If I had to describe Destination Imagination (DI) to someone who had never heard of it before, I could be there all day. DI is such a unique academic program that there is no universal way to explain it. Everyone has a different way of describing it, but my teammates and I always found ourselves saying, “It’s basically the nerdiest thing ever… But it is so much fun and I love every second of it.” I have been blessed to be a part of the best group of girls (though I may be just a little bit bias) for four years. The journey we went through and the memories we shared are ones I will always hold close to my heart.
Some of us had known each other before Destination Imagination, but I can say with confidence that DI is the reason I have these girls in my life today. Through the countless hours of preparation for competitions, long car rides, and staying together for a week at Global Finals, my team has become my family. Some of our favorite memories are not the competitions themselves, but the little things that happened behind the scenes. The long nights in Jessica’s basement building props and joking around, the yearly ritual of lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse during Regionals, and standing in the gymnasium at the competitions—clutching each other’s hands and waiting to see if we would place and move onto the next round.
Destination Imagination has without a doubt taught us many important life lessons over the years. We have all learned to have a stronger faith in one another, and that no idea is ever wrong. We have also learned to think on our toes and think outside the box. I mean, how else could we build a structure that could support eggs filled with pennies using only mailing labels, newspaper and a plastic cup?
Though we are now DI alumnae and no longer compete, we still remain great friends. And whenever we plan to do something together, we always refer to them as “DI outings.” This year we are all at separate colleges, doing so many different things with our lives. While the distance may be far and I miss them like crazy, I am certain that our friendship will only grow stronger as the years go by. Thank you DI, for not only giving me some of the best memories, but giving me the best people to make memories with.
From left to right: Jessica Burhans, Trisha Coleman, Jordyn Capell,
Isabel Padovani and Erica Bell.