We Found a Temple in a Forest – The First Thing I Did After I Graduated


Sleeping by the beach in tents was the conclusion of a long debate between my friends on what we should do after graduation. There’s a great campground in Pensacola, Florida called Gulf Islands National Seashore that is right on the beach.

The trip started pretty chill. We caravanned with three vehicles, made stops at cool places, and even had a dance off with a neighboring car.

The campsite is secured, so we had to check in at the gate before entering. Once we checked in and got our passes, there was miles of beautiful beach shores spanning the entire left side of the island. camp3

We weren’t completely roughing it in wild. The site had a shower room, a small store near the entrance of the camp, and electricity available near your designated campsite.

Our first night was spent setting up camp and relaxing on the beach. The Saturday night was a different story. After a day at the beach, we decided to go exploring at night in a nearby forest.

Crazy Celine is the only one in the group who had been to the campsite before and knew of an old, abandoned building in the forest – referred to as the temple because of it’s shape and the creepy stairs on the outside of the building to the third level.

This was the moment I realized our group was comprised of complete mental cases. What group of girls goes camping, gets a little tipsy (because we’re all over 21), and decides to go creeping around in a forest? The dumb cast in a horror movie, that’s who.

Luckily we didn’t find anybody inside the temple. So we went up to the roof on the fourth floor and blasted the new Beyoncé album, Lemonade.

Sitting under a starry sky with my best friends after an exploring adventure was exactly what I needed. It had been so long since I had relaxed and not obsessed over my future.

Ridiculously dancing to Beyoncé while we felt the ocean breeze was freeing. All I could think about at the time was the beat of the music and how bright the moon was.

Needless to say, I highly suggest taking a trip after graduation with your friends. It helps keep you connected and makes graduating seem less terminating, like everyone you meet and everything you did in college will just cease existing. Life goes on and taking a trip helps ease your mind.

Also, you have most likely been stressing out for an entire year on what you are going to do for the rest of your life after you graduate. So some downtime is probably much needed, so take it. Make time for yourself.


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