Life is a crazy adventure filled with different journeys around every corner, just waiting for you to take the challenge. In 2016, my life took a massive turn when I applied and got into the Disney College Program. That summer, I left my suburban New Jersey town and made my way down to Orlando, Florida to go on the journey of a lifetime. I met friends and had experiences that I never would have dreamed of before. The real beauty of this journey – although I would not realize it until a year later – was falling in love with Margaritaville.
Every Monday, my friends and I would go to Universal CityWalk to Margaritaville for our tradition of Margaritaville Mondays. I loved Mondays! (Who thought that would happen?!) These trips brought me out of the world of working, learning, and stress to a beautiful, blissful paradise where all I needed to do for a few hours is listen to great music, eat great food, and enjoy phenomenal company.
When I left the sunshine state, the love of island living never went away. It actually got me through what was one of the toughest years of my college career. You see, after returning home from Florida, I transferred to Rutgers University. Although transferring to Rutgers was something I wanted, I left behind the base I had built at my previous school. I was starting over in a place where people were already established. I honestly had trouble making friends at this new, massive university. I struggled to find my community that would make this big school feel like home.
In Fall of 2017, I finally found where I belonged…and not to my surprise it was with Margaritaville as a part of the Margaritaville University College Ambassador Program. I quickly found this group of strangers from all over North America – a community of like-minded students who believed in the basic principles of island living and spreading good vibes to their peers. Many of my fellow ambassadors may not have known this then, but they brought me the sense of community I was searching for all this time. During the 2017-2018 school year, I faced many challenges and hardships, but Margaritaville University was there to bring a smile to my face.
In the early half of 2018, my sister passed away from an unfortunate medical related incident. Although none of them knew it, I turned to my fellow ambassadors every day to see how the MargU community was spreading positive vibes and, in turn, this brought me a relaxed state of mind as well. Later that year I faced a very serious run in with colon cancer and I was brought back down to the bottom again. Margaritaville University was there for me. This group brought me joy each day, helped me forget about life’s stresses, and inspired me to share positivity.
When many hear the name Margaritaville, they associate it with a fun night out including alcoholic beverages and beachy music. I can stand here today and confidently say that it is so much more than that. Margaritaville is this beautiful community of individuals who can find their happy place, wherever that may be, and inspire those around them to do the same.
At the end of my 2018 Spring semester I received one of the most humbling calls from the leaders of Margaritaville University… I had made the list of the top eight ambassadors of over 250 total from around the globe and was invited to the annual Margaritaville University Roundtable. The Roundtable experience was the greatest experience of my life and one I will never forget. While down at the stunning Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Florida, we had the opportunity to help shape the college ambassador program and the brand as a whole…interacting with not just the leaders of MargU, but also the CMO and CEO of Margaritaville. The trip was a beautiful combination of working hard and playing hard (MargU’s unofficial motto).
From then on, I made it my mission to help as many other ambassadors as possible to be successful in this FINtastic program. I wanted to give back to a program and community that gave so much to me. I did not deserve the amount of love and support I received from the MargU community, but I was sure going to pay it forward. Now as I come to my final semester here in this program, I am in awe of the incredible journey I have taken since first discovering Margaritaville. Although this is a goodbye to MargU as an active college ambassador, it’s a hello to alumni status where I hope to continue to help build the community and support the ambassadors in any way I can.
I love this program with every bone in my body and look forward to my next role with it. My promise to my MargU family is to take what I have learned and continue to bring the Margaritaville state of mind to all those around me as I go through life. Overall, I am eternally grateful for all those who bring this brand to life and I cannot wait to watch this program continue to blossom.
Fins Up Forever!