Student Impressed with Coming Together of Campus Community in Light of Tragedy

'Wilmington College: A Place Called Home'

September 14, 2013

Gus Sevastos is pictured in front of the campus' iconic College Hall and Simon Goodman Memorial Carillon.

Gus Sevastos is pictured in front of the campus' iconic College Hall and Simon Goodman Memorial Carillon.

NOTE: Senior Constantine "Gus" Sevastos wrote this heartfelt essay in this week's issue of Wilmington College's Online student newspaper, The Witness. He addressed the great sense of community he and many/most students, faculty and staff felt in the wake of junior Jenna Parlette's tragic death Sept. 3. The student-athlete collapsed Aug. 31 while leading and within sight of the finish line at an intercollegiate cross country meet in Indiana. She never regained consciousness. The College hosted a "Celebration of Life" service Sept. 5.

by Gus Sevastos

With the tragic events of the past week, this is already shaping up to be a very different semester for everyone. For the sophomores, juniors, and seniors, a member of our family has been lost and it breaks our hearts.

However, for the freshman, all this does is prove a promise you were made two weeks ago at your orientation; Wilmington College isn’t just a school, this is your home and your family. When good things happen, the campus joins together to celebrate. When tragedy befalls us, we stand together and hold one another up. If you’re homesick, no need to worry, you are home, even if you don’t know or believe that.

Let me paint a picture for you: 4 years ago, a tired high school senior gets out of a car for a college visit. He’s had a few before so he isn’t looking forward to it, in all honesty he could care less… a three and a half hour car ride to a place he had never even heard of, he was just ready to be home. But the second I got out of that car and walked out onto the middle of campus, something immediately was different. I know it sounds cheesy and cliché, but it felt like it was fate, like I belonged here, like it was meant to be. I visited other colleges, but none made me feel as comfortable or welcome like Wilmington did. Over the past four years I’ve called Wilmington College home, and that isn’t said lightly.

True, nine months out of the year I’m here, but that’s not why I call this place home. Wilmington College is my home for so many different reasons.

I call this place home because of the amazing friends I’ve made living in the residence halls and from my classes. I call this place home because my professors take interest in who I am outside of their class as well as in it. I call this place home because of the staff who is always friendly and helpful, quick to give a minute of their time to help me with a problem or laugh at one of my jokes. I call this place home because everyone builds me up and congratulates me when I’m doing well. I call this place home because everyone bands together when tragedy strikes and it feels like the whole world is crumbling.

That’s why I call Wilmington College my home.

In the three full years I’ve spent here so far I’ve gotten to see and do some amazing things, meet some amazing people, and made some memories that will stay with me for my entire life. Some of you may be reading this and understand exactly what I’m talking about. Some of you haven’t yet found it out for yourself, and some of you may never feel the same way. Regardless of how you feel the reality is this: Wilmington College is something truly special. The food may not always be amazing, the classes may not always be easy, and things may not always be going well for you.

Whatever the case, whatever the circumstances, this is a campus that cares, and a school that is so much more than just a school.

To the freshman, I hope that you soon discover what it is I am talking about. To the upperclassmen, I hope you enjoy what time you have left here and make the best of it, and make the most of your remaining time. If you feel differently than I do, I hope you discover something here that makes this place your home too.

My name is Gus Sevastos, and Wilmington College is not just where I go to college… it is a place I call home.