A Wildcat weekend

May 3, 2018

It’s that time of year when seniors everywhere are going to take that next step in their lives. Whether that is going to university or college, military, straight into the workforce or another future path, seniors at our school are starting to celebrate or are planning to celebrate! For my best friend, Cayla Vaughan and I, we were lucky to be able to celebrate being admitted to a university together.

We were both accepted into the University of Arizona (UA). I am going to study Pre-Neuroscience and Cognitive Science with an emphasis in Aging and Development while Vaughan is going to study Special Education with a Deaf Studies emphasis. UA held an Admitted Student Day on April 14 this year that was dedicated to the students that were admitted, and we got the opportunity to go and have a wonderful experience and at the same time, be able to know what to expect when we move in and become Wildcats in the fall.

Since Vaughan and I wanted to go together, we thought that it would be a good idea for us to have a sleepover at my house so that my dad, who was going to drive from Tucson to Surprise to pick us up, didn’t have to make two trips. We tried to save as much time as possible.

Even though Vaughan and I had to wake up at 3:45 a.m. just to be able to get picked up at 5:00 a.m. and get to the event on time, we were still wide awake and talkative throughout the night because our overall excitement for the next 24 hours was through the roof. We just couldn’t wait to see what our future school had in store for us.

Fast forward to when we finally arrived at the University of Arizona. One would think that parking was going to be a pain, but lucky for us, we actually got one of the closest parking spots on the first floor, even though there was a long line for people that wanted to park! However, it was an unexpectedly long walk from the parking garage to the basketball stadium. The sidewalk was filled with UA students holding huge arrows, and giving us the directions. To be honest, I’m pretty sure that we were just following the huge crowd that was going in the same direction we were going.

At first, we thought that it was going to be an experience that only college students would enjoy and that parents wouldn’t really want to stay. However, that idea vanished when we entered the stadium to see the thousands of people in their seats, upcoming college freshmen with their family by their side. At that moment, I was very thankful and relieved that I didn’t tell my dad that Vaughan and I could go alone. However, some of these student were by themselves because they decided to drive down from their state to attend this event. I seriously give a lot of props to those students because it might have felt overwhelming for them to see the amount of people that were there and have no one to share the experience with.

In the stadium, there was the UA band, the lovely university mascot couple, Wilbur and Wilma the Wildcats, and multiple speakers that pumped us up and made everyone in the audience excited to become a Wildcat! Many games were held where random audience members would play games and win scholarship money. It was crazy! I would have honestly participated but the amount of eyes that would have been on me was too much for me to handle if I actually went through with it. However, to the brave souls that did participate in the games, it was really funny to watch them and it was overall a joyful experience.

Before we knew it, Vaughan and I noticed that people were starting to get out of their seat and heading for the doors. We wondered why they were leaving so early, then it just hit us. When the speakers announce that it’s end of the show, the crowd is going to try to get up and leave the stadium all at once. We had to act fast. We quickly got out of our seats, and proceeded to exit the stadium. A lot of people were thinking the same thing we were thinking, so it did take awhile for us to actually exit the building.

The sun was blazing that day, so the UA provide cute little water bottles that were absolutely free! We were in this sea of people trying to find what the next activity is and finally we saw a sign that said “Tour tickets.” Vaughan and I rushed to that area to see that 50+ people beat us to it. Even though the line was painful to stand in, we were just lucky that when we finally got to the ticket booth, they weren’t sold out on the specific dorm ticket that we wanted to see. Vaughan and I wish to live in the Manzanita – Mohave dorm halls, more commonly known as Manzi-Mo. Before this trip, we only got to see pictures of everything, and when we actually got to see the inside of our dream dorm, it was so eye opening to us. The actual dorm room was bigger than we expected and it was so cool to see all the different rooms in person.

 

Vaughan and I visiting the U of A bookstore for the third time in an hour.

