SWARTZ: My motto: when it’s right, it’s right

Matilda Swartz

Word is I was not supposed to choose Villanova.

My bohemian AP English teacher, my intro to sociology professor, my academic adviser and an inebriated guy in Campus Corner are among the dissenters. I am not a Bartley frequenter, I have no skills in the engineering realm, and God help any patient I’d have if I were a nurse. I am a little liberal arts girl who was supposed to attend a liberal arts school. Right?

It was not until late in my college decision rigmarole that I heavily considered Villanova.

After receiving a few acceptances, some Ivy rejections and a waitlist notification, I had a decision to make. I recall Candidates’ Day. Walking through the parking lot and down to the Pavilion I witnessed a never-ending stream of much-too-happy-for-9 a.m. people with “Life is Good” shirts, while miserably thinking, “Absolutely not.”

After getting coffee and a mini-muffin or three, my spirits rose. I listened to student after student talk about their opportunities and their contentedness and the fulfillment they felt from being here. Somewhere between the presentation in the Pavilion and those epic brownies in the Pit my misery was replaced by something more positive.

I was, as Ron Burgundy might say, “a glass case of emotion,” and all those emotions were saying “Go.”

I did.

After nine months of above-par experience, I still do not understand the skepticism from those around me. They must not know about how it all came to be.

How one time, at Music Camp, I met irreplaceable people like my roommate, who has been nothing less than the perfectly relaxed yin to my neurotic yang. I encountered the six-foot-tall version of me with bright red hair, a killer set of colored pants, and a never-ending flow of positivity. I found the tallest Asian man I’ve ever known, who can do almost any impersonation, minus Gilbert Godfrey, and is bound to grace Broadway someday.

The cynics probably don’t know about the Performers and Artists Learning Community. We are small in number but huge in heart. Sometimes we do loose interpretations of 16th century plays by breaking out into three-part harmony songs in class. We even eat lunch as a class. You may have seen us sitting in an asymmetrical circle on the floor in front of the Connelly Cinema.

The doubters definitely don’t know about the boys of first floor Katharine Hall. There is the kid with the biggest smile in the world, whose daily mood is dictated by the fate of the Knicks and/or Mets. Then there’s his roommate, who has more pieces of Villanova apparel than the University Shop and the nicest TV any dorm room has ever housed. A couple doors down is the closest thing you’ll find to Paulie Bleeker; not for his award winning T-shirt collection but because he is truly the coolest guy you will ever meet and he doesn’t even try.

It is hard to imagine a college experience without my own third-floor hall mates, the biggest bunch of lovable creeps alive. They hail from as far as Hawaii to as close as Upper Darby but all that matters is that they are here. This summer, my heart will be everywhere from Connecticut to San Francisco, from San Diego to Bucks County to Rhode Island. It comes as no surprise that within months I have found a clan of people who fully accept and appreciate each other for our bouts of insanity, recklessness and dysfunction. I know for a fact, that none of us would prefer it any other way.

In mere days, this campus is going to be as empty as it was the day I arrived about an hour too early for Music Camp registration.

It is going to be hard to travel from spot-to-spot or glance from face-to-face over the next few days without igniting a memory, grandiose or minimal, and getting all sorts of sentimental.

Regardless of those who tell me I chose wrong, or my own moments of doubt, I know that I chose exactly right.

I could not have asked for more than I have received out of life since August. If I could, I would shout it from on top of a mountain, but I don’t have a mountain. I have a computer and a column. Stay classy, Villanova.


Matilda Swartz is a freshman communication major from Longport, N.J. She can be reached at [email protected].