“You are now being considered as a First-Year student for the Fall 2013 term”

That was the only sentence I was able to read with my hand shaking before my sister pulled my phone out of my hand.

Then we started screaming.

Three years ago today I received that email that would change my life forever.

I still remember that day.

It was just before lunch ended when my college guidance counselor found me in the hallway. He goes “Georgia is releasing decisions at 4.”

Que my stomach dropping and the nerves setting in. Then I had to sit through AP Calculus.

I more or less refreshed my email every 15 minutes from that point on. After school, my sister and I went to Five Guys, not that I was able to eat much.

After that, I got into the car, checked my email, and at 4:23 it appeared.

We called my parents screaming, who were coming back from the airport, and they had to pull off to the side of the road because my Mom started crying.

I never knew what that email had in store for me at that point. All I knew was that I had gotten accepted to my first choice school, first.

Since then it was been a whirlwind.

I have met the most amazing people (in a place where I came in knowing no one) and have done more than I could have ever imagined.

I’ve been on football fields, I’ve gone bridge jumping in Tennessee, I’ve road tripped to New Orleans, I’ve had stories I’ve written published, and I’ve coached a soccer team.

I’ve also cried, but have had friends to pick me back up.

I’ve had mental break-downs, but I always made it through.

I’ve had hardships, but they’ve made me the person I am.

The University of Georgia has made me the person I am.

Who would have thought a Jersey girl from suburbia would find herself immersed and in love with one of the most well-known colleges in the southeast?

I knew from the time I was 15 that I wanted to go to school somewhere from North Carolina down. I was over the cold weather and New York City never held that appeal to me.

So here I am. In my second to last semester of my senior year. Anxiously waiting on a decision from the University of Georgia graduate school. Hoping they allow me to continue my education here as a Bulldog.

If you had asked me three years ago where I would be right now I would probably have a different answer than what reality brought. Either way, I know that I would be confident in my choice to come here and that it was the right one.

So fingers crossed I can have another moment like this very soon. With my hands shaking so bad I can’t read my email and the person next to me screaming it as they read it for me.

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11/12/13

On this day three years ago I was three months into my freshman year of college. Still a little unsure about where I was headed in this massive entity that is college.

It was a Thursday, and I remember that because I didn’t have classes that day (that and my friends say I have a ridiculous memory). I’m not sure why I was there (because I always did homework in my dorm) or how I even heard about it (because I’m sure there wasn’t any advertising for it in my gen. ed. classes).

Somehow I found myself, severely underdressed, sitting in something called AdPr Connection. Which I would later come to find out is one of Grady’s largest events of the year. Complete with various workshops and an intensive career fair.

And here I was. A freshman. Wearing jeans surrounded by juniors and seniors decked out in blazers and oxfords.

I sat in on a few workshops, having no clue what I was doing there, and flipped through the pamphlet which held the names of those participating at the career fair.

One name caught my eye. Mike Mobley: UGA Athletic Association.

So I googled him (because we live in the 21st century) and found out he worked in basketball. Perfect. I managed high school basketball for the last three years.

After the workshops were over, I naviaged through Tate Grand Hall to find  where this UGAA rep was supposed to be at. I was met by an empty table.

So I waited five, ten minutes. And I was getting disheartened. My Mom told me to stick it out for 20 or so more minutes, which I did, and Mike showed up (Thanks Mom, I owe ya).

Imagine his surprise when a freshman was the first person waiting to talk to him in a room full of juniors and seniors.

So he gave me a Georgiadogs notepad (which I still have) and told me to find him at the women’s basketball game the following day.

The next day I made my way onto the court in Stegeman (as close as security would let me) and met up with Mike. I was given the first of many press passes and got a tour of Stegeman. From then on, I was hooked.

Fast forward to right now. Over the last three years I’ve worked SEC tournaments and championships, NCAA regional championships, SEC Media Days, and more games than I can count. I’ve been on sidelines, the field at Sanford, interviewed players on Foley Field after a game, and so much more.

I never would have thought having nothing to do on Thursday afternoon would lead me to find what I want to do for the rest of my life. I guess I owe it to being an overeager freshman and luck.

Mike has been an invaluable resource, friend, and mentor for me. He has opened the door for me to do so much, meet so many people, and show me what I’m capable of in the world of college athletics.

To all of you freshman who don’t know what you want to do and find your self with a free afternoon, walk around campus. Pop into workshops. And if you want to meet someone, hang around. You never know what it could lead to.