I think that the one place that Vaughan and I enjoyed visiting the most during Student Admitted Day was the campus bookstore. I know, call us nerds, but we were so fascinated with all of the school supplies, clothes, accessories, and items that were either Tuscon or UA related. If we had the ability to buy everything in that store, we would do it in a heartbeat. After our multiple trips, I ended up getting some U of A labeled school supplies, socks, and a lanyard, while Cayla got a mini UA lanyard and Tucson inspired magnets. I think it’s safe to say that Vaughan and I are going to spend all of our time in the bookstore when we start school there in the fall.

 

Before we knew it, we had completed all of the things that we wanted to accomplish at Student Admitted Day and it was overall a huge success. We left the campus and went back to my dad’s place around 2:30 p.m. and PASSED OUT the second we set foot into the apartment. The level of exhaustion can’t even be described with words. We just wanted to relax and get some rest because we knew that we needed to get some energy for the final event that was also going to take place that evening, the biggest student ran carnival in the entire country, UA Spring Fling!

 

Between Admitted Student Day and Spring Fling, if I had to choose which one was better, I would have to say, hands down, Spring Fling. It was just my best friend and I, literally having the time of our lives. It was like we already belonged to that school. Being surrounded by college students and having a blast riding all of the rides is a memory I can never forget. I can say that I saw many interesting things that night that were a first for me. From the guy protesting about Jesus to the angry college girl who swears that she was overcharged and was ready to fight the ticket lady, there were many unexpected situations that I encountered that Vaughan and I just laughed about later on.

During Spring Fling, we got to go on rides that we never would have thought we’d have the opportunity of enjoying. You see, every single one of my family members hate roller coasters and carnival rides. To me, it’s not fun to go on a roller coaster or a ride if you don’t have a person to share the experience with. Even though Vaughan is my best friend, I never knew that she loved rides and roller coasters as much as I do. With our 40 tickets, we got to go on rides that made us uncontrollably scream and laugh at the top of our lungs. A ride that I’ll always remember from Spring Fling is a ride called “Alien Invasion”. When Vaughan first described it to me as we were walking towards it, I understood that we were going to be spun around at an intense speed. HOWEVER, after already giving away my 10 tickets to the ticket guy, as I was going inside the spinning top looking ride, it came to my attention that there were NO SEATS or BARS to hold on to. The first question that came to my head was “Ummmm, are we safe?”

This is what Alien Invasion looks like; its a very popular ride amongst carnivals all over the United States.

Vaughan explained to me that I just need to lean up against the wall and physics will do the rest. Let’s just say, I didn’t sign up for that. As the ride was starting to spin slowly, I had to just suck it up and pray I don’t pass out. The ride was starting to spin faster and faster and my feet started to get off the ground. It felt like I was glue to the wall and my body was slowly moving up as the ride’s rotation increased in speed. While all of this commotion was going on, it felt like someone forgot to pay the electric bill because lights were flashing everywhere, of all of the colors you can think of. However, don’t trust me on that because my eyes were mostly shut the whole time as I was filling the room with screams. Even though this ride genuinely scared the life out of me, I also uncontrollable laughed at one point in the ride because to the left of me, I saw this 6 ‘5 college guy being squished at the top of the ride because of how tall he was. Again, all of our feet were off the ground, and unfortunately for my tall riend here, he wasn’t having it.

After getting off the ride, I can see the swarm of people leaving in a zigzag motion out the door. All I could do was thank Vaughan for recommending “Alien Invasion” because it’s been awhile since I’ve had that much fun.

Vaughan’s favorite ride was the “Superman” ride. We laid down on our stomachs and were harnessed in. The ride began to spin and slowly rise off the ground. Vaughan felt like she was actually flying.

The one thing that I would honestly change about Spring Fling is the cost of the food and drinks. You had to pay by tickets! You couldn’t pay for the food with money!  That made me a little irritated because at the end of the night, I was left with 3 tickets that only got me a can of soda.

Student Admitted Day and Spring Fling was such an amazing experience, and I’m just so happy that I got to share it with my best friend and future roommate Cayla Vaughan. So watch out Arizona, Wildcats are soon going to be on the loose! Bear Down!

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