Image Courtesy of Garrett Farrell
By Garrett Farrell
Over the last four years, Catholic University has seen its fair share of tough days. Most of those days came as a result of a global pandemic, so we can’t really hold that against the school; but even so, there were days when it felt tough to be on campus. In spite of all this, there were always more reasons to be here than not. This list is an ode to those reasons, which have, without a doubt, been the highlight of the four years I’ve spent here.
I understand that mentioning something that is not a part of Catholic University may be confusing, but bear with me. Catholic University is located in the heart of (arguably) the most historic city in the country, and, as such, the chances for learning and experience off-campus are unrivaled. The bulk of the Smithsonian attractions are just a few metro stops away, Rock Creek Park is a great place for a hike and within walking distance of a metro, and there are more monuments to see than you can count. Plus, excluding the metro cost, all these places are completely free (most of the time.)
4. On Campus
Including the campus on this list makes much more sense than including off-campus. Catholic’s campus is unique considering the that city we’re in and in comparison to other university’s in the District. Most other schools in D.C. have limited green space, are cramped, or are simply built into the city. In contrast to this, our campus is mostly green space, has by far the most acreage of any college in the District, and is clearly demarcated from the city as its own body. When I was first touring Catholic in 2017, what struck me most was not merely the size of the campus but its unique beauty. Throughout the last four years, my appreciation for this campus has only grown. There is a unique serenity to it and there have been many times when I have taken full advantage of this. Mary’s Garden is perhaps the best place to feel this serenity and read a good book, but in the limited experience I’ve had with it so far, the Angels Unawares statue provides nearly the same feelings of peace and tranquility. The only thing that detracts from it is that it is right by the street, which certainly isn’t ideal when you’re trying to tune out the world
3. The Opportunities
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for all the memories I have from Catholic; from the fun nights spent in dorm rooms playing Super Smash Bros, to the nights out seeing concerts; I can’t complain about a single one of my memories. But when I think about the stories from college I’m most likely to tell my kids, I think about the time when I got to attend the 2020 State of the Union, when I saw CNN’s presidential town halls, when I met a Supreme Court justice, or when I got to talk with the Irish Ambassador about rugby. All this to say, Catholic University has given me opportunities I never imagined I’d have. When I submitted my deposit to Catholic four years ago I knew about the academic opportunities I’d have access to, but I never realized that I would have the chance to be in the front row of some major historical events.
2. The Tower
Self-aggrandizing as this choice might be in this context, writing for The Tower has been uniquely rewarding for me. I have reconnected with a passion for sharing news and informing people, and I even developed new passions along the way. The semester after I joined The Tower the then-editor-in-chief promoted me to Business Manager; for the 2020-21 volume I served as the Sports Editor, and for the past year I have been the Managing Editor. Each of these roles have allowed me to grow as a person and a professional, and I am boundlessly grateful for that.
1. The People
This item was a clear number one choice. The people who make up this community are enmeshed in every fiber of campus. They are what made this place home and they were the light at the end of the tunnel during quarantine. When I think about how the last few years have brought so many wonderful people into my life, I can only be grateful for the fact that I came here.