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I hate to be that person

I really do, but apparently the only way we get results now a days is by complaining about it on the internet. So here I go.

As everyone is painfully aware, tomorrow is the presidential election.

The first one I am able to vote in (what timing huh). So I was the responsible US citizen and sent out for my absentee ballot months ago.

I received it in late September, and cast my vote my marking a dot while laying on my bed (anticlimactic isn’t it?).

I did my American duty and sent it out. Around the beginning of October.

Imagine my surprise when my roommate walked in from the mailbox holding, you guessed it, my absentee ballot.

So I called my local election office and the only way it will count is if I bring it in before polls close at 8pm tomorrow. IN NEW JERSEY.

My only option at this point was overnighting it. (Mind you it was already 4:30).

Cue grabbing keys and running out the door like a madwoman.

I get to the post office and thank god I’m annoying because the window was already closed and I kept calling out “hello” until the pair of hands I saw opened raised the window blinds.

Turns out, the wrong addressed was scanned (Oh I love technology) and somehow my ballot was floating around in the great beyond that is our postal system for a MONTH and was dropped back in my lap the DAY BEFORE the election.

As any good American would, I overnighted my ballot to make sure my vote counted. That was a pretty penny out of my bank account.

Once was all said and done, I called customer service to see if my claim would hold any merit and bring those numbers in my back account back up.

Alas, I only found more disappointment.

Since I sent the ballot out in the REGULAR mail a MONTH before the election, I have no grounds because there was no initial receipt. Unless my ballot gets there tomorrow later than the appointed time, I fall fault to the technology of the postal system.

Now I understand mistakes happen, I do. I make them constantly. But there is no reason that my ballot should have been floating around for a MONTH let alone having been scanned incorrectly in the first place (and no it was not miss-addressed because a mail-in ballot is a pre-printed envelope). And if it wasn’t a presidential election (and my first one) I probably would have been a little more understanding today. But it’s Monday and understanding went out the window hours ago.

I’m writing this in hopes that someone who knows someone tells someone who works at the postal service. I appreciate the postal service and they’re great. But I think with all of the technology and such that we have today, mis-read addresses, especially something that says “Board of Elections,” is ridiculous. Especially if it says “Board of Elections” the day before THE election.

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Good weekend, Great friends

See these people?

I have, more or less, spent the last 72 hours with these people.

We’ve spent countless hours in the car together, yelled at each other about missing turns, shared two bathrooms between all of us, and laughed so hard that we nearly cried.

I was able to become closer with people I’ve known for years (including my best friend who  [is not pictured but] drove two hours to come see me and hang out with us for a day or so), I got to know others a little better, and made some new friends in between.

When we started planning this trip back in, I guess it was August, it felt like it was never going to happen. Two condos fell through and the guest list kept changing.

But, somehow, we all survived midterms and six hour car trips from Athens (or Kennesaw) to Amelia Island, Florida.

God I was so happy to see the beach. I ran to the ocean at 11pm the night I got there and almost started crying (my friends must have thought me to be slightly mental).

Then we spent the “actual” day of our fall break there. Taking in the sun, enjoying the quiet, and walking by the water. We rotated between falling in and out of sleep all day. It may not have been Frat Beach but it was exactly what all of us needed.

The next day we started the trek to Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (no, NOT the Rivercity showdown or whatever nonsense our PC culture was trying to rename this famed past time). And our set up was pretty sweet. We had two tents, corn hole (which I am terrible at), the grill going, and packed coolers. We improved immensely from last year.

Then there was the game. Well. I don’t know if “game” is the right word.

On the bright side I ran into some friends I haven’t seen in a while and we had really good seats.

There’s always next year right?

(I’ve done a lot of car trips in my life but nothing is more exhausting than the ride back from Everbank Stadium).

As for today, we powered through cleaning up, grabbed some food (Whataburger by demanding request), and hit the road.

This weekend was filled with some surprises, some let downs, some laughs, and some amazing memories (and really quality pictures).

Hopefully we can make this a tradition as most of us are seniors or have already graduated.  I’m 99% sure none would be opposed.

After all, what’s better than some friends, football, and the beach?

I really can’t think of anything better.

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Greek Grind

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a fundraiser put on by SDT where all the sororities of UGA show off their best dance moves every fall.

I, however, am not one of those girls (my sister constantly reminds me that I have no rhythm). So I took to the audience last night.

My Little, however, has moves like I could never dream to have.

