Movember. Both have their unique qualities, but when it comes down to it they are quite similar: do something for the entire month to achieve a goal at the end.

With Movember, it’s about growing a mustache for a month in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer. I love Movember because it’s a male-centric issue and charity; I guess I feel a connection to it. I’ve done it for the past two years, raising a couple hundred bucks and making some nice friends in the process. I highly encourage men to take part, as “Mo bros” tend to have a pretty good bond with each other. Raising over $100 gets you a free ticket to the month-end gala party (with another $100 getting you another ticket, and so on), which is an awesome bash. And you get to raise money for charity, which always feels good.

The second, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for those of us who love acronyms) is a bit more challenging: I’ve never done it before, and the order is a hefty one. In order to “win” the challenge, you have to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. While there’s no “prize” besides knowing you finished, and having a novel on your hands, it’s a good way of testing our your creative (and organizational) chops. I’m having a bit of trouble due to my internship and the massive amounts of writing I do there, so the motivation to crank out the ~1600 words a day to keep up just isn’t there all the time.

While these two events are already underway (and a little late to take part in), I do encourage this: challenge yourself while you’re in university. Take part in things you believe in, and experience things you may never have touched before. I’m not usually big into charity because of a lack of connection with the subjects at hand, but Movember frames a serious problem in a fun way and makes you feel good for taking part. It’s introduced me to new people and has helped me get some confidence when sporting just a mustache – the ladies love it more than you think, gents.