Saying Goodbye to Kendall’s Column


Courtesy of Emma Cahill

The University received the largest grant in history for its partnership with the Posse Foundation.

Kendall Hayes, Culture Columnist

To Villanova and the People it Gave Me: 


I fell in love with Villanova when I was 16 years old. It was love at first sight. The first school I toured, the first school I saw myself at and the first and only school I loved every aspect of. (Okay, maybe not every aspect; come on, people, we need to bump up that food quality.) 


On the first night of college, I sat on the floor of my room in Katharine Hall with three other girls. One of them was my roommate. We all spoke for hours about our lives, what we wanted out of Villanova and our fears about leaving home. We all felt comfortable with each other. It was as if I had known the three girls around me for years, and I had a gut feeling that these girls would be in my life for all of college. We all just fit with one another. As the months and years went on, more people would be added to our friendship puzzle, but it was that night when I knew this was where I belonged, and, trust me, I know how rare that is. 


I am thankful that now, flash forward almost four years, I am sitting next to my freshman year roommate on our senior house’s couch as I write this article. (Hi, Mia, I am very excited for Grog with you later). Two other girls from my room that night, Abigail Lukas and Tara Nichols, are also scattered about our home. A few days later, we would meet Izzy Creedon, who would become a necessary piece to all of our Villanova puzzles. You all make our house a home.  


When you go to college, or maybe I should say when you look back on college, you start to think certain things happen for certain reasons. 


I am thankful that my first Villanova class registration was absolutely atrocious. Fall of 2019, what a pleasurable experience. I received the last registration time, and I did not get into a single class I wanted. I had to take a Moderns class that had no reviews on (I know, the horror), and I did not get into either of the Communication courses I needed to declare my Communication major. I am almost positive the night of registration I ended up enrolling in an Irish Poetry class just so I had enough credits. But, I became the course registration website’s biggest fan. I checked maybe every 10 minutes for two weeks straight to see if someone had dropped any Communication courses. 


And just like that, I enrolled in Public Speaking and Survey of Communication Studies, where I would meet two more pieces to my Villanova puzzle, Cameron Castelli and Anna O’Keefe. Thanks, you two, for understanding me, and proving that three people can be best friends.


I am thankful that it was so difficult to get back to Seattle, and Lanie Martin spent the beginning of quarantine with my family. 


I am thankful that my freshman year roommate Mia Dell’Orto and I decided not to live together sophomore year, as I was randomly connected with my next puzzle piece, now one of my best friends, for a sophomore year roommate. Alyssa Paster, thank you for being the roommate and friend of my dreams. I could not be more excited to bring Sheehan 302 to New York City next year. 


I am thankful that freshmen year I was playing music too loud and Jessica Laino came knocking on my door to turn it down. 


I am thankful that I joined a sorority (my short-lived experience with Greek Life) and met some more pieces. Carlie Romano, you are always absolutely yourself in the most beautiful way, and I could not imagine my life without five FaceTime calls from you every day. Boston is about to get the best girl in the whole world. 


I am thankful that I begrudgingly agreed to go to the Outer Banks the summer going into my junior year with some people I had never met before that I now could not imagine my life without. Juliana Russo, your laugh brings me the purest form of joy. Thank you for coming into my life and staying in it. I cannot wait for this next chapter with you. 


I am thankful that my best friend, twin flame, roommate and partner in crime is a genius and got into New York Medical College. The day you got into medical school may have been the happiest day of my life. I will always be your number-one fan. Tara Nichols, thank you for always being there. I would not be me without you. 


Last but not least, thank you to Villanova for being my first love, completing my puzzle and bringing these amazing human beings to me. Thank you for showing me that writing was my passion and what I wanted to do with my life. Thank you to Julia Stanisci for asking Emily Cox to look at my application to be a culture writer for The Villanovan. Thank you to Elena Rouse for being my sounding board and reading every article I write before I send it in. Thank you to Vivi Melkonian for being the badass editor-in-chief you are and seeing the potential in me before I even see it. 


And finally, thank you to Michael Bradley. You made my Villanova education and experience what it is. More professors and people like you should exist in the world. As I embark on this next chapter of my life, I will listen to the wise words of our good friend Jerry Garcia: if I get confused, I’ll just listen to the music play.


Officially signing off with so much love,


Kendall Hayes