Think back to recruitment - the cheering, the outfits, the endless excitement and promise of possibilities to come. One of these promises is that within the next four years you will find lifelong friends and make lifelong memories, a lot of which will involve the ladies who will soon become your sisters. Now picture this - that dream, that promise, well it actually comes true.
This past week has been full of lifelong memories and slam packed with dreams that have actually come true. As the Gamecocks Men's and Women's basketball teams competed and made it to the NCAA Final Four, history was made and brackets were broken. This was the first time in school history the Men's team had ever played in the Final Four, which was taking place across the country, exactly 2,063 miles away in Phoenix, AZ. As soon as the gamecocks advanced, every student dreamed of being able to go and as for me and two sisters, this dream became our reality.
Flashback to last Monday when were frantically searching for plane tickets - we were determined to make this trip happen. We bought one-way plane tickets to Las Vegas and the next thing we knew, we were off! On Thursday, we were racing to get to the airport to catch our flight. After a collapsed interstate and a two hour flight delay, the adventure had already begun by the time our plane landed in Vegas. We booked it to Phoenix the next day and got to explore the team's hotel, shop for matching t-shirts, and go to a Keith Urban concert!
The next day was GAME DAY. There are only three words to sum up this day: WHY NOT US. Honestly this phrase became our theme for the whole trip. We woke up excited and drove to the University of Phoenix Stadium. We spent the next few hours cheering our hearts out for the gamecocks and promptly losing our voices. Even though the Cocks didn't win, we were proud of our boys and still felt like our trip had been a success.
After sleeping off the loss and rallying our mojo, we woke up and decided to head to the Grand Canyon for a day of adventure. We saw all kinds of exciting things - even a baby elk close enough for us to touch! We even ran into Maik Kotsar, one of the Gamecock players, in a McDonalds on our way back to Vegas.
Flying to Vegas with sisters and then traveling to Phoenix for the Final Four was one of those lifelong memories I was promised. This once in a lifetime trip was full of laughter, chocolate, and somewhat embarrassing dance moves. I wouldn't trade it for the world. From staying awake for a full 24 hours to risking our lives on the edge of the Grand Canyon, our bond grew tighter and our love for our sisterhood strengthened. We took so many pictures, sang so many songs, and ate so much food. I wouldn't have wanted to travel across the country with anyone else and it's crazy to think that not only will we all have these memories forever, but the friendships as well.
- Sydney-Reagan Saunders, PC '14