Name: Kiran Lalani
House: Rogers-Rotary

It is difficult to believe that I am starting my third year at University of Florida. I am Junior graduating in May 2020 and my time here at SSF has impacted my life forever. Looking back at last year at SSF, I can never forget that friends that became my chosen family. I remember coming into SSF being skeptical about living with 17 other girls, due to that fact that my freshmen year I had a terrible roommate experience. But my reservation quickly diminished the moment I stepped foot in Roger-Rotary at Gainesville Florida. I learned quickly that these girls were empathetic, kind, understand, and mostly wanted to create lifelong friendships. I can say that when I leave SSF I will leave without having any student loans, and I will leave with numerous lifelong friends.

The reason this opportunity has changed my life is because I come from a that has 2 brothers. I never knew that my family has always struggled financially, because being the youngest it was always well kept from me, but thankfully I have a large family that has always been there to support me and my brothers while growing. As time went on, I began thinking about paying for college and all of the other expenses that came with it especially since I was the last one in college, how would my parents put yet another child through a 4-year university financially? I was ready to take out loans and I did apply to hundreds of scholarships. Yet, SSF changed my live and I could not be more thankful, especially due to the fact that I did not have to take any student loans for my bachelor’s degree.

Being the youngest child in my family nobody ever came for me for help, and being the only girly in my family, I never had the chance to grew up with sisters, I never had the chance to go to my sisters closets and take clothes, and I never had a chance to talk to my sister about problems only girls may understand. However, all these “I never have” changed upon my acceptance to SSF. As Vice President of Rotary, I always had an open door policy, anybody could pretty much walk into my room at any time for advice, or to just discuss anything, related to the house or just their personal life. This was the first time I was able to help people I never have had the opportunity of being wanted for advice since I was the youngest in my family. Now I have not one but 16 other sisters, some older than me and some younger than me. This means that now I have 16 closets to go through for outfits and shoes. Now I have 8 rooms to go into and talk about girl problems, or 8 rooms to just go into and hang out, or 8 rooms to go into and just laugh, have a good time, and create lifelong “college memories.”

SSF has impacted my lives in numerous ways. I would be lying if I said that everything was all rainbows and sunshine all the time. The hard core truth is that yes there were bumps in the road, but in family not everything is perfect. All of our flaws together is what makes this house exciting, it’s what makes this house we call Rotary, a home. Over the past year, yes we may have bumps head, but that is what siblings do, but also over the past year I fell in love with every housemates flaws. I learned that love makes family, not blood; and love is what makes a house a home. Rotary is MY HOME.