By Máire Nakada
Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2015
Wow. Going home to Alaska was such a great feeling. I didn’t realize just how much I had missed my good friends, family, and of course the natural beauty of Alaska. Every sunrise, however late they may be in the winter, spills over the peaks of the mountains and showers beams of brilliant sunlight onto the snowy sidewalks and frosted trees. Every sunset is a work of art with colors that make you feel warm inside, despite the eleven degrees Fahrenheit weather. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the Northern Lights this time but there were plenty of moose around just as always.
Half way through my amazing Christmas break I began to miss something but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. Then while talking to my uncle about school he asked, “How’s home treating you?” I replied, “Oh Alabama’s great. The weather is perfect right now for running outside, the people are friendly, and my classes are going well.” Then I realized he was talking about being home in Alaska, not Alabama. I was missing Alabama without even knowing it until that moment. That’s when I knew I was looking forward to going back to school in a couple of weeks.
So here I am in my dorm room taking advantage of some quiet alone time before sleep. Tomorrow picks up with day three of the madness of 6 AM workouts with friends, a quick breakfast, four back-to-back classes, and figuring out which text books I will actually need. To me it is sweet chaos. I love being busy and having things to check off my daily “To Do:” lists. The satisfaction you can get from accomplishing tasks and crossing them out throughout the day is something that never gets old.
Although I am excited for what this semester will bring, I am not excited about the cold weather I did not expect Alabama would bring to the table. My family laughed when I called them a day after arriving back in Mobile asking for my winter hat and gloves from Alaska. I’d say if Alaska doesn’t drop a few degrees more Alabama will be giving it a run for its money temperature wise. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen though because I for one do not enjoy icicles on my wet hair when biking to class.
So here’s to a great second semester of freshman year. May the weather and your professors stay nice and may your grades stay up. God bless ya’ll and go Jags!
Máire Nakada is a college freshman at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Máire was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2015. Learn more about Máire here!