I can remember my first day of college like it was yesterday. I could bore you with long details about the move in process or the awkward first hellos to your floor mates and RA, but in particular, there is one key moment that I will remember for a lifetime. It was my first large interaction with the Carnegie Mellon University swim team at the introductory barbeque to the incoming freshman in the Donner pit. At the barbeque, I sat with four other incoming male swimmers that would eventually become my best friends and housemates at a picnic table, and we have been inseparable ever since this moment. It marked the starting point of a new era in my life, which I will account as one of the most pivotal for defining who I am today in my fourth year here at Carnegie Mellon.
It is this camaraderie I found not only with my four particular housemates, but also within the rest of the Carnegie Mellon swim team that I will be most thankful for. Though it was fun accomplishing my swimming and academic goals throughout my career, I feel that this was not what my time here was about. I will remember the great times with my team when we would casually joke around in between classes at “the spot” (what we named the lunch area above the pool). I will remember the stressful times during finals when they were all there to support me, and likewise I was there to support them. I will remember the sad times when teammates suffered a loss, and everyone came together to show their condolences. What I came to was a family away from home, and I have never felt the trust for anyone like the way I do for my team.
Consequently, my interaction with the team has led me to be a better person. It has taught me how to believe in others, and it has taught me how to communicate when things go wrong. My swim team has showed me when it is important to stand up for the right causes, and how to avoid the wrong ones. It has guided me in thinking rationally to become an effective leader, and it has also enhanced my ability to have compassion for other people in times of need.
A few weeks ago, I watched the movie The Fault in Our Stars, and I do not think that any other movie could capture what I am trying to get across any better. It dabbled in one of my favorite topics of mathematics in relation to how one should live their lives. It said there are an infinite amount of numbers between 0 and 1, and it is true that there is a bigger set of numbers between 0 and 2, and even more between 0 and a million. The point was that there are just some infinities that are bigger than others. In relation to my time here, there is a determined set of days that will compose my time here at college, but what I have found is that each defining moment, such as that first moment at the picnic table, is a small part of that infinity in my determined days that I would, as the movie said, “never trade it for the world.” I couldn’t be more thankful for everything my teammates have done for me.
Therefore, as a result, I have discovered here at Carnegie Mellon that it is this faith in others that is most important in life. Sharing these little infinite moments is what makes it worth it and creates memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.