College was like a roller coaster. A really fast, bumpy yet exhilarating roller coaster. You get off at the end wanting to go again but not sure if your stomach can handle it (or if you want to wait in the line again). So instead, you grab your belongings from the locker, check out the picture they took right at the drop on the ride that you know you are not going to buy, and carry onto the next ride. Or maybe grab a snack so you can buy time to look at the foldout map and decide where to go.
First semester Senior year could be described as “the beginning of the end.” Every event was marred by it being the “last (something).” The “last home football game,” the “last trip to Sarasota for fall break,” the “last time we’ll register for classes for our ‘last semester’ of undergrad’.”
Things got even worse second semester when the ticking bomb signaling graduation arrived and we all went a little batty. All of a sudden, it was ok to go out five days a week because “You are a Second Semester Senior!” You have a test at 11 the next morning? “Wake up and study at 7 a.m. because are you really going to sacrifice your “9th last Thursday night in the Grove” for that?”
Then came kickball. If you’ve never heard of WAKA it stands for the World Adult Kickball Association. In other words, a fancy acronym for a Sunday afternoon drinking league that just happens to also play some kickball. My team, the Recess Renegades, got off to a rough start but somehow that did not stop us from winning the entire thing.
Now I know you might be wondering if we were doing any work at all, and I promise we were! I was in a very strenuous Thursday morning class entitled “Yoga-based Stretching.” But really, I finished up my Exercise Physiology minor and Spanish major, continued tutoring athletes, led plenty of tours of campus as a part of Presidents’ 100, got certified as an ACSM Personal Trainer, and me and Joe ran our second half marathon in March.
A few weeks later, I participated in an all-you-can-eat sushi contest at RA where I came in second place for girls and ninth overall.
The album on their Facebook page caught the eye of a producer for Man vs. Food and before I knew it, I was shooting an episode of the show in Key Largo where Adam coached me in a conch fritter eating contest. Needless to say, don’t offer me conch fritters in the near future, but do catch the episode on the Travel Channel this July!
Since I had already finished up my broadcasting curriculum first semester, I kept up my work in the Communication School by anchoring and producing other packages for our weekly news broadcast, Newsvision.
I also was Co-Chair for Greek Week 2011 which took place the very first week in March. Me and a fraternity boy led an Executive Board in planning and executing what is one of the biggest Greek events at UM. We started planning in the Spring of 2010 so you can definitely call it a labor of love. In the end, we raised thousands of dollars for United Cerebral Palsy and I could not have been more proud.
I had avoided making the three and a half hour drive to Key West until I turned 21. Now that that was out of the way, it was time to see what the “Southernmost Point” had to offer and what trouble we could cook up on Duval Street. Signal Spring Break 2011:
Then fashion show was here before I knew it. I made that bittersweet walk down the runway for the last time with my dad on one arm and could not believe that it was finally my turn.
Soon enough, our parents were begging to know the plans for graduation weekend and we bit the bullet to get it all together. But beforehand, we had formals to attend. First in Miami. Then in Naples.
A couple tests and one 25 page Spanish paper later, I was done with school. Graduation weekend was a blur consisting of a group dinner at Rusty Pelican Thursday night, graduation Friday afternoon followed by a party for all of our friends and family at Tarpon Bend Friday night and then Claire’s birthday party hosted by her family at a house they had rented out in the Grove on Saturday. It really was an unforgettable weekend that I cannot imagine spent any other way.
All of a sudden, everyone was gone by the next Monday and reality sunk in. Within the next week, everyone would be packed and off to the next adventure. Everyone except me that is. Somehow, the one who swore she would never live in Miami other than for college has found a comfortable home in this hot place. It’s a crazy time for all of us but I rest assured knowing I have these wild and cherished memories to bring with me onto the next ride.