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Tribe 20 Questions with Melissa DiVecchia
Updated: Saturday 09/20/2011 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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Q: Why did you choose the Tribe?
I wanted a school that had both strong academics and athletics, which William and Mary obviously does.  We are one of the best small public universities in the country, and we compete at the division 1 level.  This is the obvious answer though.  There is much more to choosing the Tribe than those two criteria.  For me, it was simply the feeling that I had when I visited William and Mary during my senior year of high school.  As I looked around at the beautiful brick covered campus, I felt like I could really see myself spending the next four years of my life here.  The campus’s modest size and the friendly faces of people walking by made it seem like there truly was a Tribe family.
Q: Describe a moment when you felt the most Tribe pride...
At the end of this past year, my team was gathered for a final team meeting before the summer.  Our seniors got up and gave mini speeches (it was really informal) saying goodbye and talking about what their experiences over the last four years meant to them.  I felt a lot of pride that they were my teammates and that we had gotten to run for the Tribe together.  It was bittersweet, but underneath the sadness of saying goodbye, there was a happy feeling to be part of such a great team and a great community.
Q: Take us through your pre-game mental preparation routine:
I usually try to let my brain relax until the night before or day of the race.  There’s no sense wasting mental energy being nervous too soon.  Maybe about 5 hours before the race, I start feeling really jittery.  At this point, I’m usually sitting at the meet waiting until warm-up time.  I listen to music, and I think about what I want to accomplish in the race (might be a time goal or a place goal) and how I’m going to do that, and I think about all the preparation I’ve done leading up to it.  This helps me feel confident and ready.  I try to put off the thinking as long as possible though because in running, it’s really easy to psych yourself out, and I’ve definitely run some of my best races when I was so rushed and flustered I barely had time to give racing strategy any thought.  The best races are usually the ones where all you do is go out and run and see what happens.
Q: Do you belong to any other clubs, groups, or organizations?
Not at this point, but I’m thinking about getting involved with InterVarsity this year.  They are a Christian fellowship on campus.

Q: What are some community activities you or your team have done?
We help put on races for local Williamsburg runners, such as the Massey Cancer run.
Q: What is your intended or declared major and why?
I am a marketing major, and I came to that decision because marketing combines all the skills that I like and am good at.  You have to be analytical and creative, and you also have to understand psychology.  I thought about being a math major, but that only used my analytical side, and I want to use my creative side too.  I also enjoy studying the way people think, which is where the psychology comes into play.
Q: Describe your dream job:
Not sure at the moment, but I think doing marketing research for a running company would be really ideal for me.
Q: If you could play another sport at W&M what would it be and why?
Basketball or soccer because those are the sports I used to play until I was about 16, at which point I decided to only focus on running.
Q: Favorite team tradition/activity and why?
Our Thanksgiving is always fantastic.  There is so much good food!  Runners not only know how to eat; we also know how to cook!
Q: What animal would best describe you and why?
An owl.  My circadian rhythm is so messed up.  If left alone without a schedule, I stay up until somewhere between the hours of 3 and 6am and wake up between noon and 2pm.  It’s bad.  Luckily I’ve had a job to keep me on track most of the summer!  I also like to think I’m smart and wise like an owl too.

Q: What is your favorite quote or phrase?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
-Marianne Williamson

Q: What is your favorite type of food (i.e. Chinese, Mexican, etc.)?
Either Mexican or Italian.
Q: Favorite place you have visited or traveled to and why?
Hawaii.  It was so beautiful there and the farthest I’ve ever been from home.
Q: If you could sit down for lunch with anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Can it be someone in Heaven?  If so, I’d pick my cousin Meghan.  She died of cancer when she was 7, and I was 6 and a half.  I’m an only child, so she was like my sister when I was little.  I often wonder what she’d be like today.

Q: Most addicting television show?
I’m really addicted to Pretty Little Liars at the moment.  I’m probably too old for that show, but I don’t care.

Q: How will you change the world (or even just one person’s world)?
I might not have a job that changes the world, but whatever job I have, I hope someone will appreciate the devotion I know I will put into it.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know...
I have scars on my left hand from when I touched an extremely hot light bulb until my hand began to burn when I was a baby.  Who knew I’d actually grow up to be smart?
Q: What was your most-commented Facebook post?
I post on Facebook so often, that’s impossible to remember, but my post about breaking 17:30 in the 5k a couple months ago got a lot of likes and comments.
Q: What’s number one on your bucket list and why?
I’m not a bucket list type of person, but I’ve never been to Europe, so that’s something I should probably do someday.

Q: What is your best non-athletic skill?
I know how to solve a Rubik’s cube.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve and why?
Unreliable cell phone services.  If I send a text or if someone sends one to me, I want it delivered.

Q: What is something you are afraid of? 
I’m really afraid that I’m only good at being a student and that all my school smarts won’t do me a whole lot of good in the real world where you have to handle real problems.

Q: What is an obstacle you had to overcome in your life?
I could say high school was a big huge obstacle for me for a lot of reasons.  One of them was not making basketball and soccer my freshman year, and what made it worse was getting through two rounds of cuts in both sports only to be cut in the final round.  Getting cut twice wasn’t fun, but it’s what led me to something better: running.  That can be expanded to all of high school because whatever stress I went through, it was all leading to something better: my experiences with the Tribe so far!

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