Theresa Dash: No Worries for the Rest of Her Days

Name: Theresa Dash

Year: Junior

Age: 21

Major: Environmental Science

Hometown: Wellington, FL

Relationship Status: Taken 

Courtesy: Theresa Dash

Her Campus (HC): Why did you decide to go to Florida State University?

Theresa Dash (TD): FSU was my first choice when I was applying for colleges, since they had a great Environmental Science program. When I toured FSU, the campus was so beautiful. I knew I made the right decision.

HC: What have been your favorite courses so far?

TD: If I had to choose, my top two would be self-defense and weather casting. With the attacks on our campus, self-defense helped put my mind at ease. I wanted to be more equipped to hold my own if it ever came down to it. I did it with my friends and learned so many great techniques from this class, from eye gouging to ceasing testicles. This class gave me more confidence and allowed me to have the power over the attacker. In weather casting, I built on my ability to communicate and present. The skills I have learned will definitely help me in front of crowds and with giving speeches in the future.

HC: What kind of activities do you do in weather casting that prepare you to go in front of the TV?

TD: First we did a regular weathercast without any distractions. My teacher says you’re not fully ready until things go wrong. You have to know how to properly deal with these type of situations. To practice, we all went down to the station and constantly caused problems for each other. We threw paper at each other, blasted music and walked in front of the camera. I also rode my skateboard in front of the camera. The funniest thing was when my teacher started playing the violin. It was so distracting, but I definitely learned how to roll with the punches.

HC: Are you involved in any sports on campus?

TD: I’m on a 3v3 soccer team right now. We’ve had two games so far and we’ve won both of them. I’ve been playing soccer since I was little and it’s something that I am going to continue on throughout college. Last year I was on a women’s team and we actually won the women’s league championship.

HC: What are your thanksgiving plans this year?

TD: Every year about sixty people in my extended family usually go to Sebring, Florida to a park called Highlands Hammock. We go there from Wednesday to Sunday and all go camping together. It’s a tradition my grandma started with her church group and she extended the tradition to us. It’s my favorite time of year because it’s the one time that my whole family gets together. On thanksgiving morning we do a 5k called the Turkey Trot and we always have an amazing feast. We also have scheduled football and soccer games and it’s so intense, because my family is really athletic and competitive. The saddest part is on Sunday when we all have to leave.

HC: What did you dress up as for Halloween this year?

TD: I dressed up as a hippie because it was a fun costume and I felt like it describes me. I try to think I’m chill and down to earth. I also thought I could pull it off because I have the tree of life tattooed on my back. I got that tattoo to show my love for the environment and for nature. I thought it was the perfect fit for me.

HC: Do you have any other tattoos?

TD: I also have a tattoo “Hakuna Matata,” it means no worries for the rest of your days. I got that one because it’s a good reminder that whatever hardships I’m going through, I’ll get through it and everything will be okay. I’m also planning on getting the quote “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” by Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s such a great quote because it highlights the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

HC: Where did your love for the environment come from?

TD: It started when I was younger, because my mom was always that way. She made sure we recycled and worried about our carbon footprint. I got more interested in it in high school during my environmental science class. That’s when I decided I wanted to do that as a major in college.

Courtesy: Theresa Dash

HC: What inspired you to become a vegetarian?

TD: The day that I watched Food, Inc. during my junior year of high school. It explained how animals are treated for the food industry. For Christmas I actually made my family become vegetarians for a week, but none of them continued because they love bacon way too much.

HC: This past summer you had the opportunity to intern at MacArthur Beach State Park. Can you tell me more about that?

TD: It was an amazing experience. It lasted two months out of the summer and it was a marine biology camp for kids of different ages. We taught kids about different ecosystems and incorporated what they were learning into a more hands on experience. We would kayak and take the kids seine netting, which is collecting organisms in the water and examining them under the microscopes. I also got snorkel and lifeguard certified and we snorkeled on the rock reefs where we found fish and put them in the databases.

HC: What was your favorite part of the internship?

TD: My favorite part was when we were told that a hatch out was happening on the beach. It turned out to be the rarest turtle that we had, the Leatherback Turtle. We got to watch them crawl into the water. A ghost crab tried to eat one of the turtles and one of the interns got bit saving it.

HC: What is your next step?

TD: I am hoping to have an internship this summer at FPL, a company that distributes electricity to homes. They have a great environmental program where you can learn more ways to be sustainable and efficient. I thought that would be a great opportunity, as it could potentially be a gateway to a future career.

HC: What advice do you have for any college students who want to become more environmentally friendly?

TD: I always use a reusable water bottle. There are hydration stations around campus to fill up your water. If anyone knows me, they I know I bring my water bottle everywhere. Another thing is, if your apartment or dorm doesn’t have recycling, try to find places that do. Make it a habit to recycle. Get educated about the environment and join an organization on campus like the Environmental Service Program to get involved and help the environment in any way you can.