Ian McHugh Uncovers the Unexpected


Fighting against the reel as the fish pulls the opposite way. Flying down the snow-covered hill that makes up seven springs. Aligning the scope as the pheasant drifts through the field. Senior Ian McHugh is a student who strives to find time outside of school to expand his activities and try new things.

Starting his journey, McHugh was able to branch out and find something out of his comfort zone through kickboxing. He stated, “I randomly signed up for kickboxing because I love watching boxing and Muay Thai and I figured if I didn’t at least try it out once for myself I’d regret it later on.” Learning to throw elbows and knees at PA Combat Sports in Greensburg, he enjoys spending his time working out in a challenging way he never discovered before.

The start of his senior year was composed of playing defense on the Latrobe soccer team, where he has been a member for all four years of his high school career. “My last soccer season was a lot of fun and I’m just glad that we got to have a season this year with everything going on. It was kind of a bummer, because the whole team got exposed to covid and a lot of us tested positive including me so we had to quarantine for two weeks without any practice,” he stated. 

Despite being locked in his room, Ian made the best of the situation and allowed himself to experiment with several hobbies. He learned how to play the guitar, whether it be by taking advantage of advanced technology and watching youtube tutorials or just experimenting with it. “Music has always been a big part of my life so I wanted to pick up the guitar and challenge myself to learn the songs I like. I used to play the trombone so I figured it would be a fun opportunity to learn how to play another instrument,” Ian said. 

McHugh also got into studying history and archeology. He expressed, “I love learning about history, archeology, and anthropology because I think it’s so fascinating to take a look at the past and see what happened back there. It gives a sort of explanation of what we are and where we are today and it’s cool to dive into the past and comprehend how societies started to develop.”

Focusing on academics, Ian applied early decision to George Washington University as an undecided major, aspiring to work in a field involved with international trade and commerce. McHugh expressed, “I was looking for a university that offers good business-related programs and has its location in an urban environment.” Ian got accepted into George Washington University, which has a competitive acceptance rate of 40.8%, as well as a required average GPA of 3.86. Holding a private, urban-setting institution, George Washington University seeks for incoming freshmen to have AP course experience and is known as a more competitive school to get into. With Ian’s involvement in six AP courses throughout high school, he is certain to excel at the university. 

In the middle of Washington, D.C., the University offers a large historical background, including historical landmarks such as the White House. The university’s location also offers the D.C. metro as transportation which makes it easy for students to get around. Ian emphasized, “It’s such a big city and there are a ton of opportunities for internships. It is also internationally connected since it is the capital and that is something I am very interested in.” Whether it be watching documentaries at home or being involved in AP history, Ian has always sought a passion in economics and history. 

Ian plans to get involved in more than just academics at college, taking advantage of clubs offered at George Washington University. The university offers a wide variety of activities for people to try something new, including activities Ian is seeking to join like Jiu Jitsu club and soccer club. Ian expressed, “I think learning how to do new things is fun and important because it gives you something to do with your time that is productive and it keeps me focused and goal-oriented. It’s honestly just a good way for me to have stuff to do that I enjoy and that allows me to take my mind off of stress.” 

Throughout Ian’s high school career, he took advantage of every opportunity that came his way, whether it be through academics or hobbies. No matter where Ian may be in his career, he will always know he can branch out to find something unique to add to his personality. Covid may have presented him with several challenges, but it more importantly allowed him to find new layers of himself.