Spring Toward Success


Photo by Unsplash

Emma Diehl, Contributing Writer

Spring 2023 was filled with many challenges, ups and downs, and contained several important milestones. I have taken some time to reflect on some of the best memories from my semester.

One of my favorite moments happened standing in line for Starbucks at the campus library back at the very beginning of the semester. I had been waiting to hear back about whether I got an internship since October and I received the email of my dreams; “Congratulations on your admission to the Washington Center!” This meant that I would get to spend my summer working on policy in Washington, D.C., living in the District and exploring the city while gaining work experience that would be invaluable down the road in law school. Fast forward to today, and I am a policy intern for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, living in D.C. with my dog Cricket and our three roommates, and I’m attending regular hearings/meetings on Capitol Hill at least two days a week!

Another one (or really two) of my favorite memories from the spring term came from my work with the FGCU Honors College. As an undergraduate researcher through the Honors College, I was presented with the opportunity to attend both the Florida Collegiate Honors Council (FCHC) Research Conference in Orlando, Florida, as well as the Southern Regional Honors Conference for Research in Charlotte, North Carolina. At these conferences, I had the opportunity to explore the cities with my peers, got to know like-minded individuals from all over and presented my research on the college campus sexual assault crisis. I was even elected to the position of four-year public university representative for FCHC, which will allow me to represent my peers and plan next year’s honors conference in my hometown of Tampa, Florida.

Finally, I loved attending Rally in Tally, a less than 48-hour experience where five Student Government officials (including myself) flew to Tallahassee, Florida and met with representatives from student governments at all 12 public state university system schools. Student representatives were broken down into groups, with each team comprising members of at least five different member universities and were sent to the state capitol to meet with legislators. We discussed the mental health crisis facing Florida college students, as well as the food insecurity that roughly one in two students face while in college. The representatives were eager to hear from us, and we were eager to have our voices heard. To this day, the Florida state legislature continues to work on legislation to address food insecurities and mental health care for our students.

All in all, the spring semester was filled with success stories, and I cannot wait to see what the fall semester holds for all of us here at FGCU.