Tina Lamsback

Dear Villanova,

I once saw a quote that said, “I’ve got the same old heart with a brand new beat.” I thought about it for a while, and then I let it go. It wasn’t until this day that I knew what it meant. Today is the last day as “WiseCat.” Over the past four years, I wrote to individuals who had questions. Today, I write to the whole school in hopes that everyone will hear the life lessons of a senior who had a great experience at such a wonderful home.

No matter how busy the week, my thoughts were with The Villanovan. Each Thursday, my ideas appeared in the paper as a story – for me they posed as a journal, and for you, an answer to a question. I have used questions and thoughts of friends and strangers to illustrate events happening on campus, in romantic relationships and close friendships. By no means am I a “guru” on any of these topics. I like to think that I learned with all of you as the years went on. Year after year, I would develop a “brand new beat” in response to the changes around me. I would speak out on topics I disagreed with and praise love and friendships when they needed to be accounted for. Sometimes leaving my work open for criticism in the early years, but secretly loving every minute of it.

Everyone’s heart is subjected to criticism at times. I have learned that putting yourself out there is the key for success. I found friends who helped me achieve that goal. There is something to be said about living in a house with six girls. Six different personalities, attitudes and interests all rolled into one. Only two of us had ever lived together before, but without a doubt we tested each other’s abilities. Life lesson number one: live with people who are not your best friends because they will become your best friends in time. You will create bonds over the little things. And your friends and family will hold you together when you just can’t do it on your own.

We understood early on that we could help each other. When you get into fights with friends, family or significant others and feel that it might not be worth trying to talk things out – give each other time. Then try one more time. Sometimes people just need space. But, sometimes, if it doesn’t work out, it’s OK.

Some people just can’t give their all in certain areas. Sometimes some people just can’t love a person or be a good friend; it might not be the right time in their life. It’s not that we are accepting this; we are just recognizing that some people just can’t. In turn we find others on our path would help us develop our person. Developing your own self is key. Work off what you have learned from past relationships. College is about learning about your major, but more importantly, it’s about learning about yourself. Testing yourself and trying new things will really make your experience whole.

Do me a favor and just laugh. Being able to laugh at yourself makes life a whole lot easier. More importantly don’t forget to love. Love yourself and the company you keep. Let yourself fall in love and be loved. Without a doubt it will happen, and it will be one of the best experiences. Embrace it.

My friends and I have a protocol. If we call you once, we would like to talk to you. If we call you twice, immediately preceding the first call, we have something important to say. If we call you three times and you don’t answer, there has to be a very good reason for your somewhat lack of phone skills. It could be any day of the year, anywhere in the world and any time of day. Whether we are not speaking for some reason or just saw each other two minutes ago, pick up the phone and make the connection. Don’t let anything go unsaid.

Just let yourself go; let it flow. Throw yourself into the Villanova experience and live a little. Enjoy every moment. Open yourself up to the people around you. Be vulnerable, open up to friends, fall in love and have fun. And don’t forget to call your parents. They are here for you, too. Today, I realized that I have the same old heart with a brand new beat.