Chesapeake, VA
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About Me

Living on Prayer and Dining Dollars

April 30, 2017

So I've just finished my sophomore year of college and I'm halfway finished with my undergraduate education. To paraphrase Shakespeare, I'm shooketh.

Earlier today, I packed up all of my belongings, stuffed them into my car and my mom's truck, and drove the hundred miles southeast back to my hometown. It's a very peculiar, jarring sort of feeling, at least to me, when I stepped out Lakeview, where I'd spent the past few months with the other students in my SSIR, for the last time. It's strange to think that I won't ever live with the same people, in the same hall, attending the same classes. But I suppose I felt the same way about leaving Dennis Hall at the end of freshman year.

Now that I'm back home, unpacked, and freshly-scrubbed after a much-anticipated bubble bath, I suppose now I've really got the time to process everything I've learned and experienced this semester.

Above all, I think this year's taught me the value of civic engagement and the duty of citizens to give a hoot about whom we choose to speak for us — as well as what can happen when we don't care enough. Not only did I get a new perspective on public service during my SEEDS trip to West Virginia, but my involvement with the College Democrats has afforded me the opportunity to work with numerous campaigns in Richmond, from Clinton to VanValkenburg to Perriello. With Virginia's critical gubernatorial race taking place this fall, I'm looking forward to bringing the experience and resources I've got (okay, really just the one resource of my own time) into getting the candidate I believe to be most well-suited for the position into the office.

Second, this semester has been a learning experience for me in that I've really gained a better understanding of my own limitations. No one can be all things to all men, and it's fruitless to even try. So, there's not a thing wrong with denying a request to hangout, asking someone to take your shift at work, or taking a raincheck from a extracurricular meeting so you can finish up the reading for Romanticism class. Further, I think I've come to accept that I'm by no means an energizer bunny, capable of completing assignments at breakneck pace right before the deadline. It's always better to start homework sooner rather than later. Always.

Then, of course, there's what I picked up in the classroom. I've learned a great deal about editing prose and making it as clear as possible — thanks to my News Writing, Copy Editing, and Fiction Writing classes. The realm of programming remains arcane to me, but I'm glad to have been exposed to it. I've read some incredible books, many of which are auspiciously relevant in our contemporary social and political climate (like The Handmaid's Tale, an adaptation of which I'm literally about to watch on Hulu). This was an incredible year of study.

I'm going to spend the majority of summer in Richmond as a summer research fellow working with UR's Race and Racism Project — so expect to read all about that come August! Campus is definitely going to feel different when I return in a few months for classes, especially with many of my friends studying abroad. I know what classes I'm taking and what clubs I'm in, but who knows what next year holds? I can't stop thinking about what I'll be doing in a few months, who'll be my closest friends, and if I'll be any closer to envisioning how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Thinking about the future makes me a bit anxious, but also profoundly enthused. But I suppose that's part of what makes the future so alluring: There's a lot of wonder in wondering.

—Hunter, University of Richmond Class of 2019

Call me Hunter, or the chosen one, or Chuck Norris, or the Lone Wanderer from Vault 101, or anything else that's awesome because it would really boost my self-esteem. However you choose to style me, know that my intention is to give you a firsthand impression of life here at the University of Richmond. Late study nights, Saturday evening shindigs, extracurriculars, that sort of thing.

And yes, it has occurred to me that this is an About Me and I've neglected to tell you much about me. So I'm from Chesapeake, Virginia, a place just south of Norfolk that's large enough to be a county but isn't because reasons. There's not much to do in Chesapeake other than going for a dip in the Great Dismal Swamp (ill-advised) or head to a neigboring town to hit the beach, and I think that's part of the reason I spent most of my earlier childhood holed up in my room reading books or playing Playstation. 

I branched out in my high school years, though, and I've developed affinites for genealogy, running, film, and photography. I am not a man of many talents, though among them include the remarkable power to turn my thumb all the way backwards, the ablility to tell you almost everything you'd ever want to know about the Star Wars Expanded Universe (which unfortunately has been declared non-canon, thanks to J.J. Abrams), and the astonishing skill to cook Minute Rice in 58 seconds. My playlist includes mostly oldies, and my favorite movies all came out before I was born. So you might say I'm a bit of a hipster. I've even got my own snazzy red Polaroid camera, which is practically a license to hipster in this day and age, right?

So, yeah, that's me. In conclusion, read on! Hope you enjoy my blog posts!

Why UR?

I'm not a very decisive person. During my senior year of high school, I envied the kids who were certain straight from the get-go where they wanted to go to college. I had applied to several great schools that I thought could offer me a great education, but I had trouble picking which one was the best fit for me. I constantly held debates against myself, weighing the pros and the cons of each school in my head and occasionally and occasionally audibly voicing my concerns a la Gollum: "How about this one?" "No, no, too big. And too far away. Going back and forth to home could prove to be a real bummer." "Good point, but look at their alumni network! They could hook you up with a job fresh out of graduation!" "Ah, true, but check out these student reviews online. You really want to go to a place with this reputation?" "Do you believe everything you read in those reviews?" "Of course I do. They can't put anything on the internet that isn't true." And so on and so on. I still hadn't made a decision by mid-April, so the jury was still out on where I was going just two weeks before the deadline. Pressure from my parents and peers to choose just kept piling on heavier and heavier. Around this time I went to a Richmond Scholars visit, which afforded prospective students who'd been offered scholarships from the University the chance to get a glimpse of life as a student here. The visit was really what sealed the deal for me. The beautiful campus was a joy to explore even in the surprisingly sweltering spring heat. I had the opportunity to sit in on a class, which wasn't very big. Richmond's small class sizes allow for intimate discussions as opposed to drawling lectures and make it rather easy to develop close relationships with professors. I've found that most of them encourage you to meet with them in their spare time, something that might be more difficult to do at a larger institution. While at the Scholars visit, I talked with my host for hours. He gave me a bare bones, down-to-earth explanation of what he thought of Richmond. And I know it's a total cliche, but there's one thing he told me that I really think rings true here at Richmond and life in general: It can be a great and rewarding experience, but only if you put in the effort to make it one. Bottom line, I think Richmond gives students the resources needed to make their college years more than worthwhile, moreso than any other school I checked out. We've got top-notch academics to satisfy any hungry mind, we've got a plethora of extracurriculars to enjoy, tons of chances to broaden our horizons (literally and figuratively), and of course, we've got the chow at D-Hall. All that's really what made me want to spend the next four years of my life here.