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Myles McIntyre

To my first year self,

In a few days, you will fill your car and make your first trip down to Charlottesville; a journey that marks the beginning of the most transformational four years of your life. Upon arrival, you will be forced to spend the first 14 days of college, quarantined in an off-grounds (you’ll learn that term soon) apartment, completely alone. Yes, it’s 2020, and the Covid-19 pandemic is in full effect. To make matters worse, your current girlfriend will break your heart on day four of your awaited quarantine… get ready for some brutal nights, bud. Don’t let that scare you away though, trust me. UVA is about to change your life.

First year will be rocky at first. Navigating online classes, minimal social opportunities, and a whopping two-game season will pose its challenges, but shared suffering with your peers will lead to friendships that will last a lifetime. Second semester, you will decide that your future will be in the Navy. You will join ROTC, begin an incredibly rigorous new schedule, but just keep your head up and don’t quit. I urge you to use the resources available to you. Talk with friends when you're down, meet with professors outside of class, and be open with Mark (your coach) about how stressed you become. I wish I had asked for help. Never be ashamed of asking for help, and look out for those around you.

Now I know this sounds crazy, but in your third year, a lot will change. “Joining the Navy” will turn into “I want to be a SEAL,” and you will begin training for BUD/S. I wish I had known not to let it consume my life. You still have friends, hobbies, and opportunities that matter. Recognize that there is a place for all those things in your life. A few stress fractures will halt your training, but you will also meet a girl. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but she's awesome– I’ll tell you that. Embrace the things you love while you battle the depression of injury. Play the guitar more, call Mom and tell her about your day, walk around grounds looking up, not down at your phone. Pay attention to how lucky you are to be a Wahoo. Be kind. Work hard. Never lose sight of your dreams. Have courage. Never give up. I wish you the best.

Myles McInire

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