I’m a Floridian
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 18:11
“Wait you’re from Florida and you’re not on a sports team, then why did you come to SHU?”
Typically, this is the first question I get when meeting someone for the first time here at Sacred Heart. I found that I have answered this question so many times that my closest friends here can recite my answer faster than I can.
I was raised in Parkland, Florida, a small town an hour outside of Miami and went to school in Boca Raton. Yes, there are schools in Boca; contrary to what you might think, it is not just for senior citizens. I attended a small Catholic elementary and high school. I knew many of my classmates senior year since I was five years old. It seemed normal to want to go onto college with my childhood friends, but I had different plans.
When it came to applying for college, most everyone in my graduating class filled out applications for the popular Florida schools: University of Florida, Florida State University or University of Central Florida. I visited those schools, fully expecting to attend one of them. Honestly, the campuses were so large and I did not want to go to be known as a number. I wanted my professors to know my name.
I quickly realized how I wanted to spend my four years at college. There were specific key factors that were important to me when applying for a school: size, being able to attend sporting events, beautiful campus, close proximity to a big city, and I wanted to experience the four seasons. I could hardly wait for my first snowstorm. I applied to eight schools in the northeast and only two in Florida. It became obvious that I really wanted to go to school up north.
On my first visit to Sacred Heart, something happened when I stepped on the campus, I could picture myself spending my college years here. There was such a genuine kind-hearted feeling from the staff and students. I remembered in particular how much I enjoyed my tour and tour guide. My tour at Florida State University seemed overwhelming and not personal. I felt no connection when I toured the larger universities. Right from the start, I loved the environment of Sacred Heart. I was immediately impressed with how many people said “hi” to the junior taking me on a tour. I quickly felt that this was the place for me. As I compared all of the other universities I visited, my experience at Sacred Heart stood out.
Since I am not from the New England states, traveling home can be a challenge. My parents and I have to make my flight plans months in advance. I’ve learned to travel light and keep much of my things in storage over summer break. I feel fortunate to have made friends that will drive me to the airport or even invite me to their homes during Hurricane Sandy. Of course, at times, I really miss Florida and my family, but I keep busy with school, work-study, theater, friends, intramural sports and The Spectrum. I love being involved in so many aspects of campus life; it helps me not to feel so homesick.
Therefore, if people ever ask me, “Did you make the right decision coming to SHU,” I immediately, without a doubt, say “yes.”