University of Central Florida Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Hilda

Apply broadly and go to the north east.

Tarin

Advice I would give to my high school self is to not stress or worry. There was too many times in high school where I would stress myself over minor things, that I look back at now and just laugh. For example, social life. I maybe talk to one person from my high school now. But during high school, social life seems like the most important thing.

Sara

Looking back on my previous experiences, I would become more involoved in extracirricular activities as a high school student. Being able to balance academics, a job, and extracirricular activities helps students to learn how much they can handle at one time. This achievement is extremely influencial in understanding the possiblities of college. If I took on more activities as a high school student, I feel as though I could have impacted my college career in a more positive way. I feel that I might not have been as scared to try something new. Having the fear taken out of trying a new extracirricular activity would have been diminished if I only had been more involved in high school; thus, leading to a higher involvement in my undergraduate major.

Sancia

Go to UCF

Pamela

I would avoid taking out student loans(if possible), apply for scholarships, make and meet all kinds of people, and never stop learning. When I was a freshman in college my parents took out student loans with the expectation that they would pay them back. I attended an out of state college in Vermont. My father passed away during my sophmore year and he was our sole provider. My mom had to move so I decided to transfered to UCF but I could not afford out of state tutition, so I attended VCC to finish my AA. After finishing my AA at Valencia I transfered to UCF as an instate student. By this time I was completely on my own financially, I then applied for scholarships and grants- I finished the rest of my schooling for free. I graduated with my bachelor's degree thinking I had zerotolittle student debt. To my surprise my parents had taken out 40k in loans for my first two years of college. I decided if I owed that much then I should continue my education. I graduated with my masters in 2014 and now working towards my doctorate. It did make me work hard.

alexandra

Oh how do I wish I could of given my high school senior self advice! I would tell myself that your journey is about to start and it's going to get very hard, but whatever you do, don't give up. Your struggles in life build character and make you appreciate what you earn and to not take anything for granted. Nothing will make you prouder than earning your own education. Study hard, take pride in your work and remember what you're in college for, to get an education and build a future. Yes, party's are fun but they won't be there for you in the future like a well paying career would. So don't do anything in excess, unless it will benefit you in the long run. Like studying or getting enough sleep! Yes, these two things can go hand in hand if you plan right. Use your planner to plan ahead and keep track of all your assignments. Nothing is worse than realizing you missed a deadline because of improper planning. Even though college will be stressful, remember, you are young and these will be some of the best years of your life!

Alexis

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would try to prepare myself for all the responsibilities and work that will be ahead in the future. I would make myself understand the importance of saving for college and doing well in my classes. I would try to explain how difficult college really is and how I need to start taking things seriously if I want to succeed. I would warn myself not to get caught up in the partying and how it could potentially ruin your life and any future. Stay in school, never quit, and always stay positive.

Tabitha

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would both critize and praise myself. I believe that I did a good job in making choices throughout high school. I made good choices about applying to multiple colleges. However, I would tell myself to not set my heart on one school. I had my heart set of FSU. I got accepted, but they didn't even have the programs I wanted. I should have done more research before I set my heart on one school. Thankfully, I didn't end up going to FSU, because then I wouldn't have come to UCF and fall in love with it. Going back in time, I would tell myself to think for myself and not my family, friends, or teachers. I would tell myself to follow my heart and do what makes me happy rather than worrying about what other people want from me.

shelby

Just so you know, you aren't going to keep the same friends that you always though you would because you'll all change, and that's okay. You will meet some of the best people of your life in college, but they won't always stick around and thats okay. See the people you will meet on your journey again through freshman to senior will mold you and shape you into the fun, exciting, and confident woman that you always wanted to be. The people who didn't stick disappeared for a reason and you will grow from that. The new relationships you form will be both negative and positive but I can promise you that you will get through those rare but occuring bad times. Don't be afraid to be selfish, take time to laugh, travel, and enjoy stopping to smell the flowers. You will find that the only person who controls your destiny is yourself.

