With his final blow of the whistle last Saturday, the referee marked the end of the game, my career as a GW rugby player and essentially my time at GW as well. There are still a few papers left to go, but with no more practices to attend or gold jerseys to wear, the end of my time at college is that much more real. It certainly has been a great four years. Part of why it has been so great is because of how unexpected most of it was.
GW was an unknown to me when I was applying to college. I didn’t know anything about it other than that it was in Washington, D.C. I applied last minute on the recommendation of my guidance counselor. Then, when I visited the campus, I fell in love with GW. A college that was not even on my radar as I began the college process senior year became my top choice by the time I had to make a final decision.
As an undersized freshman, I was probably one of the last people you would expect to see join a rugby team. Coming into GW, I didn’t even know there were many rugby teams in the United States. But I wanted competition and a bit of contact, so I showed up on the first day of practice for a sport I knew little about. Since that time our coach and veteran players have taught the game to me and many other rookies.
I made some great friends, dealt with a few injuries, played against some of the best in the country and received a pretty sweet nickname: Danger. Both on and off the pitch, rugby has been one of the best parts of my time here at GW. Yet rugby was not the only part of my college career I did not see coming as I graduated high school. My interest in journalism also developed at GW.
As a freshman, I had the good fortune to work at the Office of University Relations. They welcomed me in and provided me with an opportunity to contribute. I’d never done anything with journalism before, but I hung around the editor of ByGeorge! enough that he decided to give me a shot. I wrote my first ever article for ByGeorge! and found out I was not terrible at it. There I was able to interview coaches of the rowing, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball teams. I was hooked and joined The Hatchet the following year. A big thanks goes to all of the editors who have put up with me here since then.
I could not have planned my time at college, and I am happy with that. I have come to see college as a place where you have to work hard, but you also have to enjoy the ride and take what comes at you. If you do your work, opportunities will arise, especially here in D.C. It is just a matter of taking advantage of those opportunities.
By taking the opportunities that have presented themselves to me, I have had the chance to do many things I never would have thought of before they happened. Whether it was working at a bar in Atlantic City or interning on a national radio show, it was always something new.
Now I am looking forward, that final whistle having blown, and I am excited about the unknown opportunities that still lie ahead. I am also appreciative of my time at GW; it changed a kid who thought he knew everything into someone who knows he still has a lot to learn. For that, I have to thank my parents, brothers, friends, family, coworkers and professors who have all been there along the way.
So take care GW. Remember to enjoy these four years as they fly by. And remember, you cannot plan everything – so don’t be afraid to try something new when it comes along.
The writer, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.
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