I love traveling. If I could get paid to travel anywhere and everywhere, I would sign on the dotted line right now.
That being said my senior year has provided me with quite the series of trips that were not only fun but furthered my connection to John Carroll and the a handful of qualities it has further strengthened in me. Those characteristics are knowledge, service, friendship and love, in that order.
The first of those trips started back on Halloween 2012. On that morning, The Carroll News staff and I rose bright and early after a long deadline night in the newsroom to head to the Cleveland Hopkins airport prepared for a flight to the great city of Chicago. Chicago was host to the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, an annual conference that invites college students looking to excel and gain knowledge in the field of media journalism, broadcasting and more. The trip allowed me to gain expertise in a field I not only love, but see myself working in throughout the entirety of my life. Looking back, I realize how valuable the experience was for me, and I have used many of the things I learned already.
The next trip came exactly two months after at the turn of the year when I returned to John Carroll a week earlier than most students to embark on an immersion trip to New Orleans, La. As many of us here know, immersion trips are an opportunity to go to various locations, both domestic and international, to do service for a community we aren’t completely familiar with. This year I co-led the trip and with an amazing group of students ,we participated in manual labor all week, building and cleaning up houses from damage done by hurricanes in the area. Not only did this trip provide me with quality time with some of JCU’s best students and faculty, but it also allowed me to dedicate myself even more to the importance of service in our world today and learn about a culture I knew very little about. Service has always been an important aspect of my life but my time at John Carroll has enhanced it and allowed me to give back in ways I never could have imagined.
Spring Break provided the opening for my next trip, which involved the renting of a mini-van, a 16-hour drive, and a group of some of my best friends I’ve made at JCU. If you haven’t guessed, I went to Panama City, Fla. and it was a trip I will look back on and always remember the great time I had with solid friends. We’d hit the beach during the day, eat at delicious restaurants for dinner and go out at night to enjoy various versions of fun. It was the first time I had a chance to do anything for Spring Break outside of going home to Rochester with the same old cold weather as Cleveland. Wisely I jumped on the opportunity. It was here that friendship outshined everything else. The group of friends I was with are people I see in my life for years to come and to have the chance to enjoy their presence with no stress on our minds was better than I could of imagined.
Then , a week ago today, I was headed down route 80 through Pennsylvania to New York City with my beautiful girlfriend. Although my home resides in New York State, I had never actually had the chance to make it to the Big Apple. However I couldn’t pass up the chance to see my favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, playing the New York Yankees in the biggest rivalry in all of sports live at Yankee Stadium. Although Brittany ended the day with bragging rights for her Yankees winning, it was still an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. This was an instant where I felt completely consumed by love. Love for traveling, love for a new amazing place I explored, but even more importantly love for Brittany and the relationship we have. Love is an amazing feeling, and that final trip allowed it to grow even more with me.
So there you have it. Four trips that proved even further I made the right choice in building myself into the man I am today at John Carroll University. The qualities that stood out and presented themselves in these very different journeys directly connected to what has been instilled in me deeper in my four years here. Knowledge. Service. Friendship. Love.
When you’re time at John Carroll finally comes to an end I hope you’ll believe you discovered these four characteristics in yourself as well.