Shannon

The best thing I ever did was choose to go to a state college and recieve my associates degree before attending a regular university. While you do miss out on some things, the quality of the education I recieved from the state college made it worth it. The classes were smaller and more like high school classes than those at major university which helped with the transition also. State colleges are like a half way point between high school and college!

Jamilette

College life can be amazing and it is different from high school; it is real life. I would advice myself to save as much money as I can and to start filling out as many scholarship applications as I can, to feel more relaxed when the college life arrives.

David

First I would tell myself not to get senioritis. I didn't think senioritis was real until it hit. My GPA could have been so much better if I didn't mess around that last year. Senioritis messed up alot for me and some of my goals weren't met. Overall I was kinda dissapointed. Also, you should never give up and if you think you can do something then do it! You have to believe in yourself because, I believe in the you who is me! If you're offered a good opportunity then take it! Don't waste your life.

Shomein

I would have given myself the advice to never give up and actually try. I did not take high school seriously and I regret not trying hard enough.

Danilo

I would tell myself to forget about what you accomplished in high school, but particularly the way that you learned. College is a different place with a different way of learning. You must learn to manage your time above all, and then you can succeed. It will be a difficult transition, and at times, you will feel alone. Keep busy and focused and you will see that time will pass by quickly. Have faith and be patient, and continue to be positive and you will achieve all of your goals.

Lindsey

In high school, I didn't think much about who I wanted to be. I chose my college based on proximity to my boyfriend (eventual husband) who was in the military. I chose my major (hospitality) because it was practical and portable for military life. Graduate school was unthinkable because I would need to be stationed wherever my husband went. I never considered choosing a major based on just me- my goals, passions and vision for the future. Now ten years later, that relationship is gone and my life has transitioned. I've always loved animals, had a mind for science, and enjoy community involvement. I'm excitedly on the path to become what I could've been from the start- a veterinarian! I'm earning another degree (biology) with plans to go to vet school in two years. If I could go back to high school, I'd tell myself to explore who you are- and follow that- before following anyone else. Choose your major based on your own passions and abilities, and don't understimate yourself. Set professional goals, and choose a school that will be a stepping stone for accomplishing them. College is all about you!

Forrest

In highschool I was almost entirely focused on academics and had a very limited social life because I was part of the IB program and although I graduated in the top 10 of my school while taking the most rigorous course work available I did not develop the social skills I feel I could have used when making the transition to university. So I would tell myself to make sure to develop some freindships and be more social because even though university is mostly about the academics its also very important to be social and have confidence or you will find yourself alienated and alone for no good reason. My first year I had a hard time making friends because I simply lacked the experience of dealing with large groups of people. Now I have the skills necessary but I could have developed them in highschool if I had only known how important they are in life.

Dylan

"Take your time and be diligent in everything you do." That is the best thing I could say to high school me. In high school I was a procrastinator and waited until the last second, rushing through every bit of schoolwork just before, sometimes even after the due date. This was a huge transitional problem when I arrived at UCF. I couldn't straighten out my priorities when it came to fun and classwork. It might be sometime before I can fully figure it out but I've started straightening up. "Listen to your parents" That is the next best thing I could advise my youger self. I wasn't too rough on my parents but when I wouldn't listen, it always bit me in the backside. They are usually right and it kills me to say that, but if I would've listened more, I would've been much more prepared for managing college the right way. Even still I am told "If only you listened to us more." But hey, not listening is part of being a kid right?

Andrea

Learn to live and let go. Not everything will come easy, but everything will be much easier to handle if you just let it happen and don't try to influence the events to benefit you. Making friends is not as hard or as scary as it can seem. Even though it's a big school and you might feel like just another student at times, remember that you matter, and you are important. Never lose sight of your goals, and never give up.

