Stephen Fedec: Helping People Keep Perspecitve

Stephen Fedec: Helping People Keep Perspecitve

Everyone can easily be your friend in your best moments, but Stephen will be with you through your worst.

Stephen Fedec has liked every annoying Facebook post I've shared about the Philadelphia 76ers, regardless of win or loss. This seems unimportant, but Stephen's loyalty despite outcome is an incredibly important part of who he is. For the two years, Stephen has also been a brother on the Emory Cross Country team, where he has demonstrated unwavering devotion to his friends and teammates and contributed to countless memories on and off the track.

Now, Stephen is no longer on our team, but I don't think the team (or at least myself personally) can move on without documenting his experience and contributions during his time. Throughout the past two years, Stephen can be described as nothing less than a team player and great friend, one who never took himself too seriously. Rising junior Alex Campbell and sophomore Tommy Moxham put his contributions to their lives most completely.

"Stephen has been one of my best friends since coming to Emory. He's just a great guy in general, but beyond that, he's incredibly thoughtful and nice," Tommy said.

"Stephen is one of the most committed friends that I have ever had. He is always there to check up on you and always cares about what is going on in your life," Alex said.

A rising junior studying finance with a concentration in health innovation, Stephen's greatest strength in any organization, institution, or community is in helping people keep perspective.

I remember one race at the beginning of this year, a 3000-meter run where I performed disastrously, well below my expectations, and frankly just felt terrible the rest of the day. Normally, the custom after your teammate has a terrible race is to give them space and avoid them.

But Stephen made the best out of this low point of my running career. He acknowledged that it "looked tough out there." Then, he asked me if I was alright. He proceeded to chat about the 2018 NFC Championship game, in which our underdog Eagles dominated on their path to go to the Super Bowl, and talked with me as we watched the ending of the game for the rest of the bus ride.

It was a small gesture, but a small gesture that I genuinely appreciated and helped turn my day around. Everyone else wanted to let me be and avoid an awkward conversation. I think in that moment, it says a lot to me that Stephen was able to push past that.

"He’s always down to have a good time and is always looking out for other people. I think the greatest thing about Steven is his attitude, he always finds a way to make negative situations fun and is just fun to be around," Tommy Moxham said.

"On many occasions he has approached me asking about a test or presentation that I had that day, which I didn't even know he knew about. He always made the effort to reach out and make sure everything is going alright," Alex Campbell added.

It is these little things, such as checking up with Alex Campbell after an exam, or checking me after one of the worst races of my life, that I think need recognition. Stephen Fedec truly helps people see what's really important long-term, beyond the bad grade you got on one test, or the bad time you ran at one race.

I say this with assurity: everyone can easily be your friend in your best moments, but Stephen will be with you through your worst.

Stephen wanted to thank two alumni who graduated in the spring of 2017, Jake Schlessinger and Casey Rhode, for helping him realize what was truly important in college and in life. Casey, especially, was a friend who not only guided him through career advice in the business school, but also a friend who taught many life lessons.

Both Casey and Jake helped Stephen feel a part of the team and family, even though he was a freshman when they were seniors. Welcoming him with open arms, their apartment was always open to him whenever he wanted to come and just hang out. On multiple occasions, they invited both myself and Stephen to watch the Hawks play the 76ers.

"All of these things really touched me and made me feel important and welcomed. From these guys, I learned that it is important to run fast and put in 100% on the track, but the mentorships, bonds, and friendships that are made are more important and they are what makes the team special."

"Because of these guys, I tried to be a cool dude to some of the freshman, especially Tommy Moxham. I hope I made him feel as included as Casey made me feel my freshman year."

Greg Litle, a teammate who just graduated this month, added to Stephen's ability to main the bonds and friendships as the most important thing.

"Stephen is a solid all around dude. His self-effacing humor is second to none and he is always for the boys," Greg said.

Another quality of Stephen is that he does not taking anything for granted. Stephen has an appreciation for not only these friendships, mentorships, and bonds, but also the little things in life, such as his love for food.

"His ability to find enjoyment in all of life's simple pleasures is a strength that few people in our generation possess," Greg added.

"When I think of Steve, I think of him as a furnace. The man can eat. Regardless of what it is, regardless of how much it is, he's a furnace and will eat anything." rising junior Chase Gornbein.

And what comes to mind most recently about Stephen's character is a deep sense of respect. He makes sure to treat others with a basic standard and decent standard, something I hope that has shown through in this article. Moving forward, he wants to be more involved in his extracurriculars in the business school, such as GIMG (Goizueta Investment Managing Group) and Hyperslate Consulting (a small consulting organization he and his friends started).

"While it is bittersweet to see my running career come to an end, I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life holds."

But to these core traits of helping people keep perspective and treating people with respect, he credited his experiences on the cross country team over the last two years.

