It's hard to believe we've gotten to this point.
Our relationship began way back in 2008, when you were nothing more than one school on an extensive list written out by my guidance counselor. I applied with a roll of my eyes. "Yeah, right. I don't party and I don't tan. Why would I ever even consider going there?" But then I came down for the Singer Scholarship weekend, and what can I say? You wooed me with your palm trees and journalism school and amazing athletics and killer scholarship and the promise of no gen-ed requirements.
And now, here we are, over four years after I received The Big Envelope.
We've certainly had our ups and downs, haven't we? This relationship hasn't been easy since, oh, sophomore year? And then there were those five months when I was unfaithful and cheated on you with another university. Queen Mary and I were hot and heavy for a little while, I admit, but I always knew it wouldn't last. The location and the British accent were phenomenal, but where else could I print 900 pages and not run out of printing credit? Where else could I study on a hammock strung up between palm trees in the middle of December? Where else could I live within a 15-minute walk of three of the nation's top-25 collegiate sports teams?
|"Great moments are born from great opportunity."|
I can't say our time together has been typical. I still don't party, and I still don't tan (I'm an introvert whose mother had skin cancer, so, y'know). I haven't been to Coconut Grove or South Beach (or any beach, for that matter), and I never experienced happy hour at The Rat. I never pulled an all-nighter, and I never studied in the stacks at Richter. The only time I visited the UC pool was on my second day of my freshman year, and I spent more time sitting behind the desk at the gym than working out in it.
But I did, however, get all-access credentials for football games at SunLife Stadium and basketball games at the BUC. I got to watch from press row as an intern with the athletic department as the basketball team destroyed then-No. 1 Duke by 27 points. I road-tripped to Orlando with the rest of The Hurricane staff for a student media conference and then, a month later, road-tripped back to Orlando for a weekend at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I took a travel writing class that allowed me to go to Wyoming and explore Grand Teton National Park, an evolution of the sitcom class in which I analyzed decades of sitcoms and how they related to current events, and a sports reporting class that gave me the chance to cover the Miami Heat, the Sony Open Tennis Tournament, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Dolphins and more. I've interviewed three Olympians and covered the Chicago Cubs for MLB.com. I can even say I gave an honest attempt at the public transit system -- results are extremely mixed.
You gave me friendships and memories I will treasure for the rest of my life. Getting horrifically bruised while trying curling in a post-Olympics euphoria; living with my freshman roommate for four years, watching old clips of Zoom on YouTube and laughing hysterically about absolutely nothing before discussing our biggest fears about the future at three in the morning; Buffalo Wild Wings every Tuesday night; studying abroad, living (and volunteering for the Olympics) in another country for five months; weekly free movies at the Cosford; deadline nights spent in the newsroom; Monday nights watching Castle; and many, many more.
There have been plenty of rough patches. There were times I wanted to lay down and quit, throw in the towel, and just plain not do it anymore. But there's one thing I never did since I set foot in Coral Gables on August 18, 2009.
I have never, ever questioned whether or not I made the right decision to become a Cane.
And now I'm done. My tassel has been moved to the left side of my cap, and I will only be a Florida resident for another ten days. I'll be packing up my apartment and heading off to Colorado to start a new chapter in my life. During our commencement address, Alberto Ibarguen said, "I hope your time at the U is not the best years of your life. If they are, the U has failed you." I really do hope what's to come is even better than what I'm leaving behind.
But no matter what, even though our relationship has run its course and it's time for me to go, I bleed orange and green until I die and can't wait for my first opportunity to throw up the U outside of Miami. Only a few of us attend the University of Miami; everyone else just wishes they did.
It's great to be a Miami Hurricane.
All my love,