Photos by Rachel Nipp, Story by Danimarie Roselle
As seniors at the University of Georgia prepare for the next chapter in their lives, they fondly look back at the memories made as Dawgs, from the small moments with friends to big events like football games.
Ashley Owens, a senior dietetics major from Cleveland, feels her involvement with Campus Kitchen has been a big part of her college experience.
“It got me out of the bubble of Athens,” Owens says. “It’s been a very humbling experience.”
With Campus Kitchen, Owens cooks meals for homebound senior citizens and those taking care of their grandchildren.
“It’s cool to watch how you change peoples’ lives just by spending time with them,” Owens says.
For other seniors, it was involvement with organizations such as Greek life that impacted their time here.
Frank Russo, a senior political science major from Roswell, credits his membership in Theta Chi for shaping him into a responsible and concerned adult.
“I heard about the social benefits to joining a fraternity, but the leadership and service opportunities shaped my experience in Theta Chi,” Russo says.
For Russo, the time in his fraternity gave him an understanding of the importance of helping others and involving oneself with the community in which they live.
Time spent at The University of Georgia can also be defined by the memories spent completing valued traditions.
Levi London, a senior accounting major from Cleveland, recalls feeling discouraged after not doing well on his first two exams during his freshman year and was at a loss with fellow students until the third exam.
“I thought my life was over after those first two exams, but after I passed the third one and did well, I actually went and rang the bell in celebration,” London says.
London, who had never completed a tradition at UGA, remembers ringing the Chapel Bell for the first time as a form of celebrating with friends.
“That was a big deal to me,” London says.
Other students found participating in bigger university traditions like the UGA Redcoat Marching Band to be a defining experience in college.
“Never would I have thought an organization could impact me the way it did,” says Kevin Kotick, a senior science education major from Milledgeville. “Everyone in the UGA Redcoat Marching Band wants to be there.”
Kotick learned to play the trumpet at a young age, and in the fifth grade, knew he wanted to play in the marching band at UGA.
“Being able to accomplish this dream has made my entire experience at UGA absolutely remarkable,” Kotick says. “I am forever grateful to The University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band for giving me this memory.”
Kotick remembers Saturdays in Athens, getting to play for Dawg Nation and being the support system on game day.
“It’s truly a blessing to be a part of this organization on game day,” Kotick says.
Though every senior has had a different experience and their favorite memories will vary, their time spent as Dawgs was time well spent. Each memory, no matter how trivial, shaped them and their time at UGA.
These memories will stay with each senior long after the tassels have been turned.