ESCAPE: One Heck of a Day


Where do I even begin to describe the impact ESCAPE had on me? For those who know me, I am rarely at a loss for words – in this case, I find it hard to verbalize the power of ESCAPE.

It is best to start with my reflection experience in high school. I went to a Quaker school and one of the key practices in quakerism is meeting for worship (MFW). When I was younger, I never appreciated MFW. I used to think that it was a waste of time. I would have rather been outside playing, but as I grew older, it became one of my favorite parts of school. It was a built-in time to reflect and as I got closer to graduation, it became clear to me that MFW was going to be dearly missed.

ESCAPE was the first time since high school that I have been in an environment as conducive to reflection as meeting for worship was. I felt that I grew closer to God, my classmates and to myself. It is a rare occurrence in college that I find the chance to grow closer to myself. Here on the Hilltop I am busy nearly 24/7, an experience shared by many Hoyas. The chance to free my mind was welcomed and I feel blessed that I had this chance. I returned to the Hilltop feeling rejuvenated both in body and in soul. I was united with my fellow students in song and in joy but most importantly, we were joined in the shared experience of self-discovery.

As Jim Valvano once said,  “to me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day.” Safe to say that ESCAPE provided a truly full 24 hours.

If I could, I would go on ESCAPE every weekend.

Andrew Kirkpatrick, COL ’18