What you can learn by playing a few games as an ‘away team’

Emmett Fitzpatrick

In one of his final columns last year, the recently-graduated Chris Carmona wrote of a friend who told him, “Every day of my life is an away game.” I took that comment to heart, if that is possible, and decided to write my first column on how we can all be on the road team, so to speak, if we give up some of the comforts of our moderate lifestyles. I have always liked the term “Renaissance Man,” and it is somewhat applicable to the type of person one would want to become by shunning the familiarity of daily routines. The question is, how can you become this “Renaissance” man or woman during your time at Villanova? Actually, it is not as hard as you think, provided you are ready to think outside the box of your conventional mind.

If you’re an engineer, go out on a weeknight. We all know about your Friday quizzes, but you should get a glimpse of how everyone else spends his/her Monday through Thursday nights.

If you’re a business student, you might try to take a class that provides some degree of intellectual stimulation and freedom of thought. Make sure you continue to check Facebook on your new laptops during class though.

If you’re a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, try staying up all night at the Bartley exchange and putting up an away message that says “In Bartley- allllll night.” Business students love doing this, so it must be fun.

Instead of going to Maloney’s on a Tuesday or Thursday night, try going to Erin’s Pub for Mug Night. I have been here for three years and have yet to notice any major difference between the two places, except that Martin, the bartender at Erin’s, will remember your name after meeting you just once. Plus, Villanova bands play there all the time.

If you’re a Democrat, try watching Fox News occasionally. Surprisingly enough, not every Republican hates all minorities and shows no compassion for poor people. Likewise, if you’re conservative, give CNN a chance. After all, not every liberal wants to invite terrorists here and abolish whatever is left of a moral code in this country.

Go to a play at Vasey Hall when not required to do so by a professor. The shows are fun to see, and it makes for a great date, even if the theatre is aglow with cell phones from students text-messaging their friends throughout the play.

If you have something to say in class, say it. No one will think you’re a geek for having an opinion on a topic you feel strongly about. On the other hand, if you don’t have something to say, don’t say it. You don’t have to raise your hand every time a professor asks a question only to give the most obvious of answers that everyone else in the class was already thinking but didn’t want to bother saying out loud.

If you are a member of every conceivable club, society and organization at Villanova, take a weekend off to wake up after noon, watch “My Fair Brady” or any other reality show on VH1 and not leave your couch. If, on the other hand, you have spent the last couple years here watching “Laguna Beach” reruns and “E! True Hollywood Story” without leaving your room, then go out and join a club. You might initially go through withdrawal from missing the latest episode of “Flavor Flav” on VH1, but you’ll thank me when you are at a party and run into that girl you met while volunteering for Campus Ministry.

If you are a member of a fraternity, take the plunge and go to another frat’s party some weekend. I think you’ll find that the awesome parties that your fraternity throws are eerily similar to everyone else’s.

Nothing would please me more than to see a friend from the engineering school going out next Tuesday night or the guy who never left his room freshman year leading a tour for the Blue Key society. You might not instantly become a “Renaissance Man” like Danny DeVito in the 1994 movie of the same name, but you may just get a sense of what it feels like to be a part of the away team, if only for a short time.