Kirsten Growing up in Florida makes you take up some weird hobbies as a kid. Catching lizards and tormenting fire ants were two of my favorites. I played tennis with my friends in the middle of the street and picked my grandma's ruby red grapefruit trees when I walked two blocks to her house.

Everyone had a pool and a pretty green backyard. Water guns, rafts and beach towels intermingled between my friend's homes. We had a ditch behind our house, a breeding ground for my most treasured wildlife friends: tadpoles, frogs, toads and the occasional black racer snake. It was heaven on earth for any kid.

I read everything I could get my hands on. "My Side of the Mountain" and "The Swiss Family Robinson" were two of my favorites. I even read "My Side of the Mountain" again this past year because the book was so memorable. I loved school and immediately followed in my brother's footsteps, attending the same undergraduate and post-graduate schools he did.

Our family of four is the closest I know, relishing in holiday visits nowadays because we are spread apart in distance. I can only hope to follow in my parent's footsteps and make a family so bonded in love and respect.

One of my most memorable experiences happened during my junior year of college. I spent the semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy, soaking up the culture and briefly becoming Italian for a few months. Ever since I left, I've been masterminding a plan to return, but haven't had the fortune yet. I hope I won't have to wait much longer to visit the streets of Trastevere.

I found the love of my life, Shane, when I moved to Indiana upon my college graduation. We share the same journey towards our master's degrees and anxiously move closer to beginning the rest of our lives together. I still can't believe how lucky I am to have him.

Now I'm pursuing a career in public relations, a decision I made after experiences with editing and publishing. I hope to enter the technology sector after finishing my master's work, and would love to do PR for a geeky, techno-hip company like Apple or LucasArts. California seems to be calling my name this summer for an internship, so that's on the horizon.