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Maria Rose Hynson '15

“ I went to school for a very long time, so I have many memories that happened over the course of a dozen years. But my fondest one, and the one that I still never regret, is my decision to join the Habitat for Humanity Club. I sent an email asking if I could join the group as a part-time student, and about two minutes later, my phone rang, and I was asked to be their adviser. ”
How has Washington College contributed to the person you are? 
Washington College is where I grew up. I thought that I was a fully formed adult before I came here, as I was 28 when I started working at the College and 30 when I began my undergraduate career, but my adult life of the mind didn't really begin until that third decade. I learn something new every day that I am here, and sometimes, I have had the most unexpected teachers. Some days, I am the teacher, and that has taught me confidence. Exercising the mind is like exercising any other body part -- it hurts more when you are out of shape, so it's important to work it out every day. I learned the hard way that coming back to living the life of the mind after a decade away is a painful but rewarding life change. Washington College has transformed me into a lifelong learner.
If you were a Washington College student today, what would you be sure to pursue or take advantage of? 
I would try to take as many classes outside of my major/discipline as I could. As a humanities major, I was encouraged to study a breadth of subject matter while also diving deep into a couple of areas of concentration, and those classes that I struggled in and didn't think that I would ever complete, made me a better student in the long run. I would take calculated risks -- I went to Russia on a Cater Society grant, and while I had never before traveled abroad, taking that journey outside of my comfort zone provided me with life experiences that helped me to learn and grow as a global citizen. I would join at least one club/sport/extracurricular activity, and give it my all. The people whom I met by being involved outside of the classroom are an intricate part of my life on a daily basis. I can't imagine my life without the people I've met through Washington College.