The message every sensitive college student needs to hear

Andy Milone (on left) with some of his friends from the Gettysburg College Cross Country team. Photo courtesy of Colleen Campbell

Andy Milone (on right) with some of his friends from the Gettysburg College Cross Country team.
Photo courtesy of Colleen Campbell

By Andy Milone, Web Content Editor

The college major and GPA is overrated; it does not define you. The job of the full time student is not to know exactly the direction in which life is headed. Instead, the responsibility of the full time student is to go with the flow and not let the events, words and actions of others affect you in a modern day society where a majority of students are too sensitive and let unfortunate events control them.

I chose a college because there was an exciting opportunity to play Division III soccer. I chose a college because there was an intriguing opportunity to study a developing science. I am about to finish my third year at Gettysburg College where I will participate in neither soccer nor science. I will be a member of the cross country team and will be a student seeking a career in journalism—never having received high honors in an English class or dedicated mass amounts of time to running as a sport before college.

All this does not mean that you should become lazy and not care about anything while expecting something positive to happen. It is a message to continue working hard because when you do, something good is bound to happen even when the world is upsetting or confusing you. Go with the flow; do not lose the mental game because there are realities, realizations and opportunities that will guide you. I nearly failed another class this week because the class was arguably too big of a challenge for me. Keep moving forward though; every failure makes a challenge worth it.

Good will happen with patience

I am a proud Gettysburg College student. A great college education shapes you only if you allow everything to unfold. No more of the “I do not know what I am doing with my life.” No more of the “what you said bothers me.” No more of the “your GPA is low, so you must not work hard and will never be successful.” Something good will happen if you are patient and accepting.

I picked Gettysburg College because there was a high probability that I would be playing collegiate soccer, my dream for a couple of years. I had the opportunity to select early decision where I would be guaranteed a roster spot, but I decided to commit regular decision instead. This decision meant that I would need to impress during preseason in order to lock down a spot on the team. I went into preseason, and the coach cut me the day before the first game. My name had made an appearance in the printed program of the opening game; I was that close to making it.

The following two days crushed me, but I look back on the two dark days as the two days where I was sensitive and vulnerable. There was no smile on my face as I took part in the first year walk. I pondered over the recent event that seemed to be detrimental to my future enjoyment and success in college. A college student must not recognize the pitfall, but instead accept it and move on because two days like this can ruin a first year student if taken the wrong way.

The following Monday was the first day of classes, and I was enrolled in the basic biology and chemistry courses as I had a strong interest in neuroscience at the time, but the school did not offer it as a major—biology was the major of choice as a result. I passed my first semester biology course but dropped the second semester biology course because I received two poor exam grades that did not reflect a student that was destined for biology.

I passed my first two semesters of general chemistry, so I decided to declare a major in chemistry and considered taking the biology course, which had given me trouble, over the summer as this course was essential to enrolling for the neuroscience lecture.  The thought of creating a major called neurochemistry even passed into my noggin, but the idea was quickly shot down as my first semester of sophomore year ended in a low D in organic chemistry and a high D in physics, both requirements of the chemistry major.

The Opportunity

I came across a flyer during my first year of college on my dormitory building. It read “Do you want to be a sports writer?” It was a campus wide search for any student that wanted to write for the sports section of the school’s paper, The Gettysburgian. My initial thought was that if I am not going to play the sport that I love; why not write about it? I thought it would be fun and a boost to the job resume but nothing more at the time.

My third year of college began in September 2016, and I ran Cross Country at the Division III level while studying Organizations & Management with the aspirations to be a world-class journalist. The head soccer coach let me go, and this led to many important realities, realizations and opportunities in my life during a short span where the look on my face, following the coach’s decision, would have led my classmates to think otherwise. I allowed everything to flow naturally because college is about growth.

Realities, Realizations and More Opportunities Gained From One Event

  1. Belief in the “Go with the Flow” mentality

I hit a brick wall in my third semester called the Organic Chemistry final exam leading to the low D in the course. The first two questions took a quick 20 minutes and the remaining three hours and forty minutes consisted of me, a packet of papers, and a blank memory. For an hour after the exam, I mused over the reality that chemistry would not be my career path, and I took this short period of an hour, not two days, to realize that I needed to explore other opportunities. The class was arguably one of the toughest courses offered at the college, and I learned to accept that it was ok to be average. Most will struggle with the workload in organic chemistry and other courses, so why do I need to stress over the fact that I am like most other students? It is acceptable to be average, and you need to accept that you may never be at the top level.

The start of the fourth semester came around, and my two roommates, two of my closest buddies at the college, sat me down. They knew chemistry had not worked out, and they wanted to ensure that I was still sane because I had loved chemistry up to this point.

I told them that I would be fine and something good would happen. I revealed that I was going to study Organization & Management. I also told them that I participated in a small internship over the past winter break at Philly Weekly, a lifestyle magazine in Philadelphia. During the winter break, I decided that I wanted to pursue journalism as a career and wanted to take a class in journalism at Gettysburg College.

  1. Aspiration for a career in journalism

The ending of my short lived collegiate soccer career allowed me to explore other opportunities on campus. I would not have written for the school’s sports section if I had not been cut from the collegiate soccer team. This was an opportunity with no direct link to the sciences or my current major of Organizations & Management Studies; it was a realized passion of mine after the science part of my life had ended.

  1. Desire for Athletic Challenges

There was a collegiate soccer workout plan that prepared the team for preseason. I had never spent the time learning how to strengthen my upper body before this program. After my release from the team, I explored more upper body workouts with the extra time because I was not playing Division III soccer. The upper body workouts became a larger part of my life then I realized at the time. The realization of the results in these challenging workouts acted as encouragement to challenge myself further when I decided to join the college cross country team. I enjoy athletic challenges, and this is why I took some boxing classes and have spent time training for American Ninja Warrior. If I had not been released from the team, my life would have revolved around soccer, but this change in my life gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in other athletic areas. It also gave me the chance to meet some of my best buds on the cross country team.

  1. Ability to Join Sigma Chi

The soccer coach does not allow his players to join fraternities. I would not have been in this great fraternity called Sigma Chi if I was on this soccer team. The fraternity has added another social dimension to my life and another realm of career options. One of the most valuable lessons was learning about the power of introspection from this fraternity. Sigma Chi is a leader in the Greek world as it is has developed a national pledging process for all chapters of Sigma Chi that prepare pledges for brotherhood. I have participated in a marketing internship at the college where I write homepage stories for the college. My big brother in Sigma Chi introduced me to the internship, and he is a large reason that I landed the internship; my big brother and an alum from my chapter had succeeded in the internship previously, and this gave an advantage to me going into the interview.

I’m no longer a believer in fate, but I’m a believer in going with the flow and working hard with patience. I believe in sticking to my core principles and not letting a number define my potential for greatness. This is how Andrew Timothy Milone lives his life. How do you live your life?

Everyone operates a different way, so you should never let anyone tell you how to live your life. If you accept how I live, I will accept how you live. Just please never define me by my GPA.

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Author: Web Editor

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