A Recap of My 2017
2017 was an amazing year to say the lease, and I’m glad I began filming almost everything I do so I will have these memories forever. There were a lot of firsts, but there were also a lot of lasts. I went places and met people for the first time, but it was also the beginning of my senior year of college at Carnegie Mellon University, so that came along with doing things for the last time.
Beginning with the lasts, one of the hardest things to do for the last time was playing football. I have been playing football since I was 6 years old, and have met most of my lifelong best friends through different teams I was a part of. Football also taught me countless life lessons about teamwork, responsibility, and accountability, among so much more, that I don’t think I could have learned anywhere else. Sure, by senior year my body was aching like it was 80 years old and I suffered a couple injuries that I would have otherwise, but it is definitely a series of chapters in my life that I will miss dearly. Despite this sadness, I have become content leaving football behind and just being a viewer, and I am excited to see what else is in store for me moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, 2017 had many more positive and new experiences than it had bad or sad ones. The first highlight of 2017 was my junior year Spring Break in Punta Cana. Yes, it was mostly the typical degenerate college spring break you see so many videos of, but it better than most because we had about 50 people from CMU go as a group. At first people were skeptical about this because we already see each other every day, but in the end, I ended up meeting so many new people from school that I only knew at face value and I’m glad I was able to make those relationships. Also, for anyone vacationing in Punta Cana – family vacation or more Spring Break styled – I would definitely recommend doing a dune buggy tour. This was probably the only sober excursion we did on Spring Break, but it was by far the best in my opinion. 10/10, would recommend.
Once junior year finally came to an end, I packed up and shipped out San Francisco, where I would spend my internship at Palace Games Escape Rooms. This was not the most impressive of internships, especially coming from Carnegie Mellon, but man was it awesome. I got to see behind the scenes of what it is like to design and build a high quality escape room and learn what goes into making an entertainment attraction that people love going through. Working at Palace Games actually sparked a new interest of mine, which is themed engineering. I’m not in that industry currently, but I might end up there one day! On top of working at this high tech escape room, I was able to live at home, which saved me a lot of money compared to trying to live somewhere near San Francisco.
Another great part about being in San Francisco was having so much around to do that I haven’t before. The city itself offers more than a summer’s worth of activities, and then there’s even more to do in the nearby surround areas. From hiking to Alamere Falls, to driving through Big Sur, to going out to Point Reyes, or camping in Yosemite for a few days, I loved how much I was bale to do outside and explore what Northern California has to offer. If you ever take a trip to San Francisco, or somewhere nearby in Northern California, you should definitely check out more than just the city. Go out and enjoy some nature while you’re at it.
After summer flew by, I headed back to Pittsburgh to begin my final year of college at Carnegie Mellon. I already mentioned the bittersweet feeling of leaving behind football during the Fall of 2017, but I also did some things for the first time. Speaking of football, one of those firsts was going to a Steelers game. Even though I’m not a Steelers fan, the energy of the city when it comes to sports is unreal, and I definitely should have made it to a game earlier. It was till fun getting to one eventually, and I got to go with uncle and cousin who are huge Steelers fans and flew out from San Francisco to attend both my game on Saturday and the Steelers on Sunday. Unfortunately, neither game went the way we were hoping, but it was still a fun experience that led me to going to multiple games since then.
Another place I visited for the first time was Washington D.C. My girlfriend was doing a “semester abroad” there with a politics-focused program through our school, so that gave me plenty of excuses to hop on a bus and trek out there a few times throughout the spring. I barely scratched the surface during my brisk weekend visits, but that city is pretty cool. Even better, so much of it is free to do! If only the other major cities were more like that instead of being twice as expensive to do anything as anywhere else. Having only visited on the weekends, I never made it into any of the museums because there were countless lines and field trips, but I did get to stroll around all of the different monuments, and even watched a protest or two. D.C. is so unlike anywhere I have ever been, but it was awesome. To think that a city has everything from dives and clubs for college kids to memorials of the most amazing people to the house of the President of the United States is just crazy. Not a bad place to spend a semester for sure.
All in all, 2017 was a pretty awesome year and I could go on forever talking about all the amazing experiences and the people I got to share those experiences with, but I doubt most people even made it this far, so I’ll save those of you who did a little time and wrap it up. Hopefully you’re enjoying your year right now, but if you aren’t, why not? There are plenty of great people and places in the world – go find them!
Not mentioned highlights: Trip to SoCal with my mom & Hannah, Carnival 2017, Peter Pan Greek Sing, Old Lady Gang.