This article is part of an ongoing series, in which students document their experiences, both on campus and beyond, from their unique perspective.  

Nina Rocha ’19, a Communication major, celebrated her final Hillfest as a senior with her friends. Hillfest is an annual celebration that kicks off the start of the fall semester! Here are a few of her reflections and photos.

An arm with "I love you so much" temporary tattoo.

I moved to Austin almost 4 years ago. I remember being anxious about living in a new place and starting at the university. I felt welcomed the minute I stepped through the red doors.

Topper, our mascot, poses with Nina at Hillfest.

My first picture with the G.O.A.T, Topper. He’s quite popular, so I felt a bit nervous asking for a picture. This photo wouldn't have happened without my roommate's encouragement.

A pizza food truck with students and family in line.

I was happy to see many familiar faces during Hillfest. It was bittersweet because I'll miss all the people I've befriended on this campus, but I'm looking forward to life after graduation.

Ninas friends pose for a picture.

These are my friends Marco Padron '21 and Magaly Cital '21, my roommate Tita Yanez '20, and my boyfriend, Diego. I'm glad we enjoyed Hillfest together despite being exhausted from moving in earlier that day.

A carnival game where students throw darts to try and pop a balloon for a prize.

My time at St. Edward's has changed me profoundly. I learned so much about myself these past four years. I don't know what’s next for me, but I'll take what I learned as motivation moving forward.

An actual goat poses for a photo at Hillfest.

This sweet fellow let me take a picture of him and pet him afterward.

Nina's friend rides a mechanical bull.

This is my friend Marco riding the mechanical bull. He was quite proud of how long he was able to hold on. After this picture was taken, Magaly beat his time by double.

Fireworks over the university skyline.

I love fireworks! They are my favorite part of Hillfest. My friends and I went to the Main Building lawn 10 minutes before the fireworks started because we wanted a good spot for watching the show.

The official Hillfest t-shirt and pin.

I was determined to get a shirt to commemorate my last Hillfest because they always run out. Mission accomplished!

More About Nina

Where are you from? I'm from Panama City, Panama. I moved to Austin to attend St. Edward’s in 2016.

Major and graduation year? I'm a Communication major with a Media Arts and Broadcast Journalism concentration. I’ll graduate this December.

Describe your life on the hilltop in three words? Challenging, exciting and vibrant. Saying goodbye to life here will be really hard.

Your idea of happiness? To me, happiness comes mostly from within ourselves. I would describe it as consciously appreciating and accepting who you are, while striving for personal growth.

What inspires you? Good conversations inspire me and make me want to learn more about the world. I know I’ve had a good conversation when I can’t stop thinking about whatever the topic of discussion was.

What do you do in your free time? I'm a total foodie. During the weekends, I try out new restaurants and food trucks. Nothing beats a good brunch! When I have small breaks in between classes, I listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos.

Where are you working? I work at the Marketing Office here at St. Edward's. I'm the social media and PR intern.

What's your favorite part of Austin? I love going window shopping on South Congress Avenue. I could spend hours browsing every store.