Football has always been a huge part of who I am. Like most overzealous 13-years-olds, I had grandiose plans of continuing my playing career at the collegiate level and then professionally. While becoming a professional athlete hasn't come to fruition—fingers crossed—football served as an intermediary to get me something much more meaningful: an education at Washington and Lee. What W&L means to me is opportunity and fellowship.
Washington and Lee was unlike anything else I had ever encountered in my life in Southwest Virginia. I was overwhelmed as a nervous 18-year-old, reporting to a training camp devoid of friends and family for the first time in my life. I remember thinking, how could this place with huge white columns ever become home? As I quickly learned, it was the people that would make this place home. I owe the greatest friendships of my life to this university. We all know about the historic traditions of these hallowed grounds and the various accolades the university has accumulated, but every college has these to some degree or another. The community here is unparalleled because of the idiosyncrasies that unite us. That is why, when I am in an airport, I get excited to see a trident and have to talk to whoever happens to be sporting it.
W&L is special to me because it truly allows you to dictate your four years. Thanks to our roots in liberal arts education, no two paths are exactly the same here. From studying in Morocco, to learning how curve your body in modern dance, to the study of ancient Chinese, every student has the chance to fulfill their curiosity. Outside the classroom is where the promise of opportunity holds true for me at W&L. Every conceivable interest is answered. I have paddled the Maury River at midnight, acted in German, and played the game I love for four more years all because of this place. A great late friend once told me, "Follow your dreams, many come true." These white columns have certainly aided me in following mine.