Life at FIU

Guest Post: Jay Vanparia, Global First Year student


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During the month of February, we are doing something new here on the blog! We have invited our students to “guest post” and share their favorite FIU/Global First Year memories. Our first guest post is written by Jay Vanparia, one of our students from India.

Picture of Jay Vanparia

“The cold and crisp weather was just beginning to set in during the first week of winter break. Days were short and boring, nights were long and well…..more boring. The whole campus was deserted and the only pastime I had was Netflix. On one such dull and drab day, I was just strolling through the parking lot lazily when I spotted a really rare species. You must be really lucky to spot that species, especially on campus. That particular species is Mr. Hamdan Albalawi. It had been a really long time since I had interacted with any of the guys from Global First year, so he was like a sight for sore eyes. We exchanged warm greetings and got engaged in a conversation which initiated with disclosing our GPAs with top secret confidentiality, but eventually drifted to exchanging our mutually shared woes of boredom. To somehow kill time, we decided to explore the city.

Jay Vanparia smiling with a friend by a river

The next thing I knew, we somehow reached the Gator Park as we took the 8th street. I was exhilarated. Words cannot explain the bliss I felt at that particular moment. I wanted to visit the Gator Park for a long time, and finally when this was about to happen, Hamdan felt lazy. Somehow I dragged him down to the ticket booth and made him buy a ticket. It turned out to be his best decision this semester (even better than choosing meal plan B). I witnessed vicious reptiles like scorpions and alligators form up close, and frankly they did not look that intimidating. But….the cherry on the cake was the airboat ride. Oh my god! That feeling as the cool December air mingled with the spray from the water as the boat slashed through, was more than awesome.

The trip was really enjoyable, and I clicked some really good pictures during the tour. But I was not satisfied. My hunger for exploration was insatiable. So we then headed to the opposite direction, where the magic happens: Downtown. We parked the car in Brickell and headed for a river walk. I witnesses the luxurious lifestyle of Downtown as I walked past extravagant yachts, restaurants, and hotels by the river. That was the deciding moment of my life. I wanted to work and live in Downtown when I graduate. In a nutshell, we enjoyed beyond expectations that day, and to this date, I wish that day comes back. After all, the most exciting adventures are unexpected.”

Jay Vanparia with his friend smiling



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