On Being a Gator

I got an email this morning from the student body president at UF inviting alumni to share words of advice with the incoming freshman class. Here's what I had to share:

I had no idea how stepping on campus at UF as a freshman would affect the rest of my life, but I did have the feeling it was the start of something special.

That the girls I sat with in the lounge of my dorm hall would be the bridesmaids in my wedding.

That I would meet my future husband on a football road trip to LSU,

or that I would forever be instantly connected to a complete stranger in a Gators T-shirt.

It’s all true.
The years I spent walking those lovely vine clad halls were the best of my life and significantly shaped my future,
whether it was job offers from fellow alumni or a connection in our Nation’s Capitol where I now call home.
I can proudly say that my experience at UF shaped me into the person I am today both personally and professionally. I couldn't be more grateful for what the Gator Nation has done for me.

As you start your collegiate career at UF, take advantage of everything! Go to sporting events, go to class (and the library), run for student government and spend lazy days reading by the shores of Lake Wauburg.

Be proud to be a Gator and be proud to be the next generation of the Gator Nation! You have no idea what your time at UF has in store for you, but I can tell you it will exceed anything you can imagine.

Welcome to the Gator Nation.


Anonymous said...

This made me cry! So well said!

I Do Declare said...

That made my heart swell...and I went to Tennessee!!! I actually LOVE that commerical UF has where Gators see Gators everywhere on the street - it's really well done! I feel like that about every SEC fan I see in out-of-the-way places.

Ashley said...

I love this! You said it so well. There is nothing like being a Gator

Arielle said...

Loved it! & The Gators :)

Lauren said...

love it!!

Kristin said...

So true!

Anonymous said...

I am sending this post to my daughter who is a freshman at UF this year. She has been feeling homesick and I've tried my best to make her see what an incredible opportunity she has been given. I am hoping your words can do a better job than mine. Thank you for sharing.

Emily said...

Found your blog today through Kelly's Korner and LOVE this post. I love meeting other Gator's and being a part of Gator Nation!