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

Finding a Home at Georgetown

I thought Georgetown did not want me.

I requested application materials twice – once online, once over the phone. They never arrived. But when the envelope arrived congratulating me on my acceptance, I wondered if I really wanted Georgetown.

The biggest turnoff? Georgetown was east.

Born in California and raised in Arizona and Colorado, I had only heard stories about “back east” from people who had left it behind, moving to the sunnier, warmer, drier, more relaxed, wide-open places I knew.

By late freshman year I thought I just might have made the most expensive mistake of my life. Returning to gray, dreary, cold, urban Washington, D.C., after visiting friends in Boulder, Colo., and Berkeley, Calif., for spring break was like returning to the familiar comforts of a jail cell. Yet in my frustration I discovered the key to improving my Georgetown experience.

As I pored over transfer applications to my other top-choice schools from my senior year of high school, I suddenly realized why I was here. Georgetown provided me, as it provides us all, with a mix of opportunities and advantages that I simply could never find at other universities.

It was at that time that Georgetown ceased to be something that was happening to me. I realized that not only in coming to Georgetown had I made my choice, but that in choosing to stay here I had as well.

Georgetown would be my home for the next three years and it was up to me to make the most of it. I wanted to leave the university better than I had found it. Even amongst the things I loved, which had convinced me to stay, I saw flaws – huge opportunities to improve the student experience. I would spend my next three years at Georgetown trying to overcome many of them.

During my career as a Hoya, my activities, much more than my studies, have defined me. I was an actor, I was a techie, I was a photojournalist, I was an editor, I was a case team member I was an entrepreneur. It was in this arena that I was most confident and ambitious, and thus it was both through the adventures of starting a new campus organization, Hilltop Consultants, and through my longtime involvement in THE HOYA, that I tried to make that difference.

By junior year I had seen my fellow classmates grow frustrated trying to gain that elusive “real-world” business experience that employers demanded. I had also seen the opportunity for students to have real impact on nonprofit organizations that frequently lacked the resources, or even skills, to improve their businesses. Hilltop Consultants was a way to match the two groups, bringing together some of the most passionate business students on this campus to help their community. It is hard to express how proud I am to leave this organization behind as my legacy at Georgetown.

Founding Hilltop Consultants was only possible, however, because of the deep understanding of student groups I had gained in Mask & Bauble and THE HOYA.

After two semesters as a HOYA editor, I latched onto the concept of taking the paper independent as one of the best ways to improve both Georgetown and the quality of our journalism. This was where I could leave my mark. Three semesters in the business office and on the board of directors were spent trying to both prepare us for that change and shape the direction it would take. While I will graduate with independence just out of arms reach, I have little doubt Georgetown’s administrators will soon realize how foolish they have been in blocking these attempts to improve our Hilltop.

But these four years have been much more than my attempts to shape two organizations. They have been a time of wonderful highs and desperate lows. They have been the story of lifelong relationships built and friendships lost. Mostly, Georgetown is not something that I have shaped but rather something that has shaped me.

Georgetown gave me a passion for photography and strengthened my love of politics, but most importantly it introduced me to international relations and global business. It led me to study abroad twice and to travel outside the United States for the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth times in my life.

Yet none of these things could have happened if it wasn’t for that decision I made freshman year. Had I remained a frustrated cynic of this university and never attempted to do something about it, I would have never found a home here.

And a home, filled with so many friends, is exactly what I have found.

Mitch Fox is a senior in the McDonough School of Business. He is a former photography editor, Web editor, contributing editor, accounts manager, business director and member of THE HOYA’s editorial board and board of directors.

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