By WENDY PARKULO / Staff Writer
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the University of Georgia for their UGA Swim Club Tacky Christmas in September Invitational with 14 other club swimmers from FSU. Competing against roughly 10 other universities in a laid-back, no pressure environment allowed all in attendance to have a great time coming together over a sport they love. It was so amazing to see so many people come together just to swim: no coaches or parents forcing anyone to do anything. The meet featured events not usually in competition such as 25 yard races of every stroke which added an extra level of fun to the event. These races also encouraged some untraditional behaviors such as front-flips for dives and even an appearance by Yoda (a swimmer racing in a full-body Yoda onesie). The unconventional Christmas theme led to some stellar “All I Want for Christmas is You” sing-alongs as well. The atmosphere was one of pure fun and was a welcome respite from the stress of a college semester now in full swing.
College is all about making friends, finding what you’re passionate in, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. This trip accomplished all three for me. I swam for my high school team but I was never great by any means. I worried that I wouldn’t be fast enough or wouldn’t be able to fit into a college environment, but the Swim Club at FSU has been one of the most welcoming groups of people I have ever been introduced to. With the 10 hours of driving to and from Athens, Georgia there was plenty of time to bond with those in my car through playing Beanboozled (a game of chance involving the possibility of consuming some very disgusting flavors of jelly beans) or creating a full air band to rock out to Bohemian Rhapsody. We also had multiple team meals including a two-hour rest stop at a Cracker Barrel in Macon, Georgia in which I probably consumed half my body weight (but hey I swam this weekend right?). It was definitely a trip I won’t soon forget.
I highly recommend to everyone to join some sort of sport club on campus. The swim club is pretty rad but I totally understand if you don’t want all that H2O exposure. There is bound to be something on campus that suits your interests but if there isn’t then you can always start something new. Sometimes it is difficult to get into a good workout routine in college with so many distractions but this club has been the perfect motivation for me to stay in shape as well as being a perfect outlet to meet some great friends. I hope that everyone can find a group of people that they are as comfortable with as I am with the Swim Club. Stay healthy Noles!