Sinclaire

Dear Sinclaire, Are you listening? Nod once for yes, and twice for no, because I know that back in highschool, you were afraid to speak. I know that you hid yourself away, even from help, in order to protect yourself from criticism. You swallowed your words as if letting them escape would expose and destroy your soul; make you into a lamb among wolves. Here's some advice from someone who's been where you're going - Straighten your posture and say what you want to say, loudly and clearly. You will learn that in the future, 'communication can control cities'. When you speak, people listen because your words are constructive and persuasive, carefully chosen and carrying powerful, charming subtext. In a university as big as the one you're headed to, that skill is not only necessary, but uncommon and even coveted. You'll understand when you finish SPC1000 (speech) with the highest grade in the class in your spring sophmore semester. Though you may eventually discover what I'm telling you in time, I'd like to give you confidence now - know that your well-placed words can place you well on your path into success. Sincerely, Sinclaire

Daniel

Hello Daniel, it's you from the future. Now look, there's something I need to say. I need you to listen to and follow each direction I give you to the word. You need to apply to those scholarships. Just because you don't technically qualify for them based on their criteria doesn't mean they won't give you the money if you apply. I'm telling you, you could seriously save us a lot of money. It is one of my biggest regrets right now and I need you to fix it. Also, stop slacking off in your classes and study for those AP exams. Again, it will save us money...and TIME! Just put in a little more effort. Life is okay, but it would be better if you try harder.

Ashleigh

I would tell myself to take more duel enrollment classes and less advanced placement classes because the credit isn't reliant on one test and I would have actually learned important information.

Jamie-Lauren

I would suggest reaching out to more people in my high school years, particularly the teachers. A good recommendation letter can be the difference between getting accepted or not making the cut. I would also encourage myself to get involved in extra curriculars, academics aren't everything contrary to what your teachers may tell you. I think the most important thing I would stress would be just to get out of my own comfort zone more often. Having new experiences will make you a more well-rounded person and mo\uch more prepared for college life.

santos

I would simply have begun my college experience earlier and gotten that out of the way. I have lost much income due to my meandering and eclectic style. I have learned from travel experiences and much reading on my own. Life has been the greatest of teachers; the real world requires a degree to establish the bona-fides. Nonetheless, I have no regrets. I have seen the world and lived a life of rich experiences which would not have been possible had I been bound to a university during my days of sowing wild oats.

Elizabeth

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell my to take it easy and learn how to balance things and not procrastinate. I would tell myself not to put scholarship aside and to find time to apply. I would also advise myself to do a little more research about the colleges that I applied for and truly examine and understand the tuition, so that I won't have to drop out of the college I wanted to go to the week before and basically miss an entire semester.

Laura

The advice I would give myself is, don't think you will be able to be the same person you are in high school. You may think that you have found yourself completely, but there is a lot more to learn about yourself. Your first year in college will be tough. A lot of changes will occur in your life. You will have to let go of a lot of things from the past, like hobbies, boyfriends, and ways of life. But trust me, through all the darkness there will come a rainbow. You will be better, you will have lived through a lot, traveled a lot, and met many new people. You will be stronger, healthier, and even more radiant than today. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster in these upcoming years, but also prepare yourself for greatness.

Jill

If I was to have the opportunity to speak wisdom to my high school self I would encourage me to make the most of my college experience. I would hope to take my academics more seriously. I would want to be more selective about my participation in campus events. I would also be more vigilant to myslef about continuing through to graduation, regardless of the obstacles that may arise. In my freshman year at college, I got pregnant and married. These turn of events delayed my finishing school for a full 20 years. I certainly do not regret starting a family, only the delay that I allowed for it to cause. I would encourage myself to finish school even through the hard-times.

Athena

Don't worry about making friends. Don't worry about the size of the campus, you will find your way around. People are friendly and will help you if you are lost.

Katherine

Don't give in. Hard times will come and you will feel defeated but as long as you keep getting up you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Anything worth having is worth fighting for so keep fighting and don't EVER think that you can't. I would tell myself that I am smart and persistent and those qualities will help me overcome my future mountains. Never take no for an answer, especially when it is related to your goals and dreams. Keep working towards those goals until the answer is yes. And always, always, always stay true to yourself. Trust in yourself, you are capable of more than you think.

