Travelling is something I dream of doing, but haven’t done a lot. Living in Florida though gives me close access to some great beaches and the world’s best theme parks. Hello, Orlando! While this summer I have spent many hours beach bound or off to see Mickey, I recently took a trip that has the potential to change my life forever.
On Sunday, July 24, my Mom and I got up early, well early for me anyway, packed a suitcase, yes just one, it was only an overnight trip, and headed out for our 275 mile journey to Tallahassee, Florida home of Florida State University. My first college tour. The funny thing was, I wasn’t even all that interested in going to FSU, I just wanted to look around and set in my mind that USF or UCF was the place for me. I also loved the idea of a road trip with my Mom, even though we haven’t seen eye-to-eye on my college choice lately. She wants me to go away to UCF so I can get the whole “college experience,” and while I might be OK with that, I’d rather stick close to home at USF near my friends, family and job.
After a four hour drive we arrived at the hotel. The Holiday Inn we stayed at was nice, but nothing spectacular. After dropping our stuff off at our room and me changing (twice) we decided to do some sightseeing. The first sight we saw was the mall. As malls go, it was average, but they did have an Orange Julius, something we are very much missing in our Tampa malls. After the mall we did some real sightseeing and saw the Capitol building, the old Capitol building, the Supreme Court of Florida and the Senate building. Then we headed off for an early look at the campus before our tour on Monday.
We drove down College Avenue, admiring the hills, also something we don’t have in Tampa, and then we saw the entrance to FSU. So awesome! The first building we saw looked like a castle and had a beautiful fountain. We parked the car and then got out just intending to look around for a few minutes. About two hours and a couple of hot, sticky miles later we had taken an unintended walking tour. I loved all of the old architecture and the surroundings.
Even though it was nice, I still felt USF and UCF were my top two choices. That was before our real tour. We arrived Monday morning at the stadium for the official tour, which is on the newer part of campus. Our tour guide was amazing. She obviously loved FSU. Walking the beautiful campus with our group, talking to our guide and seeing it through her eyes made both my Mom and me totally fall in love with FSU and Tallahassee. What was once a distant third place choice became the front runner. The grounds, the academics, the history, the student activities, the town, the people all made FSU an experience that I can see myself repeating and loving for four years.
This trip started out as just a trip. I really only wanted to go for the experience and really didn’t think it would change much. I was so wrong. While it is hard for me to imagine leaving home for months at a time, after visiting FSU it’s not as scary anymore. Although I still haven’t made up my mind, I can definitely say this trip may have changed my entire life.
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