That Guy: Nick Metheny
Written by The Flat Hat|
May 1, 2009
__Nick Metheny walks up to the Daily Grind, panting in the recent heat wave as he drops two large packages on an outside table. Originally from Kingwood, W.Va., Nick spent the first years of his life chasing cattle and traipsing around an idyllic rural landscape only to find himself jetting across the globe a few years later to places like Australia and Finland for study and leisure. Now a public health major, this graduating senior will be attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., next fall to study global public health and hopes to work for the United Nations running sexual assault prevention programs. Nick loves the down-to-earth intelligence promoted by the College of William and Mary, a good conspiracy novel and hanging out with his fraternity brothers. After talking with him, it was not a surprise to discover that he had won the superlative of “friendliest” in high school.__
**What was your early life like in West Virginia?**
I spent the first six or eight years in West Virginia on a farm with cows and pigs and stuff. It was really cool. You have to drive at least half an hour to find a gas station and an hour to a hospital. It’s actually the only place — except for Alaska — where arctic vegetation grows, so it’s also always cold. I remember I learned how to drive a four-wheeler basically before I could walk. And, I had dirt bikes growing up, which was fun as well. We used to chase the cows with trucks; so I was like 12 years old driving this big-ass truck and trying to corral cattle. That was probably really dangerous.
**You’re going to be studying at GWU next year. How are you feeling about living up in Washington, D.C.?**
I have no idea where I’m living, I have no idea with who I’m living — I don’t know anything. It’ll be cool to be right in the middle of the city though. The campus buildings are separated by buildings like the U.S. Department of the Treasury, for example. I’m afraid I’ll get lost, though, because I don’t know D.C. that well. I’ve only ever visited. I grew up on a farm. I don’t even know what living in a city entails; I love being there though.
**What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited?**
My favorite place I’ve visited is in Finland. I spent my junior yearof high school there for a study abroad thing, which was really cool. I didn’t really like high school and wanted to get away; I just wanted to travel. I had been to Australia before — in ninth grade — and loved it, so this was a way for me to do it more extensively, with a family and stuff. They randomly placed me in Finland. I want to go back.
**Did that change the way you look at travel?**
Definitely. The first time I went abroad I had never been away from home except for a week at Boy Scout camp, and then I went to Australia for three weeks by myself with this student ambassador program. I was the youngest one, which was difficult. It definitely taught me to live on my own, and wash clothes in a bathtub and eat shrimp on the barbie. We lived in a sugar cane field for a while there in Australia.
**In terms of issues, what really matters to you?**
I’m really involved with sexual assault prevention on campus — One In Four, SAPA [Sexual Assault Peer Advocates] and [I’m] on the SA [Student Assembly] for the issue. It’s something I think is a really big push on this campus, and that’s a good thing. A lot of people need to learn about it and why it happens, and be more educated about it. People need to both protect themselves and be protected.
**What characteristics do you admire in people?**
People who are genuine; people who don’t try to make themselves out as more than they are. Just be yourself — it took me a long time to learn that. I tried to be somebody I wasn’t for a long time, and it didn’t work out so well because I wasn’t comfortable with myself — and now I am. I like when people make me laugh a lot, and I also like people who are smart. That’s probably why I like William and Mary. I don’t mind being the dumb kid in the room because I love listening to people talk about how interested they are in things, especially when they’re excited. Health and populations are what make me excited in academics, but if I know nothing about physics and I’m around people who want to talk about physics, that’s great.
**Describe yourself in a word.**
Delicious. That’s also a word I overuse a lot. I use delicious in contexts that don’t even make sense, like someone asks, “How was your day?” I’ll say, “It was delicious.”
**Favorite genre of movies or books?**
I really like the Dan Brown type of books — conspiracy books. They make you think because, even if you know they aren’t true, it’s fun to think it might be. I’m really excited for the “Angels and Demons” movie.
**Where do you go for coffee?**
I don’t like coffee. I really like coffee to do work, so I never drink it unless its finals or something where I really need caffeine. That’s how I got through college. Don’t drink coffee unless you really want to work. And I’d probably say The Daily Grind because it’s not a corporate monster. If I’m in a city I don’t want to go to anything that’s a chain; I want to visit something local and not on the beaten path.
**If you could go anywhere and with three people, who would they be and where would you go?**
I’d take my girlfriend, because she’s up for anything. I’d take my best friend, Dan because he’s also up for anything. He did a Monroe [Scholar] project on the train system in Europe and literally rode around for an entire month following soccer matches. He slept under a tree in Amsterdam for three days; he just chained his backpack to a tree and slept on it. I’d also take my friend Carrie Daut because she’s really fun. We’d go to Greece, I’ve never been. Carrie was there and is obsessed, and Dan wouldn’t give a shit.
**What should students not miss out on here?**
There have been random nights at 2:30 in the morning when you’re laying in the Sunken Garden and looking at the stars, or when you go to Lake Matoaka and just sit and talk. Those kinds of things make your college experiences. It’s not that crazy formal you went to or how drunk you got one night, it’s going to be you hanging out with the people that make college worth going to.
**You are in Delta Phi. Any fun fraternity memories that stick out in particular?**
A couple of my friends and I, sophomore year during fall break, drove and picked people up in NoVA [northern Virginia] and New York City and then just drove 12 hours to Montreal. We spent two nights in Montreal and one in [the Delta Phi] chapter in Albany and then drove all the way back. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. My window broke down in Delaware, and we had like eight and a half hours to drive. It was a Sunday afternoon, so nothing was open, so I had to stop at some random Target and duct tape my window. I left my car parked for two days in Montreal with a duct-taped window and someone broke in, stole my cell phone, camera, wallet, radar detector, everything. It was still like the most fun in my life.
**Any fun Blowout plans?**
I’m going to ring the bell; that’s going to be the highlight of my day. I’m definitely hanging out with Delta Phis all day. I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather be with.
**Anything you’d like to say to fellow seniors?**
We did it. I know a few of us didn’t think we’d ever get though it, but it’s been an awesome ride, and I’ve had so much fun with all of them. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m graduating — its nineteen days [from] today.
**You are the last That Guy for the 2008-2009 academic year. Any final comments?**
In your face, Greg Collins.
__Nick will leave this year having truly given back to the College community with his involvement in SAPA, One in Four, One Accord, the orientation aide and tour guide programs and his two-year presidency in Delta Phi. “Delicious,” accomplished, and friendly, Nick leaves the College carrying a legacy of experiences, accomplishments and fun memories. Best of luck to him and all you seniors out there with your endeavors next year and beyond.__