Sometimes during the summer it’d be a bit longer than that – but this didn’t matter because there was sand in my bed from the waves I rode that morning, and my Pacific-blown hair smelled just like the Golden Coast from which I was born.
When I started high school, my family moved to the South for my father’s job. During my senior year, I had the choice of either attending Georgia State University or the University of Hawaii at Manoa to study Communications, and between the two, my decision should have already been made. Yet my bank account told me that the HOPE Scholarship was too good to deny, bachelor degrees for cheap? Super cheap?
Initially, it wasn’t too easy for me to make my final decision. Surfboard racks by my dorm, or bike racks by my dorm? With my family and little brother in mind, I decided to hang up my surfboard with little thought, and decided to learn how to go with the flow in the city of Atlanta.
I was a 17-year-old freshman when I moved downtown in the summer of 2010, and I haven’t looked back since. Through working at The Signal, Georgia State’s student-run newspaper, I have had the opportunity to attend a Betsey Johnson fashion show, meet Ludacris (twice), interview my favorite West-coast comedian Gabriel Iglesias, photograph the Neon Trees, and the list can go on.
With Georgia State’s Touch the Earth, I zip lined and witnessed wild howler monkeys swinging in the Costa Rican rainforests. Then, pretending I could do the same, I grabbed a rope and jumped, flying outward into a 50 feet drop through the canopies – doing my George of the Jungle scream. Our group also rafted in a Class IV river with waves so large and powerful, that one student actually bounced out of our raft.
We retrieved her later, of course.
The thing about this city, and about this university, is that any one person can define their envisioned dreams about life because there are just too many things at our disposal. With such a concentrated area of people, networking and resources, being a university student in Atlanta is more than being an average student.
The learning experience goes far beyond the classrooms, clearly.