Krisha Patel

SHS Juniors take a trip to Florida State University (FSU), but disaster occurs!

On Feb. 22, 2023, Seminole High School (SHS) sophomores and juniors had the exciting opportunity to tour Florida State University (FSU) for a $75 fee, including transportation, lunch, and dinner. With schedule decisions for the upcoming school year and college fears looming over students’ heads, this opportunity came at the perfect time. Despite this trip being a wonderful opportunity for SHS students, it was “chaotic,” as Sienna Jackson, an SHS junior, explains it. 


Going into this field trip, students had reasonable expectations based on the information provided by SHS. Jackson says: “I expected a long day, but a beneficial one at that. I was excited to see the campus as well as experience it with my friends.


For the most part, this was true. A majority of the buses encountered no traffic, and they arrived at FSU in a timely manner, allowing students to rest and explore before the tour.


“There was no traffic and it surprisingly didn’t feel that long even though it was over 4 hours,” says Ansley Jonas, a junior. 


Cassidy Hardin, a junior, adds: “When we got to campus we went… [to the] wrong [dining hall,] so we had to go across campus to the other [one]. [Regardless], their food was pretty good! They had an interesting Mardi Gras theme for some of the stations and generic food at other stations. They also had a live band singing in the dining hall.” 


However, the trip did not live up to many other students’ expectations because of the unfortunate sequence of events that occurred which caused their field trip to last from 7 a.m. till 11 p.m.


While two buses were set to depart on schedule, disaster had already struck before the third was able to exit Ridgewood Avenue. The bus broke down, and students on that bus waited outside at SHS until approximately half past 9 a.m. for a replacement bus, which had a clogged toilet, to arrive; meanwhile, the other buses were well on their way to Tallahassee. 


Alondra Rivera-Domenech, an IB junior, explains: “When the bus broke down, I was confused because the other buses left already. I assumed that another [bus] would arrive fairly quickly…The longer we waited, I thought they would cancel the trip… I was excited, but that started to subside at the hour mark of waiting.” 


Thankfully, students were able to keep their morale up to some extent during this tentative wait by “just talking[,]… joking around[,]… playing games on [their] phone[s,]… listening to music[,]…[and] taking random photos,” says Rivera-Domenech. 


Unfortunately, students on the replacement bus did not have as positive of an experience as Jonas and Hardin. While Rivera-Domenech reports initial optimism, that feeling quickly died down. 

Many students were looking forward to the FSU trip for future college opportunities and such. Alejandra Zabala-Martinez, an IB junior and aspiring lawyer, had been yearning to tour FSU. She says: “I was really excited because it was going to be my first college tour and I have been looking forward to applying to FSU because of their law program.” 


However, due to the bus situation, she was not able to experience the trip to the fullest potential. And the obstacles encountered due to the bus breaking down, only made her experience more negative. After their long-awaited and very delayed arrival at the FSU campus, Zabala-Martinez and other students were accommodated for a separate tour because they missed the original tour as a result of waiting for the replacement bus and the extensive traffic. 


Zabala-Martinez expresses: “I feel like it would have been more beneficial for me to go with my family instead. I don’t think I got as much out of the tour as I should have because it was so rushed [since we got there late]. We only got to see the exterior of the buildings. [For example,] we didn’t get to see the football stadium, the dance room, or go inside the bookstore.” 


“The bus ride was really uncomfortable because… [of] how long we had been on the bus; it smelled really bad too,” says Zabala-Martinez. 


Students were given $15 to purchase dinner at Chick-Fil-A in an attempt to compensate for their sub-par experience. 


Perhaps it was the Chick-Fil-A that saved the day because the pandemonium of this field trip did not tarnish students’ opinions of FSU. 


Jackson enjoyed “being able to see buildings like the student union and dorms… [She] plan[s] on applying here this upcoming fall!” 


Additionally, Zabala-Martinez was able to gain more insight into important aspects of a college for aspiring lawyers like herself. She explains: “I learned that because FSU is in Tallahassee, the capital [of Florida], there are a lot of connections for jobs in the political science, government, and law route.” 


After this trip, many ‘Noles like Jackson and Zabala-Martinez are eager to continue the legacy of being a ‘Nole in college and beyond!