My Fantastic February

SPRING BREAK IS FINALLY HERE! YAY FOR FREE TIME!

There has been so much excitement in my life during the month of February so I’ll try to touch on some of the major things to update you all…

STUDENT AMBASSADOR CONVENTION/NEWBIES/RETREAT

As I’ve mentioned plenty of times before in my blog, being a part of UNCW’s Student Ambassadors organization is probably the best thing I have joined in college. I won’t get all sappy and talk about how it has helped me grow as a person and find confidence in myself as a leader, but it has really been responsible for lot of my happiness here at UNCW. I was able to travel to Charleston, SC for my third convention since I joined Ambassadors freshman year and I felt like such a convention veteran during this trip and conference. Convention is such a great opportunity for our Ambassador organization to learn and grow by mixing with other schools and ambassador programs and learning how they run their organizations in various sessions. Because convention was held in Charleston this year, we had a short road trip there and got to enjoy the city too! My favorite part of convention is being able to make friends with students from other schools in the southeast and keep in touch after it’s over. The weekend flew by, but the experience was one of my favorite memories of this semester.

Student Ambassadors also get “newbies” earlier this semester. Our newbies are the newest batch of students that we admit into the organization. This year we got 24 newbies and they are so great. I love the recruitment period in Ambassadors because getting our newbies really revive the organization and get everyone excited for these new members to be a part of our “ambassa-family.” We welcome these newbies into Ambassadors by going on a retreat at the beach for a full day to teach them everything we do, as well as participate in tons of teambuilding activities and icebreakers. The new member retreat always brings our Ambassadors closer together and we all feel like one big family after the long day. This retreat was extra special because it was the last one I’d participate in. It’s crazy how so many traditions have been “the last” already. I’m getting so sentimental now that my last semester is already half way over!

HOMECOMING WEEKEND

As some of your blog readers know, I was selected to be on Homecoming Court to represent my organizations and involvement at UNCW. Being chosen for this is a HUGE honor in my opinion, and it was something I had only dreamed about my freshman year. The school chooses 5 girls and 5 guys to be on the court, so the process was really selective. I was so excited to be recognized by the school for all of my commitments to the university. Because of this awesome recognition, my family traveled down here to Wilmington to support me on the court! The winners of Homecoming King and Queen were announced at halftime of the big basketball game, which happened this past weekend (2/22). I ended up winning first runner up for Queen, which is an honor I am extremely proud of. While I didn’t win the title of Queen, the support that I received from all my friends was overwhelming leading up to the big announcement. I was so fortunate to have my family down here too. My best friend Yael even got to ride down with my parents and spent the whole weekend with me (LOVE YOU YAEL!). My grandparents Gigi and Charlie also made the 9 hour trip down to NC, which was an AWESOME surprise. I cannot repeat enough how fortunate I am for the amazing opportunity to be on Homecoming Court. The experience was by far one of my favorite here at UNCW.

SPRING BREAK PLANS

Now that all the homecoming excitement is finally over, I can focus on my spring break plans! I am going on a 4 night CRUISE (for the first time) that leaves from Miami and goes to Nassau and Cococay (both in the Bahamas) and Key West! I CANNOT CONTAINT MY EXCITEMENT. This has been a crazy busy week leading up to break so now that I have officially completed all my work, I’m ready to celebrate. I’m going with my 3 friends: Esme, Julia, and Camille (girls from AGD) and we will leave to drive down to Miami on Saturday REALLY early in the morning. Despite the 12 hour car ride there and back, I’m SO PUMPED for this vacation and to be in the sunshine and have a tan again (finally).

 

That’s all the updates for now. I plan to post about my spring break cruise when I’m back 🙂

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London Nostalgia: 1 Year Anniversary

As I’m writing this blog post, I’m sitting on campus outside on this beautiful day, sipping on my Dunkin Donuts caramel iced coffee and eating a breakfast sandwich. Life really isn’t bad. However, I can’t shake the nostalgic feeling I have to head back to London. While sitting in the sunshine with a Dunkin treat is probably one of my favorite things to do, I’d happily sacrifice all of it for a plane ticket back across the pond.

Today marks exactly one year since I landed at the London Heathrow airport to begin the most exciting three month journey of my life. As many of you know, this blog used to be dedicated to my study abroad experience and sharing my travel stories with family and friends. I’ve found myself occasionally clicking back and reminiscing on all the cool things I did last fall. I’ve recently had the strongest urge to just escape from my insanely busy life, ditch my commitments, and go travel the world. Today is definitely one of those days. I never really made a reflection post about how my study abroad experience has changed my life, so I’m using this as a mini-reflection piece.

While I had my ideas about what London would be like, I never expected to experience all the amazing things I ended up doing overseas. I joined the Roehampton basketball team, made a few best friends, travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy (twice), and learned a whole lot of stuff about myself.

I know that if I went back to Roehampton today, things wouldn’t be the same. Some of my basketball friends have graduated, my flatmates would be gone, and the Newman 4 crew won’t be living in Newman anymore. Can someone get me a time machine please?

My semester abroad really introduced me to the idea of true independence. While I’m used to being relatively far away from home, three months in another country takes being “away from home” to another level. All I have to say is thank goodness for Skype. The experience of travelling on my own has also helped me grow. I can now take on foreign cities/places with determination and confidence. My sense of direction is so much stronger, and my “street smarts,” as my dad would call it, has improved too. I feel more cultured and drawn to foreign people since returning back to America. Travelling and seeing all the things I did is truly the opportunity of a lifetime (not to sound cliché).

I can’t wait until the day that I visit London again. I need a job that travels. A lot. Since all of this reminiscing is starting to make me sad, and because I have to get to class, this post will now come to an end. Maybe I’ll Skype some of the Newman 4 crew soon to put me in a better mood!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/henrygoldman/facts-that-will-make-you-want-to-travel