Just as the title (a nod to Tom Petty, a Gainesville native) may suggest, I am closer than ever to new experiences and new adventures. My freshman year at the University of Florida is right around the corner!
One year ago, I was probably working on college applications and essays. At some point, I’m sure I wondered, “Where will I be heading a year from now?” Friday, February 13th, the day I found out I got accepted to UF, seems like a decade ago. (Read more: The College Waiting Game: My Experience) I feel like I have been gradually preparing and planning for events that at one point felt distant, but are now moments away. As I attempt to pack, organize, fold, and condense my belongings into semi-neat piles and check off reminders from various to-do lists scattered throughout my room, my decision to become a Gator feels very real. (Also, it kind of feels like I’m packing for camp, except I don’t have to write my initials on my socks.) In a few short days, I will be settling into my new home!
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but during this weird period of packing and getting ready to leave, I am reminded of one of my former swim coaches, whose second-favorite quote (behind “I’ll be in the hospitality room!”) was,
“When the time to perform has arrived, the time to prepare is over.”
Although I cannot read this saying without remembering the sights, sounds, and smells of long practices and crowded swim meets, I feel it is true for my current situation. The “time to prepare” – my time left in the familiarity of my home – is dwindling. The “time to perform” is nearly here; this is a time to figure things out for myself and to learn by doing (and probably making lots of mistakes).
Isn’t it funny (and weird) how sometimes the things people say – even the smallest or most random memories – have a way of re-entering our minds with a new relevance or meaning?
Speaking of relevance, you know it’s bad when you can turn the theme of a Real Housewives episode into something meaningful.
On this season’s finale of the Real Housewives of New York City, one of the housewives, Ramona (also known as the “Ramona-coaster”), hosted a “New Beginnings” party to commemorate her so-called “fresh start.” Most of the other housewives were confused by the theme of the party because they hadn’t seen any miraculous or impressive changes to Ramona’s self-centered, childish behavior. (According to outspoken cast member Bethenny Frankel, the party should have been called “Old Habits.”)
While the Real Housewives series – along with some of the other Bravo shows, i.e. “My Fab 40th” (SIDE NOTE: HOW IS THIS EVEN A SHOW!?) – is mostly fluff, the theme of this episode was actually rather timely for me. I think my “new beginning” is not as much about ME ME ME as it as about everything I am going to experience, the people I am going to meet, and changes that will happen.
During my first week on campus, I will be participating in Panhellenic Recruitment…along with over 1,500 other girls. *Insert panicked emoji here.* I know I will probably encounter plenty of girls who came out of the womb with their dream sorority house in mind, but I’m honestly just hoping to make some friends and have fun. I’m not sure if sorority life is right for me, but I won’t know until I see for myself. It’s safe to say I am in for an overwhelming and blister-generating experience – but, if all else fails, it will be fun to people watch…and I’ll have some interesting stories to write about!
I’m sure I will be pretty busy during the first few weeks of the semester, but I think posting on a bi-weekly might be a realistic goal. No guarantees…but we’ll see!
To my fellow freshies (I know, that was such a freshman thing to say and I should probably avoid saying it out loud at all costs): Best wishes! We are in this together.
To everyone: Thank you for reading! Feel free to subscribe if you want to stay updated on my freshman year adventures.
Well…here we go!