A Senior Photoshoot for The Newest Florida Gator: Isabella

Isabella’s Senior Photoshoot

During her senior photoshoot, we asked Isabella to give us some insight on what it was like picking a college to attend. She also offered up some great advice for current seniors. Be sure to check out some other senior photoshoots we have done:

Orlando Senior Photoshoot at Jetty Park
Megan McFadden | Senior

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Where did you attend high school as a senior?

My freshman through senior year were spent at Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, FL.

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Where did you choose to attend college and why?

I am currently attending University of Florida with a major in Marketing and a minor in Economics. It was my dream to become a gator. I was the first person in my family to attend a Florida college and I wanted to start my own legacy here. The highly ranked business program as well as the university being ranked #7 in public schools really attracted me. Obtaining a degree from here would be valuable and guarantee me a successful job in my future.

I wanted to stay somewhat close to home. I am an only child and wanted to be in close distance to my family. After I toured the university, I fell in love with the campus as it truly lives up to its name of being a true college town. I also love that every student here has an overwhelming amount of school pride. Everyone there strives to fulfill their highest potential as a student and as an individual.

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What were you most excited about going in to your first year of college?

I was most excited about immersing myself into a much larger campus. Getting to interact with a diverse group of students who were motivated to succeed academically like myself, was exciting. I was eager to join a sorority in order to make new friends and learn from upperclassmen girls who have similar goals as me. Also, I was hoping they can help guide me through my college journey. More than anything, I was looking forward to a fresh start by allowing myself to grow into who God made me to be. Going to college and having the ability to explore extracurriculars in both my college and my social life was a big thing for me that I looked forward to.

High school demanded an excessive amount of academic focus. Senior year added the extra stress of applying to colleges and competing against my peers. I was excited to move past this and be able to explore opportunities in college. Some of these things are sitting in the student section at football games, taking road trips with your sorority sisters, and having the freedom to order pizza at 3am while cramming for exams.

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What are you the most proud of?

I’m most proud that I have been able to stay true to myself as I have transitioned into this new chapter of my life. I’ve remained faithful to my values and have trusted in God every step of the way. Being put in this new city under new types of situations and stress is challenging for anybody, no matter how laidback or well-adjusted they might be. Moving away to Gainesville, away from the comfort of my family, friends, and hometown was the scariest part of the entire college journey for me. My ability to remain who I was in high school, who I believe I truly am, is my biggest source of pride throughout this entire journey.

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Give me one amazing memory from your senior year of high school – funny, sweet, special, exciting – just something you’ll always remember.

One of my most memorable moments of senior year was my very first swim meet of the season. I had already swam for one year on the team. So I felt pretty confident going in for a second season. Little did I know that the coach was already planning for me to start swimming long distances. Something I never in a million years planned on doing.

Getting off the bus for the first meet, I see my name on the 500 free sheet (yikes). By the time my meet was up, I shakily made my way to the block. The first 100 meters was okay, but I had 400 left to go. I remember thinking, ‘It really could not get any worse at this point.’ Of course I was the last one in the pool and everyone on the pool deck was cheering me on. I was so embarrassed. Every time I came to the wall I wanted to stop but I saw my coach at the end of the lane and knew I couldn’t let him down. A whopping 10 minutes later, it was finally over. My tears quickly turned into laughter as I tried to process that I just finished the race.

It quickly became the highlight joke of the season, with my friends never forgetting to remind me about the awful memory. The season-long joke brought me closer to the team as a whole, and made it so much harder to say goodbye to the family I had built.

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Getting ready for your senior photoshoot, were you nervous or excited? How did you prepare?

I was extremely excited for my senior photoshoot after seeing the pictures Kristen took of one of my childhood friends. To be honest I wasn’t exactly sure of what I wanted to wear. Kristen was very helpful in making sure that I wore colors that would complement different backgrounds and represented my personality well. I ended up choosing three different outfits. All of which looked beautiful in the photos. I chose Winter Park for my pictures, this was a typical spot for me and my friends to go. There are so many unique, yet artsy buildings, gardens, and natural outdoor spaces.

Kristen was so easy yet so fun to work with. She made me feel comfortable and gave me so many different options for poses. Every photo she took was different yet perfectly captured a part of me that shines through in the photo. She is truly one of the best photographers I have ever worked with. I was so happy when I received the final shoot pictures. The edits on the pictures were natural and almost invisible, and I doubt I would have noticed them had I not seen them beforehand and were looking for them. Kristen is a master with her camera and I highly recommend her to anyone who needs their pictures taken!!

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Lastly, what advice would you give another high school senior?

I would tell a high school senior to not focus so much on their future. It’s more memorable to enjoy where you are now. You will be in college in no time. I would tell a student to try and do as much as they can with their friends. This may be the last time you get to spend with some of those people! I would encourage them to take advantage of the time they have with certain faculty members and teachers. High school memories become one of the biggest sources of comfort when you are suddenly in the future. So don’t worry about it now- don’t waste the precious time you have left. Make the memories that will ride you through the hard times ahead, and enjoy them to the fullest.

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