OBXFS ’21: Settling In

It’s my turn for the blog post! Since my friend Rebekah already wrote about our *cough* amazing experience at Buxton woods, I think I’ll write about another one of my favorite memories here at the Outer Banks Field Site. But as I’m reflecting, I think this is more an overall feeling that I’ve come to realize while staying at the field site, but still an important one I’d like to share nonetheless. 

It was the evening of August 23rd and we had finished up our first Community Advisory Board meeting of the semester. It had been a long day filled with classwork, first introductions, and get-to-know-you games with the group of community members who were excited to assist us with our capstone research. They were kind, informative, and excited to meet this new group of young students who wanted to learn more about their home. After the meeting and despite the long hours, spirits were high, and someone suggested “Let’s go to Surfin’ Spoon!” and I swear I saw almost all of our eyes light up immediately. 

We all promptly hopped in our cars after a quick group consensus and set off for froyo. Woo hoo!! A short car ride later and all eleven of us were standing on the porch lit exterior of the joint, relaxing, unwinding, and talking amongst ourselves. I looked around, at everyone who came and who I had spent the last few weeks with getting to know, and I realized that these people felt like a family to me. Which was so crazy! I had known them for about two calendar weeks but I already felt right at home! I kept my little realization to myself and happily watched the conversation develop and shift throughout the evening. We slowly meandered through the line, chatting about class, surfing, and what flavors of froyo we wanted (along with favorite toppings!). Everyone eventually filed outside and we circled up contentedly, munching on froyo and enjoying the warm summer air. Behind us, there was a silly wooden cutout of Sebi the Spoon, Surfin’ Spoon’s mascot, where you could take a picture with the logo. Almost immediately we had everyone chanting “Mackenzie in the spoon!,” “Jason in the spoon!,” and taking pictures of us posing with this character, laughing the evening away. 

“Blakely in the spoon!”

That was the first night that I felt like our group was a little family. Since then, the feeling has only grown stronger. Through late night stargazing, epic Mario Kart battles, difficult (yet supportive) days in the field, and cooking dinner together in the evenings. It’s truly been amazing to be in such a unique ecological environment and also find a very supportive and encouraging group of individuals which I get to share my experiences with! So, if you are reading this as a part of the 21’ cohort, I appreciate you very much 🙂 If you are reading this in the future, I implore you to spend time with your cohort, get to know them, and appreciate the little day to day things during your stay at the OBXFS!

Despite a dreary lab day, Kenan, Franchesca, Rebekah, and Steve were all smiles!
Every Friday we try to go out as a cohort. This day, we checked out Greentails on a sunny afternoon after class.
The group, leaving Buxton Woods, and happy with our research progress.