Dear Class of 2019,
First of all, congratulations! You now have the coveted chance to become a Florida Gator! Some of you have always wanted to be Gators and are very happy right now. To you, I say see you in the fall! But a few of you may be on the fence about which school to choose. It’s okay! Think it through, but in the meantime, consider the amazing things UF has to offer.
UF is the place to get the true college experience. There is a never-ending amount of diverse and eye-opening things to be a part of. Just this semester, I have heard Jay Carney and James Franco speak, went to a free Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros concert and will attend UF’s own Tedx conference. Also, I have volunteered with multiple organizations and been a part of Dance Marathon, the largest school-run philanthropy in the southeast. This is just scratching the surface. UF has a club for everything! Surfing, sky diving, you name it. I am actually planning on attending a Honey Bee Club meeting. It may seem odd, but how often do you get to tend beehives? I simply want to experience all that UF has to offer, and hopefully you do, too.
Gator football gamedays are simply the best. You will never see more orange and blue in one place. My first semester, I was woken up at 9 a.m. on a Saturday because people were playing corn hole right outside my dorm. It’s madness! We’re pretty good at every other sport, so they’re fun to watch as well. I highly recommend gymnastics.
If you’re worried about how large campus is, don’t fret! I have learned to love walking, and you can, too! If you live on campus, you can basically walk anywhere in 15 minutes. Plus, UF is gorgeous with its ivy-clad halls. Be sure to check out Library East because it has the prettiest study room! Also, if you want academic help, there are plenty of resources. My advice is to always go to your professor’s office hours. There is also a tutoring center on campus, and our Career Resource Center is full of resume, cover letter and interview advice!
When deciding my collegiate fate, I was torn between a small, private school and UF. Like many freshmen, my first semester was difficult. Going to a smaller school that was closer to home would have been a lot easier for me. But deciding to stay here and tough it out has made a world of difference for me as a student and a person. You will learn, just as I did, to create a future for yourself. In his book David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell argued that it is easier to be a big fish in a little pond than it is to be a big fish in a big pond. UF is a big pond, and so is the world you will venture into after graduation. If you want to be competitive in such a large arena, you must adapt to a large arena.
Best of luck to you all in finding your dream school! I’ve tried to tell you how wonderful it is to be a Florida Gator, but at the end of the day, it’s really something you must experience for yourself. The Gator Nation hopes to welcome you soon!
Photo credit: Mic.com