People say college is the best four years of your life, and looking back on the greatest freshman year, I am so excited to see what else Gainesville has in store for me. I am Haley Madden and as a student and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, freshman year was definitely a busy one. I always found myself balancing school work, social events, and club obligations. However, learning to juggle all of these responsibilities taught me a lot about myself and allowed me to form connections with friends who are now such a special part of my life. Although everyday at UF is different and exciting, there are some specific things that became routine and I am here to take you through A Day In the Life as a Gator.
Personally, every productive day starts with a refreshing iced coffee, so most mornings I find myself heading straight to the Norman Library Starbucks. It is the perfect study spot for a student in Greek life because it is based right near Sorority Row, and for me is a quick walk to the Kappa Alpha Theta house. I grab my coffee, head upstairs to the second floor, and find a quiet desk to get started on some work and attend virtual classes.
Then at around noon, I make my way to the Kappa Alpha Theta house for lunch. I love having meals at the house, because it allows my friends and I to catch up about the night before, and take a break from school work for a little while. It is so refreshing to see everyone, because at such a big school, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Having a place to go where I know there will always be a friendly face is such a great feeling. Whether it’s grilled cheese and tomato soup, or burrito bowls, I always enjoy my meals at the house, and I love sitting in the dining room getting carried away in stories.
After lunch some days I sit on “Theta Beach” with my friends and we do school work together. Other days, l go to Student Rec Center to get a workout in. I love taking spin classes with my friends, or even just doing a simple 12-3-30 on the treadmill because the gym always helps me feel motivated and productive. Sometimes, I will stop at Shake Smart on the way home and treat myself to a smoothie at the Student Union or even Jamba Juice on campus.
Once I am back in my room, I shower and figure out that night's plans. If I have time, I will get some more schoolwork done. Then, at around 6:00 my friend picks me up on her scooter and we head to the house for dinner. The best part about Kappa Alpha Theta dinner is that it includes desserts, and in my opinion, the dirt cups can't be beat.
On Mondays, I stay at the house after dinner for chapter. Other nights, I might have social plans, and if that's the case, I will head back to my room, put on some music and get ready with my friends. If I have club obligations, I will log onto Zoom or make my way to in person meetings. If it's an exam week, I go to the Marston basement and pull out my Study Edge packets. Or some nights when I don’t have any set plans, I will relax, hang out with some friends, and go to bed early.
No matter what I find myself doing, I am always surrounded by the most loving and supportive people who foster my greatest potential. I am so thankful to UF and to Kappa Alpha Theta for making my college experience this far so amazing, and I can’t wait for many more days in my favorite place. Go Gators and TLAM!