"I never thought I would develop the friendships that I have made through the team. What is amazing about being on a collegiate program is it brings together people that otherwise would never crossed paths and would have never become friends," Stephen said. "It’s really a hodgepodge of personalities and characters. I know some of the friendships that I have made will go far beyond the track, and that is why I am truly thankful to have been a part of Emory XC."

Stephen would then go on to thank certain people in particular, including his girlfriend, Meredith Hughes and his closest friends.

"I'd like to thank Mere for listening to whatever it is I may be complaining about at a certain time and making me a happier dude each day."

"I would specifically like to thank Alex, Chase, Tommy, and Greg for being great friends to me this season. Those guys always made practice fun. Aside from running, they were always down to have a good time and just fun people to be around in general."

"They have all been amazing friends to me and have been alongside me in both my happiest and worst moments."

Cover Image Credit: Stephen Fedec

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The 2018 LSU Football Season Changed My Life

I've loved LSU football my whole life, but my first year as an LSU Tiger watching the games live has changed my life. There is nothing like singing Callin' Baton Rouge with 102,320 of your closest friends as kick-off time grows closer. My first season in Tiger Stadium has changed my life and I couldn't be happier.


Louisiana sports fans are a whole different breed of people. For LSU fans the saying "Live Purple Love Gold" goes way beyond sports. It is who we are and it is a major part of our lives. From infants to the elderly, the devotion to the Tigers is deeply rooted across the Sportsman's Paradise and across the nation. We are used to losing some and winning some — and we are definitely used to losing games we should have won and used to winning games we should have lost. That's something that makes our fans true blue. We love the team when they're down- and we love them when they're up.

This 2018 season has drug us through a whole range of emotions. We defeated the odds and beat Miami in the first week of the season. Two weeks later I sat and watched as we defeated Auburn by 1 point in a last-second field goal by none other than Cole Tracy. The 21-22 miracle was an answer to our prayers, as my friends and I literally knelt on the floor holding hands and prayed for the kick to be good. At that moment our season changed for the better.

Our happiness was further elevated two weeks later by defeating Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium — where the chance of rain is NEVER (even though we were soaked to the core by the end of the game). At the end of the night I had to throw away my favorite pair of white pants from the dirt and rain - but watching LSU beat another SEC team in Tiger Stadium for the first time live was worth every second.

Hoping our luck would stick and we would win, my friends and I trekked halfway across the country from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Gainesville, Florida to watch LSU take on their next opponent. Smuggling six (yes six) people across state lines in a four-person car is something I will never forget as long as I live. The drive there was only supposed to be eight hours, we made it in 14. The Tigers lost in the Swamp, but making a pit stop to play in the waves on the way home made up for it for sure. Our spirits were a little crushed, but as always we knew our Tigers would come back from it.

Our sadness quickly changed to elation again the next week as the Tigers beat the #2 team in the country at the time- the Georgia Bulldogs. I had never seen Tiger Stadium so full of life or heard it so loud. Storming the field after the victory was a moment that students and fans alike will never forget. If you could see us all carrying "souvenirs" out of the stadium for us to remember the game forever you'd understand how happy we were. I have scars on the back of my ankles from where I cut myself on the fence as I jumped over in my heels. As a girl who grew up in metro Atlanta and seeing all of her UGA fan friends so confused and upset - it was one of the best moments of my life.

The next week provided us a win over Mississippi State (once again in the pouring rain) and then a bye week to prepare for what every LSU fan dreads — Alabama. With #FreeDevinWhite all over campus and College GameDay setting up in the Quad, the anxious and ominous feeling surrounding Baton Rouge is a feeling I will never forget. Watching the purple and gold busloads of fans pour in town amazed me. Dedication to our team, knowing the outcome is uncertain, to say the least, is something LSU fans do best.

Our staggering loss against Alabama hurt our souls, but we never let it keep us down. After our weekend of mourning it was time to get back on with life. A win on the road against Arkansas and an absolute shutout against Rice all led us to the last game of the year- Texas A&M.;

Students at home for Thanksgiving, like me, all huddled around our TVs as we watched the 7 overtime game. 72-74. A game we should have won three times over. My heart hurt for all of the football players and fans in College Station that day. Our team deserved every point they got — and the ones they were cheated of. Those who were able to go to the game said they wouldn't change their decision, as this is a new LSU classic game.

Coming to LSU from out of state and being 500 miles from home I was terrified and scared for what was to come. I loved LSU and I loved football so I knew when the season started I'd be okay. Throughout this season I have made so many memories that I will carry for a lifetime. I will tell my children and grandchildren about the stories and adventures LSU football gave me this year. I have made friends that I would not trade for the world, who through thick and thin sat beside me on game day and every other day I needed them.

There isn't a second I would change or do over. I'd do it again and again if I could.

So win or lose on January 1 against UCF, it's still forever LSU.

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