It’s official, I’m a college graduate!




















After 5 long years of studying, I now have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.


I actually had no idea what I wanted to wear under my cap and gown, so Friday night I tested a few things out.




I knew it would be a boring ceremony, and I joked I was going to hide Mark under my gown for some company.




The ceremony didn’t start until 2:00pm, which left me plenty of time to run, shower, eat, take my sweet time getting ready, and take pictures. I was so excited about graduating that I woke up before it was fully light out, and got in a 5.0 mile run. I finished in 48:56! It was hot out, but my spirits were high and there was no stopping me.


We headed to Panera Bread for an early lunch/late breakfast around 10:45am. I tried the new Strawberry Poppyseed Salad which was amazingly refreshing on a super hot day! I also had half a Smokehouse Turkey sandwich with cheese, turkey, and bacon (not healthy but soooo yummy.)



My mom drove down on Friday from North Carolina to see me graduate! It has been so nice having her in town!



After lunch, we headed to campus to shoot some pictures. It’s kind of a tradition that people take pictures in front of the main fountain, but there was a LINE! I decided it would be more appropriate to take them in front of the engineering buildings since they were pretty much my home-away-from-home for the past 5 years.




Here are some of my faves:


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Class of 2010!




I took a few artsy ones as well:


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The ceremony began at 2:00 pm and lasted two hours. They had several other colleges, not just engineering, graduating and it seemed like the ceremony took forever!




My mom tried to get a photo me in the crowd…




Once the ceremony let out, it was POURING rain. Nobody could leave or move anywhere because there were bad lightning storms all around us. Everyone kind of stood in a mob for about 20 minutes until it cleared.




Then, it was time for more pictures!


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I’m DONE! For real! 


Time to celebrate! 😀




Thanks to my family and friends for coming to see me walk! My dad and stepmom took other pictures but I didn’t get them yet, but they were there!!


❤ MegaNerd

Anticlimactic Finish

So this is it?


Tonight was my last night of ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE classes… EVER! Wow! What a weeeeirrrrd feeling.


The last class of my undergraduate career was Geotechnical Design. My group put together our project over the past 10 weeks, and we got up to present it in front of several professionals. It was nerve wracking, but my group did great!




I’ve spent the past 5 years working my butt off, studying hard, and learning countless engineering formulas and theories. Finally. I am done.


Done. Done. Done. 😀 In a singy-songy voice of course!


It kind of just snuck up on me, too. How very anticlimactic.


Myself and a few of my classmates headed out to the on campus bar, Tailgaters. Yes, it is epic that we have a bar on campus.



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I ordered an Oberon beer with an orange. I squeezed in to the bar just before the end of happy hour!




Best beer ever. As in, I-worked-five-years-for-that-beer kind of good.


And so, life continues…


❤ MegaNerd

Sour Milk and Explosions in the Sky

Yesterday was a busy, busy day for me. I worked until 8:00pm and stayed up until well after midnight studying.


Dinner was provided at my second job, and I am never one to refuse free food! I have only been to Tijuana flats one other time, and feel a little daunted by the large menu. On twitter, I asked for healthy and delicious options at this Mexican chain.


Per Ryan’s recommendation, I ordered the regular size burrito (only I got black bean instead of veggie) on a whole wheat tortilla with no cheese, no sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and added a side of guacamole.




It was definitely a manageable size, unlike so many other fast-food type burrito places. I didn’t feel overly stuffed, even after eating all but about three chips! It was really yummy, too!


This morning, I am REALLY tired. Working two jobs, blogging, maintaining my grades, trying to exercise and stay healthy, looking for a job (career/engineering-related) and trying to make time for friends and family is getting to me! I’m sure many people can relate. I feel like this will only make me a stronger person in the long run.


I had a mini-melt down when I got home last night. I love having alone time, but honestly coming home to an empty apartment (I live alone) is really sad. I just don’t think I will ever fully get used to it, even though I feel like a really independent person. Sometimes I just need a hug, and I miss having roommates (or my best friend down the hall!) as a built-in support group.


I took a break and watched the season premiere of the HILLS on MTV. It made me miss BFF Debbie…Luckily she is coming to visit exactly one month from today! 😀


I have my first final at 1:00pm today. Unlike previous semesters, where I live off CLIF bars and Coke Zero (bad!) I took the effort to make a “decent” breakfast. Unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of produce, and my milk has gone sour. I did the best that I could and made blackberry jam and peanut butter toast with an apple.




I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee while studying…




…and listening to Pandora on my iPhone. I have it on “Explosions in the Sky” Radio. It helps me focus on studying because it is soothing and has very minimal words.




Wow! This has been quite a long morning post! I guess sometimes a girl just has a lot to say!


❤ MegaNerd

Found What I’m Looking For

Wow, the weekend flew by! I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already.


This week is going to be BUSY!

