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New Girl in Town: Meet Mary Elizabeth Robertson

I have walked through a blizzard.

From February 9-11, Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. received 14 inches of snow.  Prior to that, an additional 14 inches had fallen, and never melted.

February 10, the blunt of the blizzard hit Boone.  After 14 hours of wallowing in our dorm room -- the sacred Appalachian Pan-Hellenic Hall, home to approximately 400 of Appalachian’s sorority women -- five friends and I decided to brave the elements and walk to the nearest bar for food and fun.

We got out of the parking lot walking backwards.  Winds were blowing hard against us and we held hands to make it.

A man flew by at an astonishing 10 miles an hour and gave the six of us a ride.  As we crammed into the car and as I videotaped the whole adventure, just in case he turned out to be a mountain killer, my mind drifted to warmer days.

Images from Jacksonville began to flood my brain.  I had spent the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday here with my sister, and even in the middle of January it was a balmy 72 degrees, a temperature I had not felt since mid-August.

After begging my sister to let me live with her and promising to keep the bathroom clean, she agreed to let me move down for the summer.

So here I am, in Florida  -- Ponte Vedra Beach to be precise -- where all summer long, I will be going new places and trying new things.  I will take myself out of my comfort zone and push myself to try out anything and everything there is to do in Jacksonville.

I am the clueless “new girl in town” and I am ready to learn about Jacksonville and myself during my time here.

At Appalachian State University, my schedule consists of splitting my time between working for The Appalachian, Appalachian’s student newspaper, and hanging out with my sorority sisters.  But frankly, there is not much I won’t do.  For a time I was even Appalachian’s mascot, Yosef (a name to play off the word, Yourself).

The experiences I had running up and down the field at each game for the four-time Southern Conference Champion Mountaineers were some of the best and most strenuous of my life.  I had to quit the gig at the beginning of this past semester because I decided to be an overachiever and take twenty hours of classes -- a feat I never want to attempt again.

Currently, I spend my time updating my iPod with any kind of music and “Facebooking” way too much.  I watch the “Law & Order SVU” marathons anytime they come on and I want to one day be a “Real Housewife of Atlanta.”  I just purchased a Blackberry and I am still trying to figure it out.  At school, my sorority sisters and I take full advantage of the limited nightlife in Boone and try and make the most out of every moment we are together.

I try to have fun every day of my life and can’t wait to keep the fun going in Florida.  If you have any suggestions of places for me to go or fun things to do, let me know!  I can’t wait to talk about all my experiences on my Facebook status and make my friends back home jealous!


Mary Elizabeth Robertson is a journalism student spending her summer on the First Coast.  She'll be interning for the Jacksonville Observer and writing a twice-weekly column about her experiences called New Girl in Town.  Look for it online every Tuesday and Friday.

5 Responses »

  1. Try Chowder Ted's. A little "unknown" spot at the foot of the Brown's Creek bridge on Heckscher Drive. You can also find their page on FB since you are such a fan. Hope to see you at Ted's. Welcom to my home town!

  2. Welcome to the metro Jax area. Have fun, be safe, be wary of traveling around alone after dark in the city and be wise.... have a can of 'mace' handy to ward off any would be aggressive 'dogs.'

  3. You are my favorite writer Mary Elizabeth! I look forward to reading all about Florida! 😀

  4. Even though you didn't mention my name, I'm proud to say that I'm your friend. And I would brave a blizzard again anyday just to get some Town Tavern!

  5. As you probably well know-- the Hot Dog Hut is the place to be! Have a blast with the coolest room mate you'll ever have 🙂