She was the co-captain of the team.

She helped choreograph the dance.

She made what they did in front of thousands of people look easy.

So yeah, she’s pretty cool.

As is the experience of Greek Grind as a whole.

You make posters, you wear way too much glitter, and you scream with your sisters for your sisters on stage (throat still hurts). And it’s all for a great cause (overall SDT raised $100,000).

And this was our first year participating in Greek Grind.

I have to say, we did a hell of a job.

We won the banner contest (our banner chair is amazement personified), we won the BOGO bra competition, and we took two awards last night.

Our Greek Grind guy was voted the favorite and we came in second for spirit points. Which means we received $500 toward our own philanthropy. Not too bad for some first timers huh?

I have to say that I’m kind of sad that it took me until senior year to get to this event. But I am so blessed that the first time I witnessed it, the girls I call my sisters were able to compete in it.

(If all goes well and I’m here for grad school next year maybe my Little can snag me a ticket)

After watching all of them last night, I had that fleeting thought of “wow, maybe I could do that.”

Then reality set in and I remembered that the only body coordination I have is when I’m playing lacrosse.

So I leave the dancing to the girls who rocked it on the stage and I’ll continue to scream my head off from the balcony.

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Alex, tonight is your big-little reveal

And I am so beyond excited for you. 

You’ll have something I didn’t get the opportunity to have, a big. 

I’m sure whoever it is will be there to guide you through the craziness that is Greek life. 

You’ll soon find out that being part of a sisterhood is unlike anything you could have imagined. 

(Being a new member versus a sister is a while new ball game) 

Slightly jealous you get to experience it a little longer than me, but I wouldn’t trade what and who I’ve found for the world. 

I hope you find sisters who buy you food at 1 am because your bank account really is at zero (oops). 

I want you to eat ice cream and watch bad movies with them. 

I hope you find that person who loves something as much as you do and will want experience it with you. 

I want you to rock themed date nights and dance all night at socials. 

I hope in case you need a shoulder to cry on, that someone comes rushing to your aid (because as much as I wish three hours was three minutes it’s not). 

I want you to love every single second of it. 

So you gain a big tonight and many sisters in time to come. 

But remember, even though you’re her Little, you’re still my little sister (and so much cooler than I could ever hope to be). 

Have so much fun tonight and I hope your Big loves you as much as I do. 

Love your Big Sister

It’s about that time

That time of year when I start to miss all things New Jersey.

(It didn’t help that I came across emails in my inbox from high school from people whom I haven’t spoken to in years [who were once a big part of my life]. It gives you perspective)

I miss walking on the boardwalk, especially now because the weather is cool up there (unlike here. I’m done with sweating at 11 am).

There really is no substitute for a pork roll, egg, and cheese on a freshly made bagel (which are IMPOSSIBLE to find in Georgia. No Einstein does not count) with a cup of Rook coffee (thank god I was able to bring some of that down here).

I want to go apple picking and there is no where around Athens short of driving up into the mountains to go do it (granted my Mom sent me apples from Upstate [NY] and they’re delicious but it’s not the same).

I’m missing late night runs to Inkwell and their chai tea overflowing with whipped cream (Starbucks just doesn’t cut it).

My sister is starting to feel it too, so at least I know I’m not the only one who’s starting to get a little nostalgic.

There is a bright side however.

Amy and Tony will be landing in Athens around 2 pm on Friday! So I’ve got a tiny part of Jersey coming down to visit me.

The best part is that we’re making sauce on Friday night (and if I have to explain what “sauce” is, then you don’t know me very well). My friends have been sending me gifs about how excited they are for it all week.

That’s also something I never expected. I never expected for my friends to like hanging out with me and my parents (which I’m super grateful for). They enjoy not only hanging out with me, but my family as well. Which is pretty cool because these people are the family I have here. They’re the people who have chosen to be part of my life. They’re the people whose pictures are taped up on my wall and make me feel wanted in this part of the country I have grown to love.

I mean, there are very few people who will yell at the TV with me at 10 at night, come up with mottos for senior year (as we internally cry because we’re seniors), share my love of Star Wars, and everything else in between.

So until my parents get here, I’ll be listening to my home radio station via a phone app, I’ll eat some of the frozen pizza (I smuggled across the Mason Dixon Line) that’s in my freezer (which I’m starting to run low on), and fry up some pork roll (because thank the lord Publix carries this amazing creation).

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p.s. in case anyone wants a little more perspective on where I’m from, Click Here