  • Today: Spent the day looking for an outfit for…
  • Monday: JOB INTERVIEW! (and last day of spring classes)
  • Tuesday: Work @ both jobs
  • Wednesday: Hydraulics Final
  • Thursday-Sunday: Work and Studying
  • Monday: Steel Design and Geotechnical Eng. Finals!


Then I have a two week break before I start my last undergraduate semester EVER!


This afternoon I headed to the mall to look for an outfit for tomorrow’s interview. I have my very first real job interview tomorrow, and I’m really excited!


I spent about an hour shopping, and eventually found this:




In the meantime, I ended up finding a lot of other fun items…I always get distracted!




It seems like every time I’m looking for something, I have a hard time finding it. Last year, when it was time for the Healthy Living Summit I couldn’t find a dress to save my life! When I’m not looking for dresses, I find tons of cute ones! The same thing happened today. I searched at 10 different stores before finding a basic interview outfit. Whew!


Mark recently discovered that he needs glasses, so while we were at the mall, he stopped at a few places to check some out.


He looks so smart in them! Not that he isn’t smart, he’s a double engineering major!




Meet Professor Chaos




Hmmm… I wonder what I would look like with glasses?




We got out of the mall just in time! There were severe thunderstorm warnings and even a tornado watch!




Obviously, I cancelled my run. Hopefully I will get a run in tomorrow before my interview! It may help shake any jitters, anyways. I don’t have much to say about it other than that I know there will be other people interviewing before and after me. I hope that I can figure out a way to make myself SHINE!


The last (engineering-related) job interview I had was three years ago! I was EXTREMELY nervous, but obviously I couldn’t have done horribly, because I got the job! I feel confident and am trying to have a positive attitude. I just need to watch my usage of the word “like.” I tend to say it waaaaaay too much when I get nervous.




My tummy is a little bit knotted so dinner was basic.




Couscous-broccoli-chickpea combo. Never fails.




I am off to get a good night’s sleep before my big week. I feel like I have a bunch to look forward to! 


What was your first career-related job interview experience like? Did you feel prepared for it?


❤ MegaNerd

Taking Silver

Yesterday’s weather was perfect for being out on the lake all day. Day two of the ASCE competition was spent out on West Pointe Lake right on the border of Alabama and Georgia.




All 20 or so schools set up tailgating tents for hanging out all day.




On the bus ride over, I had a Greek yogurt and some of the granola that Marianne gave me.




Saturday’s main event was concrete canoe racing. They raced all day long, different heats like girls’ endurance, boys sprints, etc.



It takes way more strength to row a concrete canoe than a regular canoe. Plus, since they are handmade, any little error can make the boat want to go to the left or right.


Our girls made it look easy! (We were in the yellow.)




Our canoe this year was named…. Talladega Knights. We are the UCF Golden Knights.




We all gathered to watch the racing and show our school spirit!




Next up was my competition, Geotechnical Engineering. We had to build a retaining wall using only poster board, tape, and construction paper.




We had thirty minutes to design and install our wall into our premade sandbox.




We  had a method to our madness…




We then added tons of dry sand to our box, compacted, and filled to the top.




We had great team work, and got everything finished before the thirty minutes was up.




Not only did our retaining wall hold all the sand in the box, it held the added 50 lbs…. PLUS our team captain and president. I would say we were successful!


Only two schools out of 10 had retaining walls that even held the sand in the box.




Go team! Aren’t are matching shirts EPIC!?




By the time we got done, it was 2:00pm, and the lunch line was about to close! I was looking forward to my requested veggie sub but they were out!?!


I got stuck eating nasty bar-be-que. 😦




The company was enjoyable, even though the food was not.




Later that night, we got all dressed up and headed to the awards banquet. We all had a feeling that we had done well this year, and couldn’t wait to see how we placed!


The first award received was for Geotech! We placed third out of twenty schools!  We were the only small competition to get top three from UCF. So proud!




Our concrete canoe placed third overall, and won a bunch of other awards as well.




Steel bridge took first for the second year in a row! HOORAY!




The last award announced was the overall winner. UCF took home second place, and we could not be happier! Each year we have improved, and we’re going for gold next year!


Obviously, we headed to the bar to celebrate.




It was a blast!


Sunday morning, we had to get on the bus at 10:00 am, which felt way too early. Our hotel stay came with free Waffle House brunch, and I never pass up free food.




Welcome to Affle house.




Ten hours later, I was back at home, crashing in my bed!


I had a great weekend, and am so proud of UCF!!


❤ MegaNerd

Kicking Booty

We are rocking this conference, and having a blast while we’re at it!




We have been going non-stop every since we arrived. Friday night, we walked over to the Ruby Tuesday for a group dinner. It takes a LONG time to get 55 students their dinner, and it was almost 10:00pm by the time we ate.




I was STARVING, so I ordered both the spring rolls appetizer




…stocked up at the salad bar…




…and had a couple of Sam Adams beers.




I also met my two lovely roommates for the weekend! They are so sweet!




Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to the Auburn campus, which by the way is gorgeous! It feels so much more traditional than UCF.




Our competitions were all over the school, and I got to see most of it.






