Last Saturday morning I woke up to a fantastic realization. I was giving a tour to a group of prospective students on the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, a.k.a. "The Day of the Doctor". I rushed to my closet, pulled out scarves, ties, hats, screwdrivers, and more. I could not just give this tour like any other. I finally settled on which of the 11 outfits I would go with (for those of you who don't know, I dressed as all 11 Doctors for Halloween last year), and I ran, scarf streaming in the wind, to Milas Hall, while affixing my nametag to my coat. The admissions office had given me a badge with my name on it in case I forget who I am! Very thoughtful as that does happen. Myself and two other tour guides dramatically made our entrance into the admissions office.
Giving that tour with my friends, all of us probably creeping out some prospective students who had no idea what Doctor Who was, made me realize that it is just as important to be an engineer as it is to not be one. So many Oliners were bonding over this one seemingly ridiculous television show, and why? Because it's something we all love to watch. Sure, we're all dashing about with our safety glasses and laptops and papers, stressing over midterms and projects and for goodness sake why isn't my code working. But that doesn't mean we just have to be engineers. We can be so much more than that.
Look at the community. These Olin students. Consider the day they arrive on campus and blinking step into Milas Hall. There is more to see than can ever be seen. More to do than....no, hold on. Sorry, that's the Lion King. But, the point still stands. We're all here at Olin for a reason. We're here because of our passion, our creativity, not just because we want to be engineers. If we see something we want to change, there isn't anything to stop us from making that change; from taking the lead. This applies everywhere, from the student run teams and clubs who are keeping gardens and putting on plays, to the students who put nice things in the lounges to touch them up, or the ones who have Nerf gun shootouts in the Academic Center. Everywhere you look, students are displaying passion, excitement, and creativity, and not just for engineering. And that, more than anything else, stands out to me.
People sometimes ask me what I dream about. Same thing everybody dreams about, I say. I dream about where I'm going. But you're not going anywhere, you're just wandering about, they'll say. But that's not true. I have a new destination, and Olin has helped me find it. This school has shown me that although I am an engineer, I am also so much more than that.
So where am I going? Here's where. I am going to be brilliant. I am going to be fantastic. And the most important part of it all is that no matter what happens, no matter where I go, I am going to be me.
And that is possibly the most important choice in the universe.
-Alex, c/o 2016