Who are we not to be?

Christopher Bellotti

Going to the UPenn game this weekend was a great experience-not only because we won but because it reinforced one of the strongest beliefs that I have had since senior year in high school: Villanova is one of the best all-around schools in the world.

More often than not, our smaller cheering section (which should have been bigger, but since the game was all the way in Philadelphia, I’ll give the Villanova students the benefit of the doubt) out-cheered and honestly made Penn’s section look, for a lack of a stronger adjective, pathetic.

Our growing and energetic band put theirs to shame. It also was very funny to see our visiting band take it to Penn’s band and even their cheering section at home, where their traditional throwing of toast was met with the Villanova’s own packets of butter being launched right back at them. It’s about time we covered the spread.

Either way, the experience certainly gave me some time to reflect on what I usually think about when seeing or visiting another school: how much better Villanova is. Here are some of the things I noticed.

Sure, our reputation may not be on par with UPenn in all areas. But have they sent someone to every Olympics since the 1960s? Do they run the largest student-run Special Olympics in the world every November?

We succeed in athletics because of our teams’ and fans’ desire to be a part of something big. Just look at what goes on inside the Pavilion walls during the winter. And we all know that no one is more committed to community service than Villanova.

For these reasons, many of us call Villanova “home.” It is a place where we feel comfortable.

And therein lies the problem.

I am not saying that having a home away from home is a bad thing. I am just saying that getting really comfortable makes it harder to strive to be better. The last time some of us went far outside our comfort zones was during Freshman Orientation, but then again, we had no choice.

The right idea, however, is to break down those comfortable boundaries and step outside of our safe zones. Doing so will greatly expand our horizons.

Perhaps the following quote by Marianne Williamson, which is more commonly attributed to Nelson Mandela, proves my point better than I ever could: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure … We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

It is time we doubt. It is time we question. It is time we take a look at ourselves.

We have doubled our diversity, but why haven’t we tripled it? We have brilliant students here, but why aren’t we exceptionally brilliant? We have 85 percent student involvement, but why not 100 percent? We live in a phenomenal community, but why don’t we make it better? We have a great group of students here, but why don’t we have, or aren’t we considered, the best?

We don’t stereotype, as much as the outside community believes we do, but why do we simply ignore it and not let them know? Why aren’t we the best University in the Philadelphia area? The United States? The world?

It is fruitless to sit on our accomplishments. We must only seek new opportunities. Let’s grow and make it better. After all, that is how you show love for something.

Last Saturday as UPenn’s chants of “safety school” fell silent to our cheering section (“For we’re out to win the fray;/ Villanova leads the way,/ With a capital ‘V’ for Victory”) and as the Wildcats pulled away with the 27-20 win, it was obvious who was the better school that night.

However, why settle for better, when you know you have what it takes to be the best every night?

Speak up, Villanova.