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RA Spotlight: Jack Cronin’s Life Lessons


Hey everyone, I’m Jack, the RA on the 3rd floor of West Hall! Just so you know a little bit about me, I’m from a small town in Massachusetts, I went to a small Catholic high school in New Hampshire, and spent the past two summers in Maine working at a summer camp and ice cream shop. I am a sophomore here at GW, majoring in International Affairs and Arabic, in the University Honors Program. When I’m not working at the Center for Career Services editing resumes and cover letters, I’m spending time with my brothers from Delta Tau Delta…or I’m in line at Captain Cookie. If you’ve ever met me, there’s one thing you probably know: I’m AWESOME. Knowing this, the following is probably going to come as a surprise.

When I was a senior in high school, I was involved in six extracurricular activities that I won’t bore you with (Student Advisory Board, Spanish Club, Student Ambassadors, Model United Nations, Yearbook Club, and the Environmental Club). I was also working at a local grocery store, picked up a second job at a Hollister, went to weekly hot yoga classes, volunteered weekly at a Salvation Army, and was in AP classes.  Needless to say, I was busy. When I came to college, I knew that nothing was going to be different. I was going to get involved in everything. I applied to TEDxFoggyBottom. I applied for a position on the Secretariat of WAMUNC. I rushed Delt. I took 18 credits of classes. I didn’t apply for a job, because how could I fit that in when I was going to be so busy?! Well, I did not get a position with TEDx. I also found out that there was not a place for me on the Secretariat. And then I was told that I was not invited back to an invite night at Delt. It got to a point where my friends told me to stop applying for things because they were so sad watching me get rejected from everything. So here I was, only about a month or two into college, and not involved in anything. To many, this would’ve been the end of the world, and it felt like that to me at times, but this was probably the best thing to happen to me for a few reasons:

  1. I learned to handle rejection. I was so involved in high school because no one was telling me no. Because of never being rejected from anything, I thought I was the greatest person ever. All this rejection made me realize that I had to work harder if I wanted to keep saying I was the best (which I am).
  2. It helped me prioritize. Had I been involved in all of those things, I would’ve been all over the place. I would’ve been really busy, but not necessarily productive. I was able to put a focus on schoolwork and then had time to figure out what I wanted to actually get involved with. I realized that I needed a job because I had not saved up enough before coming to school, and I realized that Greek Life was something I was really invested in. Because I had nothing to do going into the second semester, I applied for a job at the Center for Career Services, and got it. I rushed Delt again, and got in. I also applied to be an RA, and was accepted. I could write books on why I love each of these things, and could not feel luckier that I’m involved with each one.
  3. Finally, all the “no’s” I got gave me time to settle in. I don’t care who you are, but college is an adjustment. Yes, some people have an easier time with it than others, but everyone needs some time to adjust. Shortly into my first semester, I started getting calls from back home about various family health and financial issues. Each issue alone would’ve been hard to deal with, but they all came at once. Had I been involved in everything I applied for, I have no idea how I would’ve handled all the different pressures. But since I wasn’t, I had time to devote to building relationships with my friends here at GW, and without those friendships, my freshman year would’ve been extremely hard.


The point of this is not to make you think that you’re going to be rejected from everything, nor is it saying that everyone is going to face some type of family crisis. It’s also not saying that if you have some difficulty, that everything is going to work out perfectly, and really it is saying the opposite. Everyone now is a month into this year, which is awesome, but it also means that you have about 8 more months left. The point of this is to let you know that your year is going to be surprising. You may get rejected from something, or you may get the best internship of your life. You may make a thousand new friends, or you may make three. Everyone has a different year, and no one’s year is exactly what they plan. But take it all with enthusiasm. Know that when something doesn’t work out, you can try something else. Know that when times are tough, you have people there for you. And know that if you have big plans for this year, you have big time to accomplish those goals. Spend your free time enjoying the new, and not stressing over it.

I hope you all have an exciting and enjoyable year!

If anyone want to talk to me more about my involvements here at GW or anything I talked about in this post, please email me at johncronin@gwmail.gwu.edu


One Response to “RA Spotlight: Jack Cronin’s Life Lessons”

  1. I really relate to this…thank you.

    Posted by Layston Badham | October 18, 2015, 11:39 pm

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