9 Things I Miss About Tampa

9 Things I Miss About Tampa

Counting down the hours until I can be reunited.

I’ve been gone from Tampa since December, and I’ve started missing all the things I loved about the city and my school. There are so many things I loved about the city and my campus that I haven’t been able to see or have since I left campus at the end of the fall semester. I’m going on month six away from my second home and I miss it just as much as I miss my hometown. These are all the things I miss from Tampa and my home university, The University of Tampa.

  1. If you know me well, you know the thing I miss the most is the Tampa Bay Lightning.After moving to Tampa for college, I went to my first Lighting game and fell in love with the team. I’ve gone to so many games that the majority of the money I’ve spent in Tampa was on hockey tickets. There’s literally nothing I love more than going to the game and watching the guys play or even just sitting and watch the games. Not being able to watch them play has been a killer for me and I miss it more than anything.
  2. The beautiful UT campus.3. The Caf sandwiches (I love sandwiches).
    1. I’ve had to cook for myself this entire semester, I think I miss not having to cook more than the food on campus itself.
    4. The Taco Bus.
      1. A trip to Taco Bus is time never wasted no matter what time of day. Amazing tacos.

      5. UT soccer and baseball games.

        1. I miss sitting at the games watching the sun set and watching two of my favorite sports. I don’t have many opportunities to sit in the warmth and watch sports here.

        6. The beautiful view from the docks on campus.

        1. Downtown isn’t as busy as everyone thinks but it is one amazing skyline. I miss being able to sit on the river and just look at the skyline more than I thought I would.

        7. The Riverwalk.

        1. I ran here, biked here, walked here at any hour of the day. If I couldn’t sleep I'd walk until I felt tired. The view made runs fly by and made gorgeous spots to watch the sunset.

        8. Bayshore Avenue.

        1. Bayshore is claimed to be the longest continuous sidewalk in the world running 4.5 miles long, which makes it great for walks, runs and biking. It has one of the best views of Tampa at sunrise, the afternoon, sunset and nighttime. The amount of times I’ve biked this or went on walks is ridiculous.

        9. Last but not least, my Greek Life family.

        1. There is nothing I love more than my Greek Life family. My littles, my big, my gbig, and all my sisters hold a special place in my heart. Being separated from them all made me realize how much I love all of them. I miss them with all my heart and count the hours until I get to be reunited with them all again.

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Despite What Their Instagram Shows, No One's Life Is Picture Perfect

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a mere photo can never tell the whole story.

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I can't help but be jealous of my friends or of the various bloggers and celebrities that I follow. I mean, it's hard not to envy them — how could I ever compare with their pristine and perfect lives? Social media depression is a thing, and it haunts me all the time.

I constantly have to ask myself if these people even have any problems in their lives. Why my life can't be as put-together as theirs? Am I the only person facing obstacles?

We say many lies, whether to ourselves or to others, whether big or small. Social media provides an ideal platform to perfect these lies and to create an appearance of perfection. For me, this means making my Instagram feed, Facebook timeline and Snapchat stories look as flawless as possible. After all, I feel obligated to have a perfect social media presence, especially after observing what others post.

The moment of realization really hit me, however, when I saw stumbled upon a friend of a friend of a friend's Facebook profile. He was an attractive star musician with a loving family and circle of friends. As far as I could glean from his timeline, his life was perfect. A great girlfriend, excellent academics, talented at the cello — all ingredients to a successful life. However, as I read the comments on his most recent photos, I realized that he had just recently committed suicide. That got me thinking, if someone's life truly were perfect, why would they kill themselves?

SEE ALSO: Life Is Unfair, But Should We Really Just "Deal With It?"

Slowly, I came to the conclusion that I was not alone in my worries. Because despite the perfect photoshoots or the exotic travels, people were dealing with problems, same as I was. Because despite the extravagant shopping trips or the ideal friends and family, no one's life is perfect.

An old idiom comes to mind that perfectly describes this situation — don't judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, don't judge someone's life by what their social media looks like. After all, in this time and age, social media is essentially a way of "catfishing" other people into believing that someone's life is perfect when really it is just the moment captured in the photo that was perfect. I'll admit, my real life is a far cry from the one I carefully construct on social media. But it's time for me to accept that no one's life is perfect, despite their Twitter posts, Facebook albums or Instagram posts. Yes, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a mere photo can never tell the whole story.
Cover Image Credit: Instagram / Emitaz

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Why Are We Afraid Of Our Fellow Man?

And Other Daily Ruminations

So, if I could, I’d love instead to title this piece, “7 Reasons Why We Are Afraid Of Our Fellow Man.” But I don’t have the answers. In fact, I simply wonder how our society has become the way it is… and maybe, if we can answer this question, we can start looking into answering, “Well, then, what can we maybe do to change things?”

So… wait, what was I going on about again? Ah, right. Our fellow man. Well, as tends to occur, I had another revelation making my way across our beautiful campus today. I was minding my own business, listening to something nice on my wireless and marching along when I began to take notice of the life around me. As I have mentioned in previous articles — I meditate. And if there’s one thing that meditation teaches you it’s to be aware of the present — the sun on your face, the wind caressing your skin, and the thousands of people around you creating that beautiful hustle and bustle that is life.

Well, today, for the first time, I didn’t see that hustle and bustle. I saw a thousand different humans, all with aspirations and families and stories. Humans who woke up with a dream, or maybe today were too tired to dream. The thing is, today, I zoomed in. I started to take note of their expressions. Eyes straight forward, lips sealed. Eyes straight downward, phone in hand -zoned out. Everyone in their own little bubble. Bubbles aren’t bad — I like bubbles. But what is bad is that that bubble is a shield. Walking around, people don’t smile at each other — in fact, they do just about everything to avoid each other’s glances. The only time someone talks to you is either if they know you or to complement your ass. It’s sad.

I remember in high school, you’re always hyper aware of what people think of you. How you look in relation to them, the differences in your speech, your popularity, your family fortune (what fortune? lol). But we’re not in high school anymore. The problem is, at this point, elevator conversations no longer exist. Random friendships made in the street no longer really…exist. We all share at least one mutual friend… our “smart”phone which has done just about everything but make us smart. In no sense do I under-appreciate technology and all it has done for us, but I also cannot ignore that a detrimental repercussion does exist.

I don’t know about you, but I feel that it’s quite wrong that I feel strange publicly starting off into space to enter thought, rather than staring down at my phone to enter Instagram. We’re slowly becoming less human, I think - seeking connection less - now that we coexist comfortably with a telephone is never gonna judge us. We’ve found an easy way out of awkward elevator rides with strangers, of where to look when we walk, but I feel that if anything, the phone has completely hidden from our view the real solution here — to stop being so damn afraid of that spontaneous glance or conversation.

It’s beautiful to walk around and realize that each person you pass has a life of their own, dreams of their own. It’s beautiful to share a smile and maybe even make their day. It’s amazing to make a new friend simply because you ended up riding the same elevator. Stop being so afraid that someone’s going to judge you. If they do, they’re not even worth your thought because they’re immature, and for your information, probably a thousand times more self conscious than you are.

Make friends — I urge you. And I don’t mean on Tinder. Talk to people. There are so, so many incredible individuals out there that have a lot more in common with you than you think, and like you, are probably just scared to start a conversation. Life really becomes beautiful when you actually allow yourself to experience it.

So start doing it. Get out there. Live! And don’t be afraid to start a conversation with an interesting stranger because

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Bernard Baruch-

Cover Image Credit: @littleleeboo

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