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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Four years later: a reflection on four odd years at Gonzaga

Photo+by+Javier+Fox
Photo by Javier Fox

The day my freshman year began, I got on to the Metro not really knowing what I was getting into. My mom drove me to the Forest Glen Metro station, and I waved goodbye, more excited than I had felt in a long time.

I boarded the Red Line train to Shady Grove and hopped off at Union Station. I was off to the races; I was among Congressional staffers, Hill workers and various other professionals that day. As I exited the station, I realized I wasn’t at home anymore, and my 10 years at my small suburban Catholic school would be nothing like this. 

I was immediately hit with the smell of car exhaust and cigarettes, but I went on. I walked north on 1st Street NW and turned onto G Place NW; at the time G Place was much more palatable than G Street for me. I then rounded the corner onto North Capitol St., and St. Al’s stood out like a sore thumb to me. I made it to campus and never looked back.

It is now four years later and instead of Metroing, I drive. I now know what every day will look like, what teachers will be where and when and what Sage is serving for lunch, thanks to the app that was nowhere in sight freshman year. 

As a person, I have also changed a great deal. I have become extremely independent, mature and wise in what I have learned at Gonzaga. One of the most important things I have learned is that what you do/ who you are on Gonzaga’s campus does not define who you are entirely.

In four years, my relationships outside of school have become the most important to me, and making friends at rival high schools was, believe it or not, vital to my success at Gonzaga. Not fitting the purple mold isn’t easy, but I have done my best. I have found most success in relying on people outside of school for support.

 I didn’t do an ounce of service here at Gonzaga; I, instead, wanted to find something different than what everyone else was doing. My repeated visits to the same schools and community centers have given me more sense of accomplishment than anything that was put in front of me ever could. Somehow, seeking out service opportunities to do on my own has allowed me to create relationships with people based on who I am, not where I go to school. 

In short, I guess I would say to freshman year me, or any other incoming freshman, don’t let this place consume, define or limit you. Instead, let it serve as a guide, let it guide you for what you want to accomplish in your life and the person you want to be outside of Gonzaga.

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