7 Regrets to Avoid Having at Preview

The end of the spring semester is upon us here at UF. That means that Gainesville is about to become Rainesville, more mosquitos are going to come out, finals are quickly approaching and Preview will soon begin for incoming baby gators! For those who are unaware, Preview is UF’s orientation for all incoming students. It’s a two-day event where you get to stay in a dorm and learn enough to prepare for your arrival at UF (for PaCE students, it’s only one day!).

Before you arrive at Preview, you’ll usually get some form of an itinerary and a supply list for your time here. What you don’t get is a list of ways to make the most out of Preview. So this is for you, baby Gators, a list of regrets about Preview.

1. “If it’s something you have to do for your major, make sure you take the ALEKS test before your Preview date. It will save you time at advising. A lot of students get held up because of that one test.” – Ros, a fourth-year art and math dual degree student and former Preview staffer

The ALEKS test is essential for all STEM majors coming to UF. While AP credits may get you out of beginner classes, those credits might not be in the UF system in time for your Preview. The ALEKS is a timed test designed to place you in the proper chemistry and math classes at UF.

2. “My roommate wore sandals that got ruined in a downpour on her way to the dining hall! Good shoes for rain and walking are a must.” – Valerie, a first-year nursing student

I cannot stress this enough. Preview is basically all walking. I remember that I had to walk from Williamson to the chemistry area to Broward and back while it was muggy and humid outside. Thankfully I wore shoes with insoles, so my feet were saved. Others weren’t so lucky. Comfortable shoes that can stand up to the rain are your best friend at Preview.

3. “I regret listening to the ‘advisors’ when picking my classes.” – Sarah, a third-year mechanical engineering student

I’ve heard this so many times from my friends. During Preview, professors hailing from all the colleges become advisers for incoming students. You can end up with an adviser that doesn’t have a clue about your major and will suggest for you to take wrong classes. Sometimes they’re right, but other times you know what’s best for you.

4. “I wish I would’ve gone with my gut instinct for picking my major! Fully research majors beforehand and go with what you believe is best for you.” – Taylor, a second-year journalism student

Taylor started off as an English student but switched to journalism after listening to her gut. I did the same too. My first year, I majored in chemical engineering because I thought it would have a lot of chemistry in it—but turns out it doesn’t. Chemical engineering is a misnomer and is actually a lot of physics. My dad wanted me to stay, but my gut led me to materials science and engineering. It’s my love now because it’s actually chemistry!

5. “I regret not talking to my Preview roommate! Like, I didn’t talk to her at all. They’re just as overwhelmed as you are, so sharing an experience like this could be a start to a good friendship!” – Tara, a fourth-year anthropology student

Preview is such a good opportunity for a bonding experience. You’re stuck with the same people for two days, you may as well to make connections, especially in your dorm room. I was lucky enough to attend the same Preview as my roommate for the year, so obviously we shared the same room. If you’re scared about making friends, talk to your roommate. It can help you make good memories of your Preview and you can also leave knowing you made a friend!

6. “I regret not getting to know people at Preview and also bringing way too much stuff.” – Josie, a fourth-year journalism student

They randomly place you in groups during Preview. You’re with this group most of the time, so you’re bound to bump shoulders with someone new. Even though my roommate was there, I actually talked to people in my group. This helped with my confidence when making friends in college. If you can make friends during the chaos that is Preview, you can make friends anywhere.

7. “Don’t forget to bring sheets. They don’t give you any.” – Delfina, a third-year materials science and engineering student

Do you want to sleep on a plastic mattress after a long day of walking? I didn’t think so.

Hopefully this list helps you have a good Preview! It’s better to prepare in advance to avoid any regrets, so now you have a list of things to look out for. Have a great time at Preview—we at Her Campus UFL can’t wait to meet all the new baby gators!