Flashback Friday: FSU

When I think about my college career the first thing I think of is Zach. I mean he pretty much WAS what my college days were all about. We met in January of 2004 which was the start of my second semester in college. We married in May of 2007 which was one semester prior to graduation (we both worked our schedules out to graduate in December for football haha). 

However, I did have ONE semester of college prior to meeting Zach. And that one semester was at Florida State! I thought it’d be a good Flashback Friday post for today!

Growing up I’d always considered myself a Seminole. My dad graduated from FSU and, although we weren’t what I’d consider a “football family”, we always rooted for the ‘Noles. I graduated high school up near Atlanta but knew I didn’t want to be like everyone else who was fighting for a spot at UGA. I liked the idea of going away to college and since my mom still lived in Florida I was able to get in-state tuition. I believe I was one of the first kids in my senior class to be accepted to my first choice school. I sent in my application literally the first day they were accepted πŸ™‚ I applied to UCF as well but I don’t even think I applied to a Georgia school. I didn’t want to risk being accepted and then changing my mind about FSU based on where my friends went etc. 

Dad and I checking out the campus!

My brother and I

I planned on living on campus my freshman year and wanted to live in the Honors Housing since I’d be part of the honors program there. However, I got accepted late as an honors student (my SAT scores weren’t that stellar…I’ve never been great at standardized testing b/c, duh, I WAY over-think it!) and missed out on all the housing options πŸ™ I was BUMMED at first to find out that I’d have to get a dorm somewhere else on campus, but then we toured them and I really liked the “crappy dorms.” My dad actually was an RA in school at Smith Hall but I was drawn to Kellum Hall. It was a co-ed dorm but the girls had their own floor. I knew one other person from my senior class who planned to go to FSU but we weren’t super good friends or anything so I just did random roommate assignment. I was pretty excited to be starting my college life!

Yup, I’m rockin’ an Elvis shirt to orientation. TCB BABY!

When my roommate assignment came I got SO LUCKY with my roommate! We didn’t meet until move in day but I knew we’d get along great. And we did! Kim is SO SWEET. Seriously. We only had one argument the entire year that we lived together. We still keep in touch thanks to FB and we both attended each other’s weddings. When we first moved in together we had goals for our year and it was awesome how they all came to fruition. We BOTH met our husbands that year and Kim got engaged a few weeks before I did! How cool is that? 

Kim came to FSU from Miami and had a good number of friends from her high school there with her but she and I were still very close and did a lot together. Especially that first pre-Zach semester πŸ˜‰ Looking back I realize even more so how blessed I was to have Kim as my roommate and I know even if we aren’t able to see each other face-to-face often that we both will always share a special bond! 

One of my favorite memories with Kim was early on when we got to FSU and we decided to take the CITY BUS to Walmart. Omg. Big mistake haha. Kim didn’t have a car and parking was a beast so I thought it’d be smarter to take the bus than lose my parking spot. WRONG. It was def a one time thing. It took us forever to get to Walmart then we had to carry all of our stuff on the bus back and the fellow passengers were somewhat creepy for sure. Learning experience! Kim and I never had any classes together but would lay up many nights talking and we didn’t have any secrets between us. It truly was a sisterly bond from the start!

This was the outside of our room (803!). We were allowed to paint it and both loved the idea of doing something beachy. Even though people consider me “artsy” (haha j/k) I’m far from it. I don’t think I did ANY of this painting!!! I do think that was the day of our only argument though, and I can’t even remember what it was about. 

Our dorm room! When we got our assignments I offered to take the top bunk. I didn’t mind at all and really loved my little nook. We had community bathrooms. One on each floor. We wore flip flops in the shower and I have fond memories of us both showering in stalls beside each other and talking while we bathed πŸ™‚ Dad and I bought majority of my dorm stuff on move-in weekend because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect prior to getting there. Plus Kim and I divided up some shared stuff we had to buy so we had to just get it then! 

Yes, Johnny Knoxville on my ceiling. Don’t hate!

Kim’s side of the room!

I cannot BELIEVE I fit so much of my stuff in that tiny space and shared it with someone! We had one sink and a small fridge in the room. We each had a dresser and a TINY closet. I left most of my stuff at my dad’s and would change out clothes when I went to visit him. Kim and I had stuff crammed in every little corner of that room!

Random food, lotion, probably dirty bowls from some Ramen Noodles…very clean work environment, right?

Haha I have NO CLUE what this is but I love all the food stacked up behind me. I think I lived off poptarts and Ramen that semester! And Pokey Sticks…LOTS of Pokey Sticks!!!

We even did our laundry together in the basement of the dorms!

Our hall was pretty great. We had some activities to bring us all closer together but I didn’t make super long lasting friendships with many of the other girls. I don’t remember being involved in any hardcore drama or anything (perks of not being in a sorority for sure) but I was also always a “one friend” type person so I had Kim and didn’t really try to reach out to a lot of other girls. 

