The first time David Melnick ‘09 visited Washington College, it was in the middle of a hurricane.
“I still loved the campus, and I knew if I loved it even given the bad weather, it was a good fit,” he remembers.
David planned to attend a large university in his home state of New Jersey, but the visit to Chestertown changed his mind. Compared to the large urban school his sister attended, Washington’s close-knit, friendly environment made a good impression on him.
“The people were so friendly, and everything seemed to be about details and catering to each student and really wanting everyone to have a good experience,” he said.
David’s experiences at the college steered him in a different direction than he expected.
“I originally wanted to become a teacher as a way to put myself through law school,” he said. He no longer plans to go to law school, but David’s still looking ahead to a career in education.
“Maybe I got into it for the wrong reasons,” he admitted, “but the department here helped me see the importance of becoming an educator. Now my goal is to help my students see things the same way I learned to see them at WC.”
His college career helped David develop a new outlook on life’s possibilities.
“I want to do several things with my life, and I learned that you can make your life how you want it to be; you don’t have to feel like you’re stuck,” he said.
David hasn’t been “stuck” at WC, either. In the fall of 2007, he studied abroad in Ireland, and last summer, he used a grant from the Cater Society of Junior Fellows to spend two weeks researching Renaissance music history at the British Library in London.
“I had never been out of the country before I studied abroad,” he said. “The whole experience really opened my eyes to the fact that you can travel and visit these places you learn about in the classroom—they’re real places.”
“I credit the college for making me aware of my place as a citizen of the global community even from this small locale on the Eastern Shore,” he said.
David feels the college’s small size offers even more opportunities than a larger school.
“I was able to participate in things on campus even as a freshman. You have the opportunity to shine if you want to, and you make connections that would be impossible on a huge campus,” David said.
When he graduates, David hopes to enter a graduate school in London to study music history and eventually become a professor of music—a very different future than he envisioned when he first visited WC.
“I’ve been able to witness the transformation in myself over my time here,” he said. “Being able to see that has been such an enlightening experience; it’s really been ‘my revolution.’”