That Time I Became a Seminole

If you're a Floridian, or even just a fan of sports, you probably know that The Sunshine State is home to one of the greatest college rivalries in history. The teams I'm referring to?
The Florida State University Seminoles, and the University of Florida Gators.
With that being said, today we are going to have a little story time.
In the post I dedicated to my brother Dakota's graduation, I mentioned that I spent a couple hours during my time at my parent's house last weekend looking at old pictures. While I was doing so, I came across some...well, very incriminating evidence to say the least.
This is a photo from a time period that I don't really speak of. No, I'm not referring to the terrible bangs, the peace sign, or even the pre-braces gap between my teeth. I'm talking about what's on my face. THOSE LETTERS. U.F. In Gator orange and blue.
You see, for most of my life...I was a Gator fan. I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes from Gainesville, where EVERYONE is a Gator fan. My parents were, and most of my friends were. Therefore, so was I.  I wore the tshirts. I watched the football games. I remember in elementary school, to help raise money for the March of Dimes and other organizations, each grade level would have a contest that involved two buckets...one for the Gators, and one for the Seminoles.  You could put whatever change you had into the bucket of your choice, and at the end it would be counted and the winning side would be revealed. Guess what bucket my change went into?
Here is where things began to change. In my Junior year of high school, I was faced with a decision that all high school upperclassmen have to face....Where was I going to go to college? University of Florida, right? That's where everyone wanted to go. Surprisingly though, I didn't really want to.
The beginning of my Senior year, I sat down at the computer and filled out half of a University of Florida application. At that halfway point, I closed it out and never went back to finish it. I didn't know where I wanted to go to college, but for some reason I knew I wasn't meant to be a UF student. The end of my Senior year came to an end, and I still didn't know where I wanted to go. Therefore, I enrolled at a local community college for my first two years.
In my second year of  working on my AA degree, I realized that I really needed to choose a university to finish my schooling at. One of my older friends from church was finishing her degree at Florida State, and she invited me to come spend a weekend with her in Tallahassee. She gave me tours of the campus and the city, and to my surprise, I fell in love. I bought my first garnet and gold tshirt that weekend. I applied to FSU to finish my Bachelor's degree, and I got in.
Moving to Tallahassee was the best decision I have ever made. I met awesome people. I loved the campus and my professors. I joined a Christian sorority. And my favorite part? I became a true Seminole.
During my time at FSU, I realized that being a Gator or a Seminole or whatever you are isn't strictly about what team your family roots for, or what team is winning at the time. It's about a family. It's about a community. And let me tell you, there is no better sense of belonging than chopping to the Warchant in a packed out Doak Campbell Stadium.  
I've had several friends and family members say, "The only reason you're a Seminole fan now is because you went to FSU."
Well...yeah. That's the point. Florida State is my home, just like UF is home to an equally great population of students. (Of course, I think FSU is just a slight bit greater...but we are all biased in some way. ;) ) I'm excited to be a first generation Seminole. I'm dating a Seminole...and an avid FSU sports nut. It's exciting to think that I will get the opportunity to raise my children as 'Noles in the future.  I cried when I graduated...because I didn't want to leave.
 And you will never see me in orange and blue again. Not because I hate the Gators, because I don't. But, because garnet and gold is just a part of who I am now.

Hallie @ Life:Oceanside said...

ahhhhh we are HUGE FSU fans in our house, and Tallahassee is like my favorite place on earth.

but we are not allowed to ever move there because according to my overly obsessed fan crazed hubby..."kids want to go AWAY for college which means if we live in Tallahassee they will never go to FSU"

Seriously? he's nuts!

Go Noles:)

Vicky Hunt said...

Garnet and Gold look so much better on you....and me! Love my Nole girl...:)

Love, Mama

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