Charlie

Challenge yourself. Do not use your status as a senior to relax and await your enrollment into a college since you believe that you can 'change' yourself then. Trying your best now can create a steady path in the future so that you don't have to be worrying all the time. You will be better prepared and better rested when you aren't scrambling everything in one go after letting it stack in a pile until the time is right to pick it up again. In addition to this, I would recommend on becoming a more sociable person and take all the oppurtunities given to you, as it will make you a better person. Social interaction is a necessity of human nature, and the only way you will climb the ladder of society is if you put yourself out there. Open yourself to the world, and your perspective will change drastically. College is there as your guide, and you must be willing to follow it.

Jose

Finish school. Do not let friendships, marriage, family ,church or hobbies hinder you progress. Experience carries very little weight when you are applying for a high paying job. Your life will be financially easier with your degree. Many corporations seek employees who are educated and pay them accordingly. There are no short cuts. Its better to spend five years in school sharpening your axe to cut a tree instead of spending five years trying to cut the tree with a dull axe. I'm you in twenty years. Dont waist twenty years to start right back at this point. Focus and finish your school!

Peter

If I could go back and talk to my senior high school self, I would tell myself to actually take my AP classes seriously. Although I passed most of them I feel like I could have done much better if I had applied myself to the classes more. I also would have told myself to practice good "time management" skills since, so far, everything I have done in college has been my responsibility. The professors and staff do not "baby" us like they used to in high school and all the important stuff that we must do we must do by ourselves. I would also tell myself to now worry so much about my social life in college because I'm with some friends from high school and made some new friends already at college as well.

Joseph

If I could go back in time and talk to myself I would attempt to reassure my past self as much as possible. Prior to actually moving into my dorm and making the 2 hour drive to my college, I was very nervous. I was worried I wouldn't fit in, or that I would be extremely homesick. Once I had finished the actual move, my entire outlook changed. My worries were quelled and I knew immediately that was the right choice. If I could go back soothe my ill thought worries, I could relieve so much stress that I never had to experience in the first place.

Jessica

The most important piece of advice that I would give myself as a high school senior about the transition from high school to college life would have to be to not live on my own. As a first year college student, I made the decision to live alone in an apartment off campus, and I have to say that it is unbelievably difficult to meet people under those circumstances. I would go back and tell myself to live on campus with some roommates in order to avoid the difficulty of finding friends that I have experienced.

Jared

I would tell myself to take my work more seriously. I would say I need to focus on my work and not do just what's necessary to pass because that will not work in college. I would also tell myself to get a job to get experience with balancing school and work before I had to do it in college.

Denise

Currently speaking as a college student, the struggle I had to face, the endless amount of process and convincing I had to do for my dream college to accept me, one outlying advice I could ever give my high school senior self is that, you should not have slacked. You should not have spent endless amount of time on your phone, streaming vines after vines, double tapping every picture that interested you on instagram, scrolling endlessly on facebook and twitter updates, etc. Instead of binge watching netflix episodes, I should have studied for those 5 hours you wasted for your Biology test the next day. But even after all that distraction, you tended to receive decent amount of grades, but not that decent for you to be awarded with great scholarships, or been awarded an abundant amount of financial aid money. College life is great! The amount of parties, boys, especially the no parents part, don't let that get to you and divert all your attention away from academics. Learn to balance social and academics, because after college, you are on your own, you WILL BE an adult, and if you haven't done well in college..good luck.

johnathon

I would tell myself to always keep my head up and don't give up on my goal. I would also tell myself to pick my friends based on a shared common interest, such as those who are equally driven to preform well in school and life.

Aleandra

I would tell myself to focus more on classes instead of social life. Social life is important, but class comes first. Your ultimate dream is to become a Nurse. The way to go about that is to focus on your studies, especially the science classes.

