Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Falling in Love with Georgetown

I was that neurotic nerd who checked www.thehoya.com almost every day my entire junior and senior year of high school. Yeah, I admit it: I was that kid. Georgetown has been my home essentially ever since I came home from winter break freshmen year.

It’s not that I don’t like my other home in Philadelphia, but just that I found that on the Hilltop I experienced an entire range of emotions. High school and suburban hell was all about studying, activities and getting into college. But during freshman year, while I think I excelled, I was supported by friends who encouraged me to have emotions – to cry, to be depressed, to be in love and to fall out of love. Love is important in understanding my experience. And I admit it: I am in love with Georgetown.

I’ve loved it so much that I’ve stayed here every summer (including this next one). Now it is time to have what I call an RDC – a relationship-defining conversation. You know, like the ones some of us may have had with significant others these past weeks. What is the next step? Georgetown – next fall I will not be here, no Leadership and Beyond, no NSO, no first day of classes and no reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in months. Just like my personal relationships with friends I know my relationship with you, Georgetown, will undoubtedly be different one year from now – and that is scary.

At Georgetown, some people say we just pay lip service to our ideals and tradition, but I have really adopted the whole self-reflection thing. I like to take time to look back on my life, examine my actions and make decisions about the future using those reflections.

Looking back, my experiences have been shaped by both the activities I’ve been involved in and the people I’ve become friends with. We hear it over and over again, but I really do believe that at the end of the day the relationships we’ve made with people are the things that will last long after we walk across the stage on Saturday.

I came to Georgetown as an over-achieving pre-med student who was going to take an “early retirement from extracurricular life” and simply enjoy being that “small fish in the big pond.” I may have been drunk or something but somehow I ended up running for two elected offices (losing both times), running a leadership development program for two years, serving on two university committees and chairing the board of the largest student-run company in the world. It was so much more than resume building – in fact, I would do it again even if I could never tell anyone I did these things. I love Georgetown that much.

The reason I’ve excelled was because from the very first day at Georgetown I had good mentors in upperclassman and staff who encouraged me. They may have encouraged me, but what kept me going was the passion that Georgetown students have about their pursuits. Whether it be M&B, IRC, JSA, GUCD, GUCR, GUSA, SCC, FCC, JCC, CSA, SAS, MSA, SAC, PAAC, ABCS, GERMS, GUASFCU, CSP, GULF, NSO (and the acronyms go on and on), there is some cause that we feel strongly about.

After my first year, I thought that my passion was going to be Campaign Georgetown. I was going to be on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and not do anything else. Even though I gave the campaign and election my all, I still lost.

It was the best thing that could have happened to me. After wallowing in self-pity for awhile, I found Students of Georgetown, Inc., which would become my true Georgetown passion. There is no other organization in the world where there is such a commitment to serving students and at the same time a close-knit social circle that works to give back to the community. What I like most about The Corp is that there are none of the Georgetown bureaucratic barriers that other groups face. Want to create an idea challenge and give out $4,000 worth of grants? Just get the Board or upper management behind it and there’s your money.

I imagine if you have continued reading this viewpoint for this long you may be involved in some of these groups or fell in love with Georgetown like I have and thus know what it means to have committed so much time and energy to a cause that you believed in (or you are my parents – hi, Mom and Dad). Then again, maybe you don’t feel that love. We have to be in our own relationship with Georgetown and while mine is one way, you maybe feel another way or a combination of many emotions. Over time, everyone’s experience at Georgetown will be colored by the rose-colored glasses of the past and as we become alumni we can still help shape the direction of this institution long into the future.

My love of Georgetown may have been started by my activities but it was strengthened by my friendships and relationships with classmates, staff, and faculty. Father Maher often says that getting a Georgetown education is different than just getting a Georgetown degree. A Georgetown education for me has made the difference it has taught me that there is more to life than getting a degree, a job and a house. To live life the way you can be proud of is what lady Georgetown has shown me.

To those who have helped me get to this place today I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Each one of you has shaped my experience and, as we graduate and move from Red Square and Copley Lawn to the New York City subway, the traffic of Northern Virginia and the strange places in a far away land, I hope that you will not forget these four years and that we’ll all be back together soon.

Eric Lashner is a senior in the College.

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