Had you told little Melissa in high school that she'd be where she is now come college graduation, she might have laughed and shrugged that idea off.
"Me? No way."
But, it's here- Graduation Day! To celebrate, we had a mini-interview to re-acquaint the Sarasota Fins readers with myself... you know, in case during one of my blog posts you thought, "Wait... who is this girl again? Why am I reading stuff by her?"
School: New College of Florida.
Major: Marine Ecology & Conservation.
Dream job: Starting & running my own nonprofit educational research program.
Summer vacay plans: Blogging, reading, résumé sending, conference attending and moving to New Zealand.
Favorite undergrad memory: Having the opportunity to study abroad! Sunsets on Sarasota Bay are one-of-a-kind, too.
Celebrating graduation with: Dinner with my family, celebrating my graduation AND my brother’s 17th birthday. I’m glad I’ll have my close family members with me that night to celebrate the end of this great chapter.
Spent the last days as a college student: After weeks of grueling meetings, all-nighters, and seemingly endless hours of studying, it was so great to finally not have any more work on my thesis! Admittedly, I was never a typical college student, in which I’d rather travel or go out to a nice dinner with close friends than spend hours in a loud, crowded bar.
Future plans?: I’ll be pursuing my MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Victoria at Wellington, New Zealand. Off in August!
How did you come up with Sarasota Fins?: I realized that there were no easy-to-access field guides on the sharks, skates and rays on Sarasota Bay… so I asked my advisor (at the time) if I could take on the challenge to make one for the school. She agreed and I got to drawing and writing. That got me thinking about how many people don’t know of these animals in their own backyard, and I decided to start going to classrooms to teach not only students, but inevitably, the teachers.
As a Class-A personality, I find that having a schedule for posting that fits your lifestyle works best. In the beginning I was posting a new shark every day- but I couldn’t keep up once I started to really dig into my thesis. So, I cut back to once a week and ‘special’ posts throughout the week if necessary. I would write a bunch of posts ahead of time if I knew I’d be busy in the upcoming weeks, or spend time inside writing posts, doing research or responding to emails instead of hanging out with friends.
It can sometimes be a drag, but it has been worth it! I’ve had the opportunity to do some really cool things through Sarasota Fins.
Some favorite undergraduate memories: