The Pride Project: Being a Zag from the East Coast

 How many people do you know at GU who live on the East Coast? You could probably count them all on your hands. Here are three GU students who are proud to be from the East Coast.

 


Taylor Horney- Yarmouth, Maine

Major: Broadcast and Electronic Media studies & Journalism

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What made you decide to come over all the way to Spokane for school?

I’ve grown up on the east coast surrounded by similar types of people for as long as I can remember. At the end of high school I decided that I wanted to try something different and felt that college was a good time to explore that.

I began looking out west because I was looking to ski race at schools in Utah and Colorado. However, I found that the sizes of schools in those states didn’t really fit my personality, they were either too big or too small. Gonzaga got dropped on my lap thanks to my mom’s co-worker who had attended the law school (and got engaged on the centennial bridge). I applied, visited for GEL and fell in love!

Taylor is in her element in the East Coast.

Taylor is in her element in the East Coast.

Is the travel from home to school worth it?

Traveling back and forth between the two coasts can be costly, time-consuming and exhausting, but it is one hundred percent worth it. I feel so fortunate that I can call both New England and the Pacific Northwest home. Sometimes I go home and drive by some universities in Maine and am shocked by the close proximity some of my high school friends are to home. I can’t imagine living so close to where I grew up and not getting out to try new things.

What makes you different from students who live in the West Coast?

There’s often a stereotype that people from the east coast (specifically New England) are mean. On a surface level I definitely think my east coast attitude can come out sometimes. But mostly I think I prioritize things differently than west coast kids, they tend to be more relaxed.

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Has being a student at Gonzaga changed the way you view the West Coast? How and why?

My view of the west coast has changed completely since becoming a student at Gonzaga. For one, I’ve come to realize the Pacific Northwest (which I never knew was even a term) is a really awesome place. It has a beautiful landscape, lots of funky areas and most importantly cool people. I’ve also just expanded my understanding about so many smaller things, like the difference between Washington and Oregon.

Do you see yourself an ambassador for the East Coast? Why or why not?

I would like to answer this question no, but my friends tell me I talk about Maine a lot. I will defend New England to the end of the earth. I love where I’m from and represent it all the time, whether it’s a Boston game day, or complaining about how bad and expensive lobster is here.

In your own words, describe how the East Coast is different from the West Coast?

The major difference I see is the pace of life. Cities on the east coast are fast-moving (see New York, the city that never sleeps). People tend to be a little colder and their priorities are very work related. From my experience, I’d say the west coast is more laid back and focused on relationships with others and enjoying their time off.

 

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“I think there’s something really valuable about moving to a new part of the country during this time of my life. I love and embrace the east coast for what it is, whether it’s for everyone or not. That being said, the Pacific Northwest has so much to offer and I’m glad I picked here for college.”

 


 

Matt Winterle – Haverton, Pennsylvania

Major: Civil Engineering

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What made you decide to come to Spokane for school?

I first was interested because of the basketball team, but also I attended an all-male Jesuit high school where my counselor pushed me to think of schools outside the Philadelphia/New York/Boston area. I visited GU in the spring of my senior year and that’s really what made my decision easy, 3 beautiful days out here on campus, stayed with some great guys in DeSmet hall and met some really welcoming people who made me realize how great of a community GU is.

Is the travel from home to school worth it?

I think it is very worth it because before traveling to Gonzaga I had never been to the west coast before and also had never traveled by myself before. I have now gotten very used to traveling by myself and I know a couple of airports like the back of my hand. But the way I see it is that whether you’re 7 and half hours from home by plane like me, or 4 hours by drive like many of the students here, you’re still on your own and home isn’t right around the corner from school like it was a couple of years ago.

Matt ready to fly across the country again to Gonzaga.

Matt ready to fly across the country again to Gonzaga.

What makes you different from students who live in the West Coast?

Besides a slight accent that my friends have pointed out, not much is different between myself and the other students. I went to Catholic high school like many of the people here, I like playing intramurals and I do community service. One thing that might be different is that I know what a real Philly cheese steak tastes like (Bruchi’s doesn’t cut it).

Has being a student at Gonzaga changed the way you view the West Coast? How and why?

Yes it has, because other than being a lot more spaced out, not too much is different from home, the people are very similar. It’s not all laid back like I pictured it, it seems very normal and like home to me.

Do you see yourself a representative for the East Coast? Why or why not?

I do see myself as an ambassador because since I have been here at least one person from my high school has gone here in the years below me and a couple of others from my area. Every time I go back to visit my high school I always talk to students about Gonzaga and how great of a community it is.

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Matt in his East Coast high school days

What do people assume of you when they find out that you’re from the East Coast?

People assume that I am a city kid because most of the east coast is covered with cities, but actually I’m from the Philadelphia suburbs, just like how many students here are from the Seattle suburbs. I also spend my summers on the Jersey Shore in a very small town.

Matt lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore.

Matt lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore.

        “When I’m here it basically feels like home to me, and although I miss seeing my family sometimes, choosing GU was the best decision of my life! Hopefully more east coast students choose Gonzaga in the future!”


Caitlan Kern – Rockville, Connecticut

Major: Applied Communication Studies and Public Relations

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What made you decide to come over all the way to Spokane for school?

I knew when I was applying to colleges I wanted to go away from home. My senior year I came to visit Gonzaga along with two other schools I had applied to in Washington. From the moment I set foot on campus I knew this was where I wanted to go. This feeling I had was indescribable and it had me smiling from ear to ear.

Caitlan at a soccer game with her mom.

Caitlan at a soccer game with her mom.

Is the travel from home to school worth it?

Traveling from Connecticut to Spokane and Spokane to Connecticut is an all day event for me. While I can be grumpy when I arrive at my final destination, I wouldn’t want to go to school anywhere else, which definitely makes traveling so far worth it. 

What makes you different from students who live in the West Coast?

Despite the fact that I travel across the country to come here, I really don’t consider myself to be all that different from students who live in the West Coast. I definitely have a different perspective coming from a different, smaller part of the country. It took a little adjusting, but I have become accustom to the friendliness of the Pacific Northwest and often miss it when I return home. I have also come to appreciate the time I am able to spend with my friends and family since I am only able to go home twice a year. 

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Do you see yourself a representative or ambassador for the East Coast? Why or why not?

I have never thought of myself as an ambassador for the East Coast. While I understand I represent the area I am from, I don’t really see myself as an ambassador. I think one of the main reasons for this is because there are so many different areas to the East Coast and I am only from a small part of it. 

Do you plan on staying on the West Coast after you graduate? why or why no?

At the moment, I do not see myself staying in Spokane after I graduate. I would definitely consider living in Seattle but it all depends on where I get a job after graduation. I do see myself moving back to the East Coast someday if I do decide to live out here after graduation, but at the moment it will all depend on when and where I get a job after graduation.

Caitlan enjoying time with her friends at a baseball game.

Caitlan enjoying time with her friends at a baseball game.

 “From the moment I set foot on campus I was enthralled.”

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