CAVACOS: Little Moments Define Memories

As an annoying cynic who hates both emotions and cliches equally, I am infuriated by a social media phenomenon that involves slapping cheesy, decontextualized quotes onto everything. I always roll my eyes at all-too-deliberately crafted Instagram captions and pictures of those beautiful calligraphic sayings that pop up on my Facebook feed, if I do not just ignore them altogether.

But the thick layer of nostalgia that has settled over everything during the past few weeks actually compelled me, in spite of myself, to give one of these quotes a second look. I’ve seen variations of it in several places, but it’s something along the lines of: “Life is measured in moments.” I was not expecting this to resonate with me so deeply, and I am vaguely annoyed that it has, but I cannot seem to get it out of my mind.

Whenever a period of my life draws to a close — on the last day of a job, the waning minutes before midnight on New Years Eve and especially now, as my graduation from Georgetown looms at the end of this week — it is extremely difficult for me to pick out milestones or big measurements to articulate what made that period of time worthwhile.

My time here has been an absolute blur and I have felt overwhelmed during these last few weeks trying to piece it together whenever someone asks me what my favorite moment or favorite memory was. I always freeze up on the spot — the weight of four years’ worth of memories makes those questions nearly impossible to answer.

The reality is that there are simply too many favorite memories to choose from, and a majority of them have not been grand accomplishments or checked-off bucket list items. They have been moments. When I reflect on my time at Georgetown, I do not have one pivotal memory that stands out more than the rest. I do not have one symbolic anecdote or a catchy lede that I can use to launch into a life lesson or broader message. I have moments — a series of often ordinary recollections and feelings that have made for an extraordinary four years.

I guess a better question, then, is not what my favorite memory at Georgetown is, but rather what has shaped all of these small moments in the most meaningful way. That, undoubtedly, has been my time writing for the sports section of The Hoya.

One of my favorite things about the sports section is that very few of our writers, if any, want to pursue sports journalism as a career. I would say that most of us — myself included — have definitely toyed with the idea, but ultimately, we are all united by a common passion for something that is not a means to an end.

As washed-up former high school athletes and lifelong diehard sports fans, we know what it is like to measure our lives as a series of moments. We carry fleeting feelings and memories from our times playing for or rooting for teams — both good and bad — that enrich our lives with a sense that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

During my time with The Hoya, there have been truly incredible moments. I remember the pride I felt seeing my name in print for the first time. I remember, in the beginning of my sophomore year, sitting in the same space as Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85), Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo (SLL ’91), among others, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Thompson Athletic Center, wondering how in God’s name I was considered qualified to be there with a press pass. I remember receiving the 3:30 a.m. text message while I was studying abroad in Italy confirming that I would be The Hoya’s newest senior sports editor and having no idea how it was going to change my life for the better. There have been countless laughs shared and dollars spent at The Tombs’ trivia nights, game watches and trips to the Verizon Center, all shared with my best friends.

Of course, there have also been terrible moments. There was the crushing blow of scrambling to get an interview with Abby Wambach, my hometown childhood idol, at last year’s OWN IT Summit just to learn that she had gotten arrested days before her appearance. There was the realization of ‘Oh my God, we’re actually going to lose to Arkansas State in McDonough Gymnasium right now.’ There were the countless nights of crisis management and breaking news in The Hoya office, the lost hours of sleep, and, of course, the 5 a.m. walk home from the office one early Friday morning just to discover that someone had thrown up on the front door of my apartment.

So, as a writer who has spent the past four years trying to put the intangible feelings that accompany being a sports fan into words, I leave Georgetown largely at a loss to describe how spectacular my time here has been. And of course, as an annoying cynic, it irks me greatly that a cliche is somehow the best descriptor of the absurd, wonderful, frustrating, transformative college journey I have had.

My life is a series of moments. And their value is not in how they have measured up to another Georgetown student’s experience, or how instrumental they were in securing my future career. I realize their value in reminiscing about them with my friends during our final days here, in reflecting on them for my final article and in envisioning future happy hours and Homecoming weekends when I’ll revisit them again.

I am forever indebted to The Hoya and to my sports family not only for giving me an identity and a purpose at Georgetown, but for helping me realize how it is the ordinary moments that made my time here extraordinary.

SPORTS_ElizabethElizabeth Cavacos is a senior in the College and was senior sports editor in spring 2016 and senior social media editor in fall 2016. She graduates Saturday.

 

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