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A quiet transformation

Fourth year Dylan Fogarty finds his home in CIOs

<p>For fourth-year College student Dylan Fogarty, taking on leadership positions in CIOs and meeting a diverse range of students were his favorite parts of the University. </p>

For fourth-year College student Dylan Fogarty, taking on leadership positions in CIOs and meeting a diverse range of students were his favorite parts of the University. 

Fourth-year College student Dylan Fogarty does not resemble the first year who arrived on Grounds in August of 2011. An admittedly quiet kid in high school, Fogarty has become a standout member of the Class of 2015.

“...In high school I was definitely a quiet kid — I didn't really hang out with people outside of school and I wasn’t that involved,” Fogarty said. “First year, I got involved with First Year Council [and] I met all of these people [who] were very ambitious and were trying to be chairs and presidents of these other organizations. I thought I was definitely not like that. It went against [who] I thought I was.”

Fogarty soon proved himself wrong, becoming involved in organizations like Project Serve, Wahoo Central and the Lighting of the Lawn Committee. This year, Fogarty was a Class of 2015 Trustee and the Vice President of Hoo Crew.

“After first year going into second year, I got more involved in my organizations and I started loving them so much,” Fogarty said. “I love helping my CIOs out.”

Fourth-year College student Hannah Todd, Fogarty’s close friend since first year, played a role in encouraging him to consider new involvements.

“I met Dylan on the Saturday of move-in weekend, and at the time he knew exactly where he wanted to go and was not very interested in trying things unrelated to his goal,” Todd said in an email. “I made him attend a few CIO interest meetings with me, and he realized how many opportunities there were at U.Va. to be involved in activities that aligned with his passions and not necessarily his career or academic goals.”

Extracurricular involvement offered a good outlet and a network of contacts for the Biology and Economics major, who spent much of his time in large lecture classes.

“I have [advisors who] I’m close with that go along with my extracurriculars instead of my academics,” Fogarty said. “I’ll be honest, I always do CIO stuff before I do academics anyways.”

Fogarty said he has reaped immense rewards from throwing himself into diverse aspects of the University.

“Now I can walk around and say ‘hi’ to everybody and I attend all of these events to support everyone,” Fogarty said. “I spent all four years trying to meet as many people as I can, getting to know their stories [and] befriending them because I like getting to know different people. I’m glad my friend group is very spread out and diverse so I’m never bored.”

While successful in his extracurriculars, Fogarty faced a major challenge after his third year when he decided to reconsider his track of study.

“I took [organic chemistry] my second year, struggled with it, then went through third year still thinking I was pre-pharmacy,” Fogarty said. “Then I realized that’s not what I wanted to do anymore with my life… so this year’s been very challenging just trying to figure out what I want to do next year.”

While his future plans are still undecided, Fogarty is considering returning to the University to pursue a Master’s in Commerce from the McIntire School.

“I used to have a path the first three years, and this year I got off of my path and got away from that,” Fogarty said. “A lot more doors have opened, so now I just have to figure out what door is right for me.”

Fogarty said he is not ready to leave a place that has given him so many opportunities.

“Don’t let any opportunities miss you,” Fogarty said. “Do everything you can to do everything… I would definitely suggest, not putting your academics aside, but engaging in as many social and extracurricular activities as you can before you graduate. We are all going to be working the rest of our lives and it will work out fine for us.”

As students graduate and move on, Fogarty said he will miss much more than his CIO involvement.

“I might see a person this week [who] I [will] never see again,” Fogarty said. “I’ll just miss being a part of the U.Va. bubble, [walking] around Grounds and feeling all the energy.”