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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Robbie Day '12

Hometown: Roanoke, VA

Majors: Politics, American Government

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Web Chair, W&L 2012 Mock Convention
  • Music Director, WLUR 91.5 FM
  • Backpacking Key Staff and Pre-O Trip leader, Outing Club
  • Campaign Coordinator, W&L College Democrats
  • Technical Assistant and Intern, Tucker Multimedia Center

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Intern, Democratic National Committee at Organizing for America (Washington Term Program, Spring 2010)

Post-Graduation Plans:

I hope to first work on President Obama's reelection campaign, and then continue working on Democratic campaigns for a year or two prior to attending law school.

Favorite W&L Memory:
During the 2010 Washington Break I participated in the Outing Club's annual sea kayaking trip in the Florida Everglades. I can't pick out one reason why this trip will always stick out in my mind the way it does, but experiences like this one continue to push me outdoors and explore new places with new people.

Favorite Class:
A student picking a favorite class at W&L is like the owner of an ice cream shop picking his favorite ice cream. There are too many great options that are too difficult to compare. Nonetheless, Dr. Connelly's in-class portion of Washington Term truly pushed me to view the Capital from a balanced and healthy perspective, one that I will always work to garner in analyzing and understanding American government.

Favorite W&L Events:
Although I have not yet experienced it, Mock Convention will undoubtedly top my list of favorite W&L events.

"Enjoy college, it goes fast!"

James Dick, W&L's campus recreation and Outing Club director, often says this to students who are stressed out, burnt out, and in need of getting outside in order to put things in perspective. Before coming to W&L, I thought that four years was a pretty big chunk of time--certainly long enough to spend in a small town like Lexington, Virginia.

I learned quickly that James is right. College goes fast, and there are certain aspects of life that can get swept under the rug when students are focused on nothing but how that transcript is going to look at the end of the term, how to boost their GPA, or what kind of job they're going to land after graduation. Undoubtedly, these things are important. But it takes someone like James Dick, or an organization like the Outing Club, to push life into a fuller and healthier view.

My first experience backpacking was as a first-year participant in the Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation program, during which a group of soon-to-be first-years are led by other W&L students along the Appalachain Trail for five days. I was by no means instantly converted into an outdoor enthusiast. But I had enough fun to push me to attend subsequent Outing Club activities and events.

Through the opportunities offered by the Outing Club, I came to realize the potential opportunities a wilderness setting provides an individual or a group willing to explore a little. You can call it what you like--self-reflection, internal exploration, soul searchin'--there are certain things I have discovered about myself while on a trial or in a campsite that I would not have known if I had spent that time in a town or city. There are certain people I would not be nearly as good friends with had we not been members of the same group on a wilderness trip.

The Outing Club doesn't have to demand 100% of your attention at W&L, but it certainly offers opportunities every W&L student should experience before graduating. Some colleges are surrounded by a big city and nightlife; W&L is surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Outing Club is an organization with tremendous resources, incredible leadership and abundant opportunities for students to explore the natural landscapes that surround us. My experiences with the Outing Club have taught me to enjoy college, go outside, and learn from the wilderness aspects of life that can't be understood in a classroom.