Daniel

I would tell myself that college life is far from being the same as high school life. College will teach something that is valuable in life, time management. Once you gradfrom high school, things start to get a bit different. In the college life, you will not have mom and dad, so you have to make decision by yourself. You will not have a guidance counselor, that will set up your class schedule for you and will not be on your case when you have bad grades. The college life, is all about your judgement. You need to understand that getting good grades and maintaining those good grades will help you out in the future once you graduate. Because once you graduate, you need a job and for a job, you need recommendations from people. There is nobody better than a college professor giving you a job recommendation. So my final advice would be, BE READY.

Christina

I would tell myself to be more confident in my abilities. In highschool, I did not think that I was smart enough to attend college. I thought college was only for people who made straight A's. My brother was the only person I knew in college and he is the kind of person who is naturally super smart. In highschool, he never had to study for exams and continually recieved A's. I insecurely applied to UCF which was the same university my brother had attended. I was shocked and broke down in tears when I was accepted. Despite my lack of confidence coming out of highschool, and my fear of not being good enough for college, I have excelled at UCF! My hardwork and determination has resulted in my very succesful and high 3.9 GPA (which is higher than my brother's college GPA). I have more than conquered the fears I had about college during highschool. Now I confidently continue to better myself by conquering my fears and achieving my goals. Thus, I would advise my younger self to be confident in my abilities because I am smart enough to succeed in college and in life.

Matthew

In one year, I went from being under my parent's rule to having complete freedom. I had arrived to the University of Central Florida to study film, but more importantly, I was free from my parent's reign. Free to do whatever I pleased. I could stay out as late as I wanted, eat whatever I wanted and do whatever I wanted. This sounded too good to be true. Naturally, I abused this power. Go clubbing till 3:00am on a Tuesday? Why not! Do it again four more times that week? Sure! Drink all night and eat an unhealthy amount of Big Macs? Definitely! It was mayhem. I still attended classes and received A's and B's, but I wasn't focused on the real point of college, which was to find my passion. Freshman year, I found my passion, screenwriting, but I didn't dive into it until the end of sophomore year due to my overconsumption of partying. Ever since, I haven't looked back. I love screenwriting and it now consumes me everyday. My advice to myself would be to immediately strive for your dream because it's more rewarding than any other feeling.

Kayla

Being a high school senior was definitely a challenge. I did not apply to a college until the last minute. My advice to my past high school senior self would have been to apply to at least five colleges for early admission. Your chances of getting accepted and getting everything taken care of, would have released a burden off of your back. You could enjoy the rest of your senior year without worries. Also, filling out the FAFSA application is a must! It is better to do it ahead of time. Your chances of receiving more financial aid is greater than if you were to procrastinate until after the deadline. Besides, paying for college out of your own pocket is not that easy. Any type of financial aid, even taking the time to apply for scholarships will help. Use the time you would waste spending on social networks and put it towards filling out a few scholarships at a time. Take advantage. You'll never receive a scholarship, if you do not apply for them. The odds are in your favor. Do not let free money pass you by. Prepare for the best upcoming four years of your life.

Victoria

If I could go back in time as a high school senior I would try a lot harder in my AP classes. My teachers weren't the best so I never strived to my full potential in those classes. I would go back and pass all my AP exams so I could use the credits for college courses and save a lot of money.

