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14 Reasons Why I’m Proud to Be a Florida Gator

It’s November, meaning finals are just around the corner for us collegiettes. The work is piling up, the number of things we have to do are getting longer, and we're losing a ton of sleep. It’s easy to curse at your university in frustration. But here at UF, November also means the month freshman applications are due. Thousands of hopeful high school seniors have sent in their essays, just hoping for good news in the spring. I have taken some time to reflect on why I love the University of Florida. It was my dream school two years ago when I applied, and it is still my dream school today. Here’s 14 reasons why I am proud to call myself a Florida Gator.  

1. The rankings

The University of Florida is currently on the U.S. News list of top ten best public universities.  We are the first school in Florida to do so. The best four-year university in Florida is also UF. Are we surprised? Not really.

2. I worked my butt off to get here

Admission into the University of Florida is no easy task. Gators got the top grades in high school, were involved in multiple extracurriculars and scored well on standardized tests. These are not easy things to do, especially for a teenager. Not everyone is accepted to UF, so being a Gator means working hard before stepping foot on campus.

3. I get to walk through the Swamp whenever I like

When I would visit the campus during my younger years, the hallmark of any trip was the stadium, the Swamp. It’s covered in orange and blue and contains energy even when it is not game day. I try to walk through the stands whenever I have a chance to remind myself why I love it here at UF.

4. I can study in some pretty cool places

I am a huge library nerd, so I get a little tingle of excitement whenever I see the thousands of books at Library West. Newell Hall, a new study spot on campus designed completely by the students, has the most innovative seating I have ever seen. Although we don’t all love to study for hours on end, I am proud of my university for having great places to do so.

5. I can confidently say that no Gator is exactly like another

Gators are like snowflakes; no two are exactly alike. We share majors, classes and clubs, but we all come from different places and have different life experiences. I have met people from around the world here, and that’s not something that happens at every school. Our diversity is what makes us such a powerful force.

6. (Most) of the sports teams are the best of the best  

Our football team may be on the struggle bus this season, but we have some other teams to be proud of. Our men’s swim team, volleyball and baseball are currently ranked number one in their conferences. Plus, we had Tim Tebow. Who doesn’t love Tebow?

7. We go all out for Dance Marathon

If you don’t know, Dance Marathon is a huge event where UF students raise millions of dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network. All the proceeds go to purchasing equipment, funding research, and taking care of children with medical conditions. Students will stand for 26.2 hours as a symbol of hope for these children and their families. Whenever someone asks me what Dance Marathon is, I’m so proud to tell them how involved my school is in this fundraiser.

8. I can join, or even start, any kind of club I want

UF has a club for everyone. If you want to join a club specifically for your field of study, there are plenty of options. If you want to be in a intramural sports team, we have those too. If Greek life is more up your alley, we offer panhellenic, cultural, and service sororities and fraternities.  It’s impossible to say that there’s no club on campus that interests you.

9. I am attending the same school as my parents

When I was younger, I wanted to be a Gator because my parents are Gators. Now that I am here, I know that regardless of my parents, this is the place I am meant to be at. Many of us here are continuing the Gator legacy of our families.

10. We have a hilarious meme page

Maybe the meme page, Swampy Memes for Top Ten Teens, isn’t the first thing the school advertises, but it is amazing. Creative students make such funny, relatable content. Nothing bad seems that bad with Swampy Memes.

11. I am friends with people who are out-of-state

I am always amazed when I meet Gators who are not from Florida. We must be a great school if we can attract students from across the country, and even across the world.  

12. Gators make change happen

When we feel something is wrong or unjust, we speak up and try to fix it.  Just these past few months, there has been petitions to increase funding for our counseling center and to get free menstrual products on campus. Gators are involved in social issues.  

13. People respect degrees from UF

A degree is a degree, but when you tell people you graduated from the University of Florida, they know you are legit.  There is not much a Gator can’t do.

14. UF is my dream school

All I ever wanted was to be accepted into UF, and now that I’m here, I dread having to leave in a few years. I made my dream come true, and that’s something I am extremely proud of.

Gators, why are you proud to be a student at the University of Florida?  Let us know in the comments below!

Courtney is a freshman majoring in History with a minor in Dance. This is her first semester writing for Her Campus UFL and she's so excited to have this opportunity! Courtney enjoys reading Jane Austen classics, traveling to new places all over the globe, and eating maybe too much Ben and Jerry's ice cream. She's a sister of Delta Nu Zeta, a service sorority on campus, and loves being able to help the community and grow as a proud member of the Gator Nation!
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