We learned how to french braid…see I DO have hair skills haha

Being silly girls!

With our RA…I think her name was Maggie? Goodness I have no clue!

Other than Kim my other closest friend from that year was Andy. And like Kim, we keep in touch via Facebook (thank the LORD for social networking!). Andy was a GREAT friend to me and we always had such a fun time together! Like I said, Kim had friends from her high school with us at college and it worked out that I had such a good bond with Andy as I never felt left out when Kim and her other friends hung out! 

With Andy’s roommate, Jessica I think her name was?

I was friendly with some other girls from our hall and hung out with them on occasion but none were long lasting friendships…like I can’t remember majority of their names nor am I even facebook friends with them! 

A lot of the classes I took that year were MASSIVE. Like the “Baby Bio” course I took had 1500 kids in it. Yes, 1500. I didn’t really have a chance to meet a lot of people during my classes especially since they were so large. And majority of the classes I took were basic stuff that everyone had to take so I wasn’t in a specific major with a specific group of people (I was undecided in my major for a lonnnnng time. I mean I knew I was just in college to get that MRS degree!). I did enjoy making friends in my Honors classes though and Bryce was probably my best guy pal that year!

More with the girls!

My days at FSU were not like what I assume most people experience in college. In high school I was never very wild. I’ve never smoked a cigarette or tried any drugs and even my “wild days” with drinking were probably under ten times total. I have been drunk but it always made me SO NERVOUS. Alcoholism runs in our family line (both sides of it) and I have a VERY addictive personality. I knew that about myself and was always nervous that I’d have an issue with it. I wasn’t one of those girls who lost control when I did drink…in fact, I was the annoying friend who kept saying “Guys, we gotta go. We have an 8:00 class tomorrow!” Haha. Legit, on more than one occasion I was referred to as “the mom” of the group. I also didn’t get what is known as “beer goggles” if anything the times I did drink I became less sweet to guys than I was without drinking. I was SO worried some dude would try to take advantage of me that I was straight up RUDE to every single one of them haha. 

I became a Christian that following year (post to come someday about my testimony!) and if I’d been a Christian my year at FSU would have gone differently. I am thankful I wasn’t very crazy but I hope my own children know the Lord and strive to be like Him in all things and avoid that type of behavior completely. I am thankful though that I DID experience “the world” and some “worldly things.” Zach was raised in the church and has always stayed pretty much on the straight and narrow and I think it’s good that I have experienced more worldly stuff so I can relate more to our children when they are faced with those temptations, ya know? I also do think coming to know Christ and share a relationship with Him at an older age gives me SUCH an appreciation and fire for it.  I have been lost and I am so grateful to be found πŸ™‚

Anyways…I’m not sure why I decided to write all of that at this point in the post since I wasn’t being wild in any of these pictures but whatever!! It’s my blog and rambling is totally allowed πŸ™‚ 

I LOVED live music from a pretty early age (I think I went and saw Alanis Morisette for the first time when I was in elementary school!) and was excited when Hoobastank came to campus and did a free concert! I also went that year to see John Mayer when he came through Tallahassee. Can I just say I was mega disappointed with him live? He didn’t do anything special at all and didn’t play my favorite song (“Comfortable”) so I was bitter!

We saw this guy at the John Mayer concert who looked like he could be Ben Affleck’s dang TWIN!

So many kids came to FSU the same semester we did that the dorms legit ran out of space. Our dorm had this HUGE room that they stuck a bunch of guys in as like a holding space until rooms became available. As a parent looking back…I’d be mega ticked to be spending all that money on housing to have my kid stuck in some random huge space with a ton of other guys? Wouldn’t you? Somehow Kim and I became friends with the guys in Room 317 (yes, I remember the room number b/c we always just called them 317). We hung out in there a good bit (probably good for me that I couldn’t smell huh?) I’m not one to kiss and tell but I’ll admit it, we both kissed a couple of the guys. I’ll let you guess which! πŸ™‚  As housing was found each guy would leave the room never to be heard from again. At least we never talked to any of them I don’t think once they left? The only one I stayed in touch with was my friend (and not on the kissing list…although I had a mega crush on him!) Yamil (pronounced Jamil). We were good friends and continued to be so even after the 317 days. I actually still had his number in my phone for a long time as I would ALWAYS butt dial him since his name started with a “Y” haha. 

The McDonald’s was a fav hang out for sure as it was right across from campus and open 24 hours and…it was CHEAP πŸ™‚

It was a great time at FSU but it was often lonely for me. Not having anyone there from my past was pretty tough. Mark was my high school boyfriend and we broke up “for good” after Senior Prom. We legit didn’t even talk hardly at all  the summer between senior year of high school and freshman year of college but I called him to say goodbye right before I moved and BAM we talked all night and ended up dating again haha. I think a lot of that time period in our relationship was just a security blanket for me of sorts. I’d been with him since December of my sophomore year in high school. He was that source of comfort for me while I was away at school. I’m sure that normalcy that we provided in each others lives was a comfort for us BOTH and not just me! We were together during that time (technically even when I met Zach) but we had what I guess you’d define as an “open relationship” (at least if we had Facebook back then we would have totally put that as our relationship status!). Whatever it was, it worked for us and we did make an effort to see each other pretty often during my first semester. I went back home once or twice a month and he’d also come down to stay with me. 

