Now, for most of us, the four years (or five for some) that we spent in college resembled some version of the movie Animal House. While you may have never found yourself on “double-secret probation” there was beer pong, pizza, ramen noodles, more beer pong, late nights and did I mention drinking?
Homework and studying were put off until the last minute and red bull or coffee became your best friend for the night as you burned the midnight oil in the library. Despite having to work harder than you ever had in your entire life, they don’t call college the best four years of your life for nothing; did we mention the beer pong yet?
Finally, years and years of hard work culminates into one afternoon.
Putting on that funny looking hat, slipping on graduation robes and getting the chance to walk across that stage to be acknowledged for the greatest achievement you have accomplished up to that point in your life is a moment every college graduate will cherish forever.
Now take what I said about the college experience and throw it out the window. This story isn’t about how many keg stands you did in college, or that eating contest you won. Are there even any real winners in an eating competition? It’s about the men and women who gave up the chance at having a typical college experience for the opportunity to represent their school on the playing field, court, course, pool, diamond or track.
Now, I’m not saying that these kids didn’t enjoy the full college experience. For many of them, they’re college experience was as enriching and enjoyable as yours or mine, if not more so. Having been both a student athlete and just a student, I know first hand how different the two lifestyles can be.
6 a.m. workouts, followed by class, a quick lunch before another practice, back to class and then you try to squeeze in any homework you can before your eyelids become heavier than all the weight you lifted in the gym that day.
Is it seriously only 9 p.m.? It feels like midnight!
I’m not saying you won’t find student athletes wandering around midtown, if they’re of legal drinking age of course, but when you’re peeling yourself out of bed at noon the next morning, just know that they’ve already put in a full days work.
That’s the life of the student athlete. They have to completely dedicate themselves to school, while basically working a full time job to stay competitive and play a sport at Florida. It is no easy feat, to put it lightly.
So when these athletes complete both their playing and academic careers, they deserve an extra level of recognition.
The University of Florida proudly graduated 57 student athletes this weekend. From football stars to golfers alike, all were awarded degrees signaling the completion of their collegiate studies.
For some, you have already thanked them with your applause and fandom while attending games. For others, this may be the first time you have ever heard their name. Whatever the case may be, they are all student athletes at the university you love and they deserve to have their moment in the sun.
Here is a list of all 57 graduates and their major.
Vickash Ramjit – Geography
Cody Dent – Sport Management
Buddy Munroe – Anthropology
Kenny Boynton – Sociology
Erik Murphy – Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Mike Rosario – Criminology
Stephen Alli – Psychology
Tim Clark – Sport Management
Christopher Guido – Health Science
Kedric Johnson – Anthropology
Scott Peek – Sport Management
Jesse Schmitt – Economics and Political Sciences
Tommy Mau – Anthropology
Isabelle Lendl – Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
Mia Piccio – Psychology
Nicole Ellis – Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
Ashley Bruns – History
Cara Canington – Sport Management
Caroline Chesterman – Telecommunication
Kitty Cullen – Criminology
Brittany Dashiell – Health Science
Emily Dohony – Criminology
Sam Farrell – Family, Youth and Community Services
Erin Graziano – Family, Youth and Community Services
Mikey Meagher – Criminology
Jamie Reeg – Health Education and Behavior
Colby Rhea – Family, Youth and Community Services
Kayla Stolins – Criminology
Gaby Wiegand – Sociology
Jo Dragotta – Anthropology
Holly King – Elementary Education
Kelsey Horton – Food Science and Human Nutrition
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Rodion Davelaar – Industrial and Systems Engineering
Brian Howell – Biology
Gabriel Huen – Food and Resource Economics
Cameron Martin – Zoology
Sean Saley – Food and Resource Economics
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Sarra Lajnef – Political Science
Sharla Milne – Health Education and Behavior
Billy Federhofer – Telecommunication
Men’s Track and Field
Zane Breakiron – Family, Youth and Community Sciences
Josh Izewski – Food and Resource Economics
Max Lang – Statistics
Kemal Mesic – Anthropology
Jeremy Postin – Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Bryan Turner – Botany
Terrell Wilks – Family, Youth and Community Sciences
Women’s Track and Field
Callie Cooper – Horticultural Sciences
Kaitlin Davis – Psychology and Microbiology
Monique Harris – History
Dierdre Lee – Health Education and Behavior
Paige Morton – Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Alexis Muniz – Animal Sciences
Mandy Perkins – Telecommunication
Caitlin Schuessler – Criminology and Anthropology
Chloe Martin – Business Administration
Sundai Weston – Public Relations
While Vitamin C’s song “Friends Forever” seems to be the popular song choice around commencement time, I’ve always enjoyed GreenDay’s “Good Riddance” more.
“Another Turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time.”
On behalf of Gator Nation, we thank you for the time, blood, sweat and tears you put into your craft over the past four years. You are the reason Gator fans are so rabid about their school and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life.”