Happy Monthiversary! As of October 2nd, my fellow Center for Marine Resource Studies (CMRS) students and I have officially spent one whole month on this sunny island of South Caicos! It’s unreal that it is October, yet still sunny and 90° outside. My internal body clock is throwing a little temper tantrum, demanding chilly weather, fall leaves, and pumpkin flavored foods. It’s amazing to look at the calendar and see how much time has passed when it seems like just yesterday we were strangers crammed into a small ferry, precariously stacked with all our belongings, jetting across the water to a tiny speck in the distance.Even after a month, it is surreal to wake up every morning and walk out of my room to see nothing but clear blue ocean for miles. I don’t think I will ever get used to how breathtaking the views are here in our little slice of paradise.

There is no better place to learn than here. We are fully immersed in the environment with direct hands-on fieldwork. “Going to class” often means grabbing your mask, snorkel, and fins while headed to the boat. Physically being inches away from all the spectacular coral reefs and fishes (which I can identify using their scientific names now!) has made me even more aware what the ocean has to offer.

This week is midterm week and as you can imagine, the stress level is through the roof. That’s what happens when you throw 35 of the most bookish science people together in one program. There is definitely something odd about sitting next to your professor at dinner and knowing that he knows you’re panicking (slightly) about his exam in a couple days.

The past couple weeks have been the best experience of my life so far. Every day is an adventure in itself and I am so incredibly grateful that there are still two months left. From outreach with the community, to snorkeling and SCUBA diving, I can only imagine what amazing moments the Big South has in store for us.