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Don’t Blink!

It is that time of the year when perhaps one of the most bittersweet times of the year takes place: the end of the spring semester.  There is always, at least for me- the anxiety to see my family in Virginia, to start the summer, but yet the slight sadness of being away from the place that I also call home now, for three months.

This time around seemed to be particularly special- I think seeing many of my good friends graduating and leaving the 40 Acres made me think of how close I am myself to that day. Exactly a year from now I will be the one walking across the stage, graduating from college, and becoming the first one to do so in my family.

It is hard to believe that just three years ago I was packing to make the big move to Austin, unsure of how long I would last being away from home, and with the big scary “will I ever make friends” thought. Well, I have lasted three years and that’s no longer in question, and the thought on friends, soon faded away. Each one of the past three years have been special in its own way, and this one was no exception. While some things stay the same year after year, new people have come into my life each year, they’ve helped me grow, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve fallen, but I’ve also succeeded and picked myself back up and learned more than a few lessons. This year has had plenty of that and many moments that will go on that “book” of big memorable things, or that big scrapbook I’ve been keeping since my freshman year. And perhaps because this year was that special, it was also why it was so hard to leave for what seems like a long time now, but will fly by and when I least expect it it will be August and it will be time to step foot on the 40 Acres again and be reunited with friends, have a new fresh start at school, and make the most of my senior year in college.

Before I close my last entry as one of your Longhorn Confidential bloggers, here is a look back at this year…

Read more about my Fall Semester in this entry.

Football Season- it took me two years but I finally (as a result of positive peer pressure) got season tickets, which secured me a seat at every football game this season. It was probably the most well spent extra $80 dollars (in addition to the Longhorns All Sports Package which gives you entry to all athletic events and to enter the draw for football tickets). Tip: if you can get season tickets, even if not during your first year, do it before you graduate. Going to football games is something that you want to experience at UT, regardless of how much you know of the sport itself (it took me a while to understand it), it is the place where everyone in the UT community comes together as one, and the spirit is something that you can’t compare.

View of the audience from my section

View of the audience from my section

Jimmy and I at TX/OSU Football Game

Jimmy and I at TX/OSU Football Game

Nick, Anna, Jimmy, and I at the Texas v Texas A&M game.

Nick, Anna, Jimmy, and I at the Texas v Texas A&M game.

My year with the UT Student Volunteer Board - The multiple hours of serving as the communications director, tabling, sending weekly newsletters, meetings, paid off in the growth we saw in students who started volunteering with us this year. And on a more personal note, serving on the Board with people who were as passionate towards service as I am and the new friendships I built with my fellow Board members, many of who graduated this year, was priceless. Although I will no longer serve on the Board next year after three years of involvement- as a result of being serious about evaluating my commitments and priorities for my last year in school, which is something that I hadn’t had the opportunity to really sit down and think through before- I know that the strength of the new leaders will continue to contribute to the success and growth of SVB beyond what our team did this year. Tip: Find a student organization that matches your interests! Chances are, the people involved in it will also be as passionate and you’ll have the opportunity to build new friendships that way.

2008-2009 SVB Executive Board

2008-2009 SVB Executive Board

Lee Roy- est. Fall 2006?

Lee Roy- est. Fall 2006?

Rapoport Service Scholars- Not your typical scholarship program!  More like this family of incredibly passionate individuals and many of whom have turned into some of my closest friends (not all pictured below).

Rapoport Service Scholars at Annual Retreat

Rapoport Service Scholars at Annual Retreat

A year with the Leadership and Ethics Institute also known as: a big part of my support system, some of my closest friends, and some of the best memories built this year…and many more to come next year!

Mykel

Mykel

LEAP mentors and Leadership Coordinators at the Mentor Retreat in the Fall

LEAP mentors and Leadership Coordinators at the Mentor Retreat in the Fall

Jimmy and Ryan- my LEAP Co-Chairs- before the LEAP Graduation- the ones who REALLY had to put up with me for a whole year! (and they still have another year with me...)

Jimmy and Ryan- my LEAP Co-Chairs- before the LEAP Graduation- the ones who REALLY had to put up with me for a whole year! (and they still have another year with me...)

Big moments of my spring semester…

On a more personal note: the start of something new. I never spoke on the big relationships topic throughout my blog, but prospective students have asked about this before. The tip on this one? It may take some time to build , but if it really does feels right, if you set your priorities straight, let it be… believe me, it can make a huge positive impact in you and your experience :)

At Orange and White Ball with Jimmy

At Orange and White Ball with Jimmy

-Participating in the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in Austin

-Student Government Elections

-Being appointed along with Chad as Directors of the Underrepresented Student Recruitment and Retention Agency in Student Government.

