Big Fish, Big Pond

By: Maeve Healy 

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, Georgetown University 

Most of us were class presidents in high school. You can walk into a room on campus at any given time and find a handful of former student government leaders, and sitting next to them will be three or four who had a direct hand in influencing some sort of local legislation involving social justice. Half the room is made up of team captains and athletic stars, and then over in the corner you have students that traveled all the way around the world and back in high school. They were all valedictorians, they all have extensive community service backgrounds and they were all the presidents of 6,000 clubs during their senior year. Some have attributed this to the classic mantra “big fish, little pond.” At Georgetown, it is a sea of “big fish.”

We all share the same drive for excellence, that’s what brought us here. And it is so easy to get here as a freshman and convince yourself that you are no longer a big fish – you might think you’re a minnow, or maybe one of krill fish in Finding Nemo. It’s so easy to think that now, surrounded by a hundred student body presidents, valedictorians and captains, you suddenly don’t shine as brightly.

Somebody call Mythbusters, tell them we have a serious case to crack.

You are a shark. You should be so proud of every single accomplishment you have under your belt. The beauty of Georgetown is that we might all be big fish, but we all have different scales. This is a place where you are celebrated for all the things that make you the incredibly special person that you are. Don’t think for one second that you aren’t incredibly valuable to this campus because you have the same high school accolades as the person sitting next to you in class. Thrive off of those achievements. Bring your passions from high school with you and find other people who share those passions. You are surrounded by an extremely qualified group of individuals, but it shouldn’t scare you; it should excite you. Don’t discount all the things you have done to get to this point, because every step of your journey has shaped you and prepared you to take the world by storm.

You were student body president? Great, you have a knack for leadership – there are so many opportunities for student leadership on campus. You were valedictorian? Awesome, you care about your academics and you want to push yourself to excel in the classroom. You were captain of the soccer team? That’s incredible, athletic life is thriving on campus. Celebrate all the mountains you’ve climbed up to this point, and don’t let that drive for excellence diminish because you are surrounded by people with the same drive.

Like I said, you are not a minnow. You are a shark. The sea of Georgetown is huge, and there’s plenty of room to swim.

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