When the going gets tough

… the tough get going.” We all know this motivational cliché. When your sports team is losing and things are starting to get hard, you see the true colors of everyone on your team; you see who gives up and who elevates their play for the good of the team. It is said that those members are “clutch.”

There is always lots of talk about being “clutch” in October because of Major League Baseball’s postseason, so in the spirit of all this talk of “coming through in the clutch” and “getting going when things get tough,” it is appropriate to talk about the subject in terms of our Villanova community.

I have come to the conclusion that October is just a very stressful month at Villanova as a whole. Midterm exams bring lots of pressure, and when grades come in, some encounter even more pressure. Everyone is quick to sit around with their close friends, especially on the weekends, and do absolutely nothing productive (and if anything, destructive). I know because I am guilty of this. However, it is necessary that this does not become a weekly habit.

If you can’t handle me talking about diversity for the third column in a row, skip down a couple paragraphs, but take a second and understand your thoughts when you say to yourself, “I am sick and tired of this kid talking about diversity, especially when I don’t see a problem here.”

I have written before that there isn’t a strong enough commitment by the students to go out and actually promote diversity. The Black Cultural Society’s “Tribute to Hip-Hop” the weekend before break was both fun and educational. The entire show was phenomenal, except for one thing. If Villanova is slightly more than 80 percent white, then why wasn’t this demographic accurately represented at the event? Less than 20 percent of the audience was white. What an absolute disgrace.

There is a separation of culture that is unacceptable, especially at a school known for having such a great community. We are all united as Villanovans, and some gaps need to be bridged – that’s coming through in the clutch at this tough time in our University’s history when we are facing our own pitfalls. Challenge yourself – you might actually learn something.

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors each face different challenges. Freshmen might find themselves lost – whether or not they have a group of friends.

The reality of college workloads has hit with returned midterms. Stick together as a whole group and go out and see what the University and the area have to offer. Great friends will be made, but the struggle is to be more than just a freshman who stays secluded with a small group. Sophomores might encounter both the good and bad realities of the University. The Quad is vastly overrated, and the school could use some improving.

The biggest challenge for being in such close quarters is being you. Struggle to love the school enough to acknowledge areas that need improvement, and work to fix them. While sophomores are beginning to see the realities of being here, seniors begin to realize that they are leaving this great place all too soon. I am sure that for most, that fact is not encouraging. The struggle is to solidify ties with your classmates and Villanova University. Prepare to take Villanova with you.

Juniors. Unfortunately, the juniors this year have had to face unspeakable tragedies, especially those very close with Brett and Dominic.

It is devastating to lose a member of a community, but it is surreal to lose such great members. I send my deepest apologies to all those affected. If it means anything, a student as outspoken as I am has been left speechless by such a terrible turn of events. We can only grow closer to fill the gaps, but from what I come to understand, they are pretty big ones. Yes, the dust has certainly settled from the beginning of the year, and we are all left facing the challenges of our age group. As October rolls around with cooler temperatures, and things start to get tough around here, warm up to the Villanova community. After all, we could all use someone to come up big in the clutch. We could all use a “Mr. October.”

And as always, speak up, Villanova.