-Leadership Education And Progress (LEAP)

-Receiving the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award from the Volunteer and Service Learning Center

With Meera (2009-2010 SVB Vice-Chair) at the Tower Awards ceremony, where we were both recognized for our volunteer work

With Meera (2009-2010 SVB Vice-Chair) at the Tower Awards ceremony, where we were both recognized for our volunteer work

-Orange and White Ball, Barbara Jordan statue unveiling, Sugarland concert

-Receiving the Ted Strauss Civic Internship Award

-Realizing that I have a big support system at UT

-Learning to find a balance between school, involvement, and also leaving time for friends, family, and Cecilia.

-Being quoted on CNN about Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

-Building new friendships, and strengthening old ones.

-Learning that it’s okay to make mistakes, the key is to learn from them, rise again, and come back even stronger!

To look forward to this summer and next Fall…

-My summer internship at the Hispanic College Fund as a Government Relations Fellow

-Summer with mom and dad

-Working on my Clinton Global Initiative commitment

-Preparing for the GRE

-Reuniting with friends in the Fall – including Felicia who was away in Mexico this semester

-Moving into my very first apartment, yes…finally living off campus after three years in Jester West, in the same room. What’s most exciting…moving in with one of my closest friends, Pearl, and in turn also being closer to Regina who will be living a few blocks away from us.

-More new memories with my team and friends in the Leadership and Ethics Institute

-Starting new initiatives through the Underrepresented Student Recruitment and Retention Agency with Chad

-Making a decision on where I want to see myself after graduation next year

…and above all, making the very most out of all that comes with next year- as it is bound to be a special one.

One final note

This is bittersweet. I am excited to see our new bloggers for next year who will share their experiences during their journey at UT. On the other hand, it’s bittersweet to make this my very last entry. Thank you for staying tuned to my entries- I hope that they gave you the “behind the scenes” look at college life that Longhorn Confidential is meant to do. I hope you learned something here and there from all of us, from our experiences, but always remember, that your college experience, no matter where, will be unique. Hopefully these entries also made you think about how you could also make of The University of Texas at Austin, your home for perhaps four of the most memorable years of your life.

As this entry also closes my third year in school… thank you to those of you who make up my support network at UT…you know exactly who you are and it is thanks to you that I am able to call UT my true home away from home, you are the ones who are making this experience beyond priceless and memorable each day.

Thank you to those of you who are making this experience possible for me by providing me extra encouragement, the financial support I need, and the guidance to make this a successful journey. To my support network at home, you, too, know who you are, I probably would not be where I am today if it wasn’t in part for your unconditional support. To the Longhorn Confidential team, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences and to do some self-reflection on them as I prepared each entry.

And last but certainly not least- mom and dad… the past three years definitely would have not been possible if it wasn’t for you letting me grow wings to come this far! Thank you for despite the 1,500 miles that separate us each year, keeping us close, and for being as supportive as you are- I am probably the luckiest child to have you as my parents. We have one more year to go! And I’ll say this in advance, that when I receive my diploma next May, you are also graduating with me.  Thank you for believing in me, and for most of the times, believing in me more than I even do.

Though my time as a Longhorn Confidential blogger has concluded, I still remain accessible via e-mail, please don’t hesitate to contact me  – I am always, always available to answer your questions. I can be reached at cecilialopez@mail.utexas.edu.

And of course, one more time…

Lesson #_____: Don’t blink! Time flies by, and you don’t want to miss a thing.

Hook’em!

-Cecilia

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June 1, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post

6 Comments to Don’t Blink!

I truly enjoyed reading every SINGLE one of your entries:) I seriously am very glad that you’re part of my UT family! You’re an amazing individual!

June 4, 2009
— Berenice Medellin
 

Another great entry! Sad that is the last, but that just means we’re that much closer to graduation. Can you believe it?

Cecilia, you really have accomplished so much in your time at UT. Keep up the amazing work and I’ll see you in the Fall!

June 4, 2009
— Thomas Close
 

Wow looks like u had an amazing time at UT, I’m glad you were able to have this blog because I really did get to learn more about the inside college experience…you are truly inspirational. Keep on doing what you do.

PS- I love that last quote… :)

June 4, 2009
— Karen G
 

I’ve enjoyed following your blog. Best of luck to next year’s bloggers.

http://www.utexas.edu

August 7, 2009
— Wilson
 

Ceci, estamos orgullosos de aquel dia…hace tres años cuando decidimos dejarte volar. Nunca cortaremos tus alas, esto es parte de tu felicidad y tus sueños (y los nuestros ). Te queremos tal y como sos no hay nada que cambiariamos jamas, sos la hija que cualquier padre desearia tener. Se feliz!

August 22, 2009
— MAMA Y PAPA
 

nice quote

February 17, 2010
— wendy campos
 
photo of Cecilia