Carolina

Dear Freshman Carolina, Lets pretend we are in a sorority and you are my little, I will be your big, yor mentor, your new best friend. If you take my advice you will get into top-tier colleges across the nation. This will sound corny and over-rated but take the classes you love at the level you realistically know you are capable of achieving. There are no make-up exams in life, therefore choose wisely. Colleges want you to chose one activity and be a leader, fully give yourself to that one activity. Its all about workign the system and how much of your energy you are willing to give for the long run. Take dual enrollment starting sophomore year, develop a relationship with your dream schools region admissions officer, prepare for the SAT/ACT starting freshmen year , develop a relationship with the brace advisor (he/she is key to a successful completion of the college applications and connections with admission officers aroud the nation), and lastly enjoy yourself. These are tips but they can be spread throughout high school. They are simple and clear cut. These are the tricks to success, take them. Best, Senior Carolina

John

Well at almost 60 years of age I would have to advise myself that going on to college is very rewarding and a great time in your life. You make many friends and memories from your college days and some last until the end. I would also recommend to me that I enlist in the military, complete the training & service, and then start my higher education. The military training has the ability to finish molding you into the person you are to become. It would also make me stronger and more confident in myself. I saw this transformation with my son with the Air Force. It would also have been so rewarding for me to complete college which something that no one in my family has done before me. I now know that you need a bachelor’s degree of some type in order to be considered for most jobs in today’s market. So my advice to me would be go get your degree, make great memories and live your life to the fullest. I left high school thinking I did not need a college degree, I was WRONG! Thank you for considering me for this scholarship.

Abigail

If I could go back in time and give my high school senior self advice, it would be to learn more efficient study habits. I would also advise myself to explore more areas of volunteering and get a better sense of what I like to do and what I don't like to do. I would tell myself not to despair because college isn't as difficult as I thought it would be and try to work really hard to study and be more decisive in all that I do.

Tabitha

Focus on school and everything else will fall in place. You are going to have time for family, friends, and fun. Do not worry about money and how you are going to pay to get places or eat because options are available. Join the Glee Club at UCF, it will be the best decision you make in your entire college experience. There will be time to relax, go to the pool, see movies, and go out to dinner all while maintaining your grades in school. You are smart, you have worked hard your entire life especially through high school to get here. Do not give up ever, even when all hope seems lost.

Andrew

The advice I would give to my high school senior self is to put in 100% effort from day one. I have struggled for 3 years of college, even though my intelligence is quite high. I would tell myself to get help immediately when I start to feel anxious, depressed, or unable to focus. It has taken me this long to get help for my learning and mental health issues, but now that I have, it feels amazing. I regret not seeking help earlier, as I think I could have done so much better. If I could go back, I would do things so differently. I think that when high school students move on to college life, they often do not realize the importance that this short chapter has on the rest of their lives.

Jennifer

Don't take yourself too seriously. You don't have to know what you want to do going into school, thats what college is all about- finding out who you are and what you want to be.

Kelly

If I could talk to my high school senior self and give myself some advice, the first thing I would say would be something like, "Don't be an idiot." I was a bit foolish with my money, spending it on overpriced textbooks without looking at other stores and buying school-related souveniers that were too expensive for my liking. Making friends has always been difficult for me; I would tell my old self to actually go up to people and talk to them, rather than wallowing around in loneliness and homesickness. It hurts, but I got through it, and I ended up on the dean's list for the fall 2013 semester. I would say to not stress too much about academics, since I have always been fairly smart and hardworking, but to focus on the classes that teach the most. Always study for exams and put plenty of effort into the artwork done for class. In the end, what matters is whether or not my freshman year of college was worthwhile - and even though it was tough, I could've easily changed a few things to make it better.

Brodie

Dear Self, Are you ready? The next couple of years are going to be tough. You'll have your good times and your bad, but you are ready. Moving away isn't easy. You are used to mom and dad being there, taking care of everything, and now, it's just you. Just remember everything they taught you, and you'll be fine. Everything you heard about the parties is true. There are parties everywhere all of the time. But remember, there will always be another and you have to decide what's right for you. Remember Mom’s saying, “What’s popular isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always popular.” Studying and learning is what you're there for. A lot of sacrifices are being made for you. You will be pulled in different directions and you'll feel like giving up, but don’t. One of the best pieces of advice is to get involved. Get involved with a sorority. It is an instant family, instant friends, and an unlimited social life. Be open to let new friends in. Make decisions that push you to become a better person. Just believe in yourself!