Thank you, Gettysburg

After I made it to Gettysburg, I would tell people that I slept in my bed, like it was my bed back home in Chatham, New Jersey. It was a smooth transition — and I continue to credit my Hanson Hall second floor for an amazing opening to my Gettysburg experience. Thank you Kelsey Meisch, Tucker Snow and Jon Faul for being great RAs that allowed my floor to have fun and foster a growing relationship.

You hear stories of horrible first-year roommates, and I have to credit Rick Hale, for not only making me laugh for beat-boxing under the bed covers but also introducing me to people and slowly turning my shy self into a person who liked to meet new people. 

I truly believed when looking for colleges that I would be happy anywhere. And, I remember telling my parents that we don’t need to travel and visit colleges; let’s just look online at the brochure. Good thing they didn’t listen to me because I remember my second visit to the Gettysburg campus and something sank into my body as this place being right where I needed to be.

Gettysburg allowed me to find my passion, grow as a person and learn more about myself than I had known previously. My passions are fitness and journalism. I have grown in my ability to interact with others and am not scared to express my opinion anymore. I’ve also learned how much of a goofball I am. I have learned that I am often too ambitious for my mind to handle — but I have learned to reach out when I need help, rather than suffer alone trying to dig myself out of a predicament.

“If everyone was normal, then life wouldn’t be interesting.”

While I get ready to graduate, I cannot stand classes anymore — even if it were a class on the NY Mets, or journalism — I’ve had my 16-years of education (and 22-years of life). It’s time to use all my experiences and make a difference in my desired field. 

I remember when I had first walked out of an Organic Chemistry final, which I had bombed and forgotten everything I learned;  this is when I began to really value experiences outside of the classroom. 

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Andy and some of his second year friends (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Cross Country has been a beyond worthwhile program and sport that I can credit for so much. There is nothing more meditative than running a 10-mile run in the dead of heat. There is also nothing more invigorating than knowing that you have to run 10-miles while trying keep up with those faster than you. Summer training is something where you can barely afford one day off, and you run almost everyday with patience and the end goal in mind, knowing that you will achieve your end goal. I finally broke my big goal of running an 8K in sub-30 minutes — four times. And also, the people were pretty great — coaches and teammates.

Being apart of a fraternity called Sigma Chi has only added another social dimension to my life and has taught me how to be apart of a thriving organization which only tries to better campus life. Not many people can say that they are apart of a philanthropy that raises close to $50 thousand for cancer research — and many can’t say that they live with 31 other guys, who you both value for their friendship but also how they go about their everyday life. 

I can only express how much I appreciate those out-of-classroom experiences. Gettysburg always has countless opportunities to learn and have fun every single day. These are important. Then, there are the classes that don’t follow too close of a regimen and go into a lecture where you don’t know what to expect and there is no direct link to the homework and the lecture. This forces you to pull from years and years of built-up knowledge, rather than a single reading.

A class called Systems Thinking and my capstone regarding corporations and their role in society probably embodied this characteristic the most as I never knew what situation or discussion would be tossed out there by Professor Bruce. There were readings assigned prior to classes but the discussions often weren’t directly relevant; they were indirectly related, which was really cool.

Having highlighted and written about the positives of Gettysburg as a Communications & Marketing intern (and some negatives as a journalist), I always joke that I was on both sides of the coin. Those negatives are so tiny though that many other students from other colleges would call you out and say “is that really what you are complaining about” —and be referencing something as silly as you saying that you have non-working washing machines, or you are getting tired of campus food. 

I will also add a shout-out to my second year roommates: Nate Cutting, Aaron Wagner, Rach Wilkins and Mike Mancino (and Mark Malone) for only continuing that excitement built during my first year — but also being great people and friends that I will know for the rest of my life.

Beyond ready to graduate — but I will forever credit and commend Gettysburg for providing a platform that allowed me to become a different, better person than I was four years ago. 

 

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