Andrew Pazdon: GW is worth doing right

I have a secret that I would like to confess to the world before I graduate. I have a really bad habit of Googling my name to see what the Internet has to offer.

Thanks to power of The Hatchet, many of the top results link to a column I wrote in the spring of my sophomore year, “Marijuana should be a medicine” (Feb. 1, 2010, p.4). Now my persuasive insights have been immortalized on truly upstanding websites like marijuana.com and ganja.com.

I hope what I have written over the past three and a half years has caused readers to rethink Foggy Bottom reality, pivot to an ethnic food lifestyle or be amused for a few minutes in a boring lecture.

Okay, I’m not naïve.

I just hope I was the catalyst for someone to try some ethnic food in Northern Virginia, and hopefully my columns kept a few people awake in class instead of sending them into a mid-lecture slumber.

As I Google myself for the last time of my undergraduate career, I realize that much of what I have written for The Hatchet has been critical of the University or some other aspect of District life. I can see how some might think that I come off as a bit of a complainer. But, I would rather think of myself as a constructive criticizer.

My Yankee up-bringing (meaning New England, not the spawn-of-Satan baseball team) drilled the cliché into my head that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. GW is without question worth doing, and it’s worth doing right. That is why criticism from students, faculty and even our Foggy Bottom neighbors is meant for the betterment of the University. Criticism is not something that should be feared – it is something that should be taken in stride.

I don’t take myself too seriously and I don’t live in an ivory tower. Despite my ramblings about plastic piggy banks in residence halls, pre-graduation donations or the amount of money spent on parking garages instead of Gelman Library, I genuinely have enjoyed my overall experience.

I like to think of myself as a good Catholic, so I will make another confession: I arrived at GW rather cynical about what the next four years would hold for me. Admittedly, I was not a terribly happy camper to have ended up at G-Dub. But after a few years, that stupid admissions slogan about something happening here came to fruition. Whenever I fall into counterfactual thinking about my life, I always come to the same conclusion – I wouldn’t have had the opportunities, friends, free food or good times that I have enjoyed without GW.

GW would not have been the same without all the wonderful people I have been honored to meet and now call my friends. It might not be very good at crafting scholarship criteria, but it puts together an amazing group of individuals in Foggy Bottom. My life will forever be changed because of the people I met here.

Four years ago, I wouldn’t have believed I would say that I can’t imagine what my life would be like without GW. Yet I say that with pride today.

Two weeks from now I will be returning to my native homeland of New Hampshire, college educated and (temporarily) unemployed. I will have graduated from GW (God willing), but all the good and all the not-so-good about GW will remain a part of me, my memory and my Google search results.

Andrew Pazdon, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

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