My first competition was Transportation, which I was the captain of. It turned out pretty bad, because it wasn’t really what we expected at all. It’s only a tiny portion of the weekend, so I didn’t really let it bother me.


After my competition, we watched a few presentations, and headed over to the Balsa Dome competition. Ours is the one on the right hand side that looks like its made with way more wood than all the others. It held alot, but since it was really heavy our ratio was a little low.




Next, we tested our concrete cylinder. It’s really fun to put it in “the crusher”.




Half way through the day, we broke for Lunch on the Lawn.

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When lunch time rolled around, I was STARVING! I had a Clif bar and an apple on the bus but it didn’t really hold me. I was so happy to receive my free Chick-fila sandwich.




After lunch, ten of us headed over for the construction competition. We broke into three teams of three plus an extra person. Each team was designated as:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Construction




The first team, the Design team, had thirty minutes to design a tower that could be built using only office supplies. They couldn’t touch the materials, they only knew what we would have to work with. They had to leave detailed plans for the materials people to come behind and prep the stuff.




We weren’t allowed to talk to the designers, or the people cutting our materials. I was in the third group, construction, and had to follow the directions that the other two groups had left for us. Luckily, we had a great group and we finished in plenty of time!




The towers are judged on a few things including how closely we came to matching the original design (we were spot on!), structural sound (ours was rock solid!), creativity (maybe lacking), and aesthetics.


The other schools had some nice designs, so we’ll see how we place!




We then raced over to catch the steel bridge competition, and we almost missed it! The team works all year for this, and they did an awesome job. Wish I could show you!


Try and copy that epic bridge, punks!!



Friday was a long, draining day, but I still managed to muster up energy for a run! I met up with a blog reader from Auburn, Marianne, for a foot tour of the town.




We ran somewhere between 5.0-6.0 miles (I didn’t have my Garmin) through downtown, campus, and up and down hills.


She was so sweet (and speedy!) It was wonderful to meet a new friend! Marianne even brought me goodies!!!!




Oh man, I definitely got my butt kicked by those hills. I have lost so much endurance and speed since running the marathon! (I took about four weeks off running and am just getting back into it.)


After our run, and working on some competition stuff, I dragged my friends out to a restaurant recommended by Marianne, Amsterdam Cafe!




I dove straight into the bread. It was warm, flaky, and buttery. I died and went to carb heaven.




I got the worlds’ BEST SALAD! Ok… I was just really hungry.




Seriously, though. Grilled Salmon, warmed mango, pecans, and sweet rum vinaigrette? Can’t go wrong!


I sucked down so many glasses of water, I could have been mistaken for a camel.




We LOVED it! Thanks, Marianne! 😀


Today was another full day of competition. We are off to the awards banquet! I will be back in the morning to recap the rest of the trip!




❤ MegaNerd

Auburn Bound + ASCE 2009

I’m currently blogging from the road!


The charter bus picked us up this morning, and we are off to Auburn University in Alabama! I’m heading there for this year’s Southeast Regional Conference.


(Last year’s conference, March 2009)



Since there isn’t much happening right now other than a whole lot of sleeping (and eating trail mix) I figured I’d recap LAST YEAR’s conference! It’s set up basically the same every year.


Last year around the same time, about 55 ASCE members packed the bus and headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.




It was a super cold and wintery looking weekend, but still pretty!




Civil Engineering involves many different aspects covering pretty much everything that makes a city “civilized”. Think running water, roads, buildings, infrastructure, etc.


The conference has several different competitions, and a few members participate in each. Last year, I participated in the transportation competition.


Friday is the main conference day. We all go around and support each other and cheer one another on. It all starts with testing the concrete canoes.





Yep, canoes made of concrete. We named ours, Krack Killz





We race them on Saturday, so they have to be checked for safety. They are submerged in water, and they have to float to the top to pass the test.




See all the cool layers?




Then there is Balsa Wood bridge. Super thin wood + glue + heavy load until it cracks. Strongest one for least amount of wood wins!




…and Concrete Cylinder (trying to make the best mix design)…




…and everyone’s favorite, Steel Bridge!




Saturday is spent at the lake. This is when we get to race the canoes!




Racing the canoe is hard, but they make it look easy!





It was freezing last year, I’m crossing my fingers for nice weather!


Once all the competitions are done, points are added and winners are selected. Saturday night is all about the banquet. We get dressed up, have a fancy dinner and let loose!




I wish I would have been blogging last year, the food was EPIC! Don’t worry, I’ll take the camera this time.


Last year we placed third overall! Go UCF!




Everyone works very hard to get here and I really hope that we can do well again this year!


(Note the short dark hair and bangs… maybe I should do that again?)



This year, I am the captain of the transportation team! One of my members got sick, so I’m a bit nervous but I think we will be fine.


We just got to Auburn, and I’m off to the captains’ meeting! I can’t wait to share the weekend with you all.


Were you a part of any professional organizations in college? Have you been on a “field trip” to a conference before?


❤ MegaNerd