It’s crunch time, y’all.
The UF Homecoming Pageant is less than two weeks away and it’s coming in real hot. You may remember from my previous post that all of us contestants have been armed with quite a checklist before the big shebang.
Here’s a quick refresher:
- Designing/selling advertisements for the pageant program
- Selling tickets/ rallying support
- Putting together autobiographies for the judges
- Learning the dance
- Acquiring pageant outfits (a red, white or blue dress; a gameday dress; a formal gown)
Whenever I start to stress over this event (hey, who wouldn’t?), my parents always seem to be the voices of reason. Go figure, right? They keep telling me to, “Have fun with it!” and “Enjoy the experience!”
While I’m trying to do something different with this whole pageant thing, I want to be able to share this experience with ones close to me, too. So when I was looking over the checklist, I realized something. I may not be a rockstar in all the tasks at hand, but my family and group of friends certainly has a wide range of amazing talents.
Take Shelby, my blogs editor at Her Campus UFL and my Delta Zeta sorority sister. She is an amazing graphic designer. She always makes cute Facebook cover photos for our readers in her posts. Duh. Who better than to collaborate with on designing ads for the pageant program than Shelby?
An example of Shelby's designs.
Shelby and I got to escape from our schoolwork for an hour one night and played around with different colors and designs to make my ads. I won’t unveil them just yet, but I’m in love! While I’m getting spectacular ads, Shelby is getting an opportunity to showcase her talents for a bigger audience than ever before: the UF Homecoming Pageant audience. Talk about a win-win!
While I nailed down the ads (and autobiographies — I got it, I’m a journalism major after all), there was still one item on the list that intimidated me: finding a formal gown. I’m lucky enough to have my parents a mere 2.5 hours away from me while I’m away at school in Gainesville, Fla. This year, my ‘rents are experiencing the lives of true empty nesters as my younger brother went off to college in August.
In fact, August was the last time I saw my family. I returned home from my internship in New York City early that month and two days later, I had to take off for school. My brother actually attends college in a town directly in the middle of my hometown and college town. Why not propose a family shopping trip for the day to find me a dress and get the whole family together for a few hours? Though I didn’t end up finding a dress (boo), my family was able to spend time together for the first time in months. We were long overdue. They rock, seriously. It was awesome to see them again.
When I got back to Gainesville, I enlisted the help of my best friend Ashley to help me find the perfect evening gown for the pageant. Ash has the best taste of anyone I know and her opinion means more to me than anything. Unfortunately, we’ve both been so swamped with school and extracurriculars that we haven’t been able to clock in as much quality time together as we once did. A shopping trip was the perfect excuse.
Ash and I hit up a local dress boutique and spent a night zipping me into dresses and making “Toddlers and Tiaras” jokes. Not only did I find a dress (I can’t wait for you all to see it!), but I also got to catch up with my best friend.
Now, I could’ve easily attempted to throw together some ads on my own and run to the mall to pick out a dress solo, but where’s the “experience” in that? I’ve gained things far more valuable throughout this pageant process and I’ll be able to walk on stage later this month carrying that with me.