Well Villanova, the time has finally come for us to part ways. I always knew this day would come, but I didn’t want to believe it. This is my final column in this paper. The time has flown by, and we’ve enjoyed many experiences and events together. We’ve enjoyed court rushes against Kansas and Boston College. We’ve enjoyed our football team coming back against Penn at Franklin Field. We’ve laughed together, cried together, celebrated together and suffered together. We’ve enjoyed all kinds of sports, and for that, I am thankful.
For the last three years, this column has provided me the opportunity to put in my two cents about sports. It’s been my escape from everyday life. I could sit here and write about all the good and bad things that I’ve given my opinion on, but I won’t do that.
Rather than reminisce, my final column isn’t about sports. It’s about life. It’s about college. It’s about advice.
I’ve learned a few things since I’ve been here at Villanova. I’ve actually learned more outside the classroom than I have inside the classroom. It’s that wisdom that I am going to share with you now, just a few tidbits that I feel everyone should know about this place. If I could speak to all the underclassmen out there, this is what I would say to you all, as an old iron horse senior:
First off, I’ve learned that Villanova isn’t nearly as bad as the people in the opinion section of this paper make it seem. I actually kind of like it here. The people are friendly, the food is good, and the bathrooms are clean.
Make friends with the staff in the IK and Grille. They take care of you and love being around you. They’re like my family, always ready to put a smile on my face. There were days when it seemed that I couldn’t make it. They picked me back up. Thank you, my friends.
If you’re going to skip class, make sure you spend that time with the people who make you laugh.
Go abroad. There’s a whole new world out there.
Do everything you can to “inspire the uninspired.” “Van Wilder” isn’t just a movie; it’s a philosophical commentary on college life. If I’ve made even just one person a little more spirited or excited about Villanova, then my work has been a success.
Sometimes you have to take a risk and let your heart guide you. But be ready with damage control. Whatever risk it was, it sure was worth it.
Life is full of ups and downs. You’re going to hit slumps. But you can’t break out of the slump if you don’t swing the bat.
You’re probably going to have your heart broken. But it’s ultimately up to you to decide how long it will be broken for.
You’re going to meet a lot of special people. Let them touch your life and you’ll be the happiest person on campus. I’ve met some Unforgettable people. I’m a better person because of them.
If something irks you about this campus, don’t complain about it. Try to change it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned here, it’s that one voice can make a huge difference.
There will be people here who don’t like you. If you spend your time worrying about them, they win. Don’t let them.
No matter what happens, we will always be one ‘Nova Nation. Forever.
You’ll find out in college who your true friends are. If they’re right there to pick you up after you’ve fallen, they are a true friend.
Face it, we all have a little Mendel Doug in us.
I don’t care how big other pep bands are; ours is more fun to be around.
Everyone should have a theme song and a soundtrack to their lives.
And, finally, do everything. Try everything. Be everything. Because by the time you’re a senior, you’ll have no idea where the time went.
Well Villanova, it’s been one hell of a ride. A wise man once told me at the dinner table before I left for college that those next four years would be the best years of my life. Well Dad, thanks. You were absolutely right.
To my readers: I’d like to thank you for allowing me to speak to you each week. Thanks for the e-mails, Facebook messages and IMs that you’ve sent me to show me your appreciation. They were pick-me-ups during down times.
To my friends: I love you. I came here a transfer student from Atlanta and New Orleans, the new kid on the block, and you helped make Villanova my home. You’re the people I live with, eat lunch with, cheer at basketball games with, have beer at the bar with, who are there to make sure I’m in my perpetual good mood. You made a southerner feel more than welcome in Yankee country. They say you find your lifelong friends in college, and they’re right.
To my professors: I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing teachers at Villanova. You inspire students to be their best, and you’ll never know how much we appreciate your dedication to us.
To my parents: I will never be able to thank you enough for what you’ve given me. Words can never describe the experiences I’ve had here. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made and continue to make for my sake. I’ve come to learn that I probably didn’t deserve such great people as my mother and father, but God smiled on me. Thank you for keeping your promise and sending me to Villanova. I can only pray that I am as good a parent to my children as you two are to me.
Well, if you’re expecting a grandiose exit, I suppose I’m going to disappoint you. I know I’ve developed a reputation of leaving with a bang, but I think it’s time to ride off quietly into the sunset. I don’t want it to end, but it must. Thank you, Villanova. Thank you for everything. I think Forrest Gump said it best, after he finished running:
“I’m pretty tired. I guess I’ll go home now.”