My brother also came to visit and I took him to a FSU game with me and he enjoyed the attention from all the college girls! Although my “wild days” may not have been very wild, I do very much so regret the little bit he was part of when he came on that visit. I’ll forever feel that guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach when I remember that. As an older sibling it’s a responsibility to be that example for the younger ones and to lead them on the path they should follow! I’m thankful I was able to make up for that mistake later on in life when I became a Christian πŸ™‚ And I’m especially thankful that the Lord washes away past sins!!!

A tradition for FSU guests was to swim in the fountain! It was a must-do for sure and a favorite thing of mine to experience πŸ™‚ I’m all about making some memories!

From childhood to beyond Jonathan was one of my very best friends. He is my cousin and I miss him so, so much. Looking at these pictures makes me sad as I wish we still had that closeness. He came up to visit me and actually ended up moving to Tallahassee that following year (which I had already transferred up to Valdosta at that point). It was so great having him visit with me and showing him around campus! 

A couple of my guy friends from high school also came down for a football game and to visit. They both attended VSU and are actually the reason Zach and I met! Thanks Jared and Bryan (and Scott too but he didn’t come visit me so he doesn’t get a shout-out haha). They were in bowling class with Zach and introduced us. Maybe someday I’ll tell that story πŸ™‚

This game was the one where Bobby Bowden became the most winningest coach in college football…at least for a little bit!

Had to take ’em for a dip in the fountain of course!

Once Zach and I met I had very little to do with college life at FSU. I only had classes on Tues-Thur so I’d leave Thur after class and go to Valdosta then come back early Tuesday morning before my first class. I fell quick for that boy and I fell hard, huh? πŸ˜‰ I was a member of a group called Lady Spirithunters. I remember there was an interview process to be allowed to join and I got picked. It was a group with the goal of spreading school spirit, I think? I only attended a handful of meetings (SLACK I know!) and only one event they hosted. It was some bonfire thing and Zach came down to go with me. It just wasn’t my kind of scene, or Zach’s for that matter! I also did stuff with the housing department at FSU and gave tours and such of our dorms and around campus. I REALLY loved that. Taking the tour on my orientation day was what made me fall in love with Kellum Hall and I enjoyed interacting with parents and future students! I loved it so much that I also started giving tours once I went to VSU πŸ™‚ 

FSU Baseball Game!

ZACH hahahah

I spread the Seminole love to all my family whenever I’d go visit! I went to Melbourne that year for Thanksgiving and went to a local bar with my mom, Jonathan, and Nana to watch the FSU/UF game. I can’t remember anything about the game at all. We may have even lost? It was a fun time though!

Teaching Jonathan how to do the Seminole Chop

Sweet Nana, I miss you!

Papa passed away early the next year and this was our last Christmas together. 

I bought my dad a brick at FSU and even found it and took a picture of it for him!

While my time at FSU was short lived, I really am so thankful I decided to go there. The campus is BEAUTIFUL and I have great memories walking to and from class looking around at my surroundings and just appreciating the moment for what it was. Grasping that I was at the true beginning of my life and that the decisions I was making would shape the rest of my future. Seeing the beautiful trees and old buildings and just being so thankful to have the opportunity to be there in that very moment. I enjoyed my classes (I made straight A’s my first semester! After meeting Zach though…I had my worst semester of my entire college career: 3 B’s!). I enjoyed meeting new people. I enjoyed the overall college experience! 

I loved this area of campus! They would have booths set up with people selling things and, of course, I ate at good ole RFOC (you can only guess the names we’d give the dining hall!) for pretty much every meal since I had the dining plan. That food was LEGIT. I especially remember the few times they’d stay open late and serve breakfast, it was always a fun treat. And yes, I totally gained the freshman 15 πŸ™‚

I may have transferred schools prior to my sophomore year but I’ll ALWAYS be a Seminole πŸ™‚ I’m so glad that Zach shares my love of FSU and that we’re able to continue the Seminole tradition with our children. GO NOLES! 


  1. Larissa Gutu
    September 6, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    This totally takes me back to freshman year at UGA with Val! Good times!

  2. Amanda Kines-Phillips
    September 6, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    You KNOW I love this post!!! I think it's kinda cool how you went to FSU (sometimes I feel like I actually live there as much as I'm in Tally!) and we share that same love for FSU! πŸ™‚

  3. Andy
    September 6, 2013 / 8:20 pm

    Oh man. It's flooding back…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *