University of Central Florida Top Questions

What should every freshman at University of Central Florida know before they start?


As a high school senior, I found one of the most difficult tasks while transitioning to college was choosing a major. Feeling like this is a sudden big decision that involves one's career interest at a young age can be daunting. Personally, I thought, "I'm not even in college yet, how am I supposed to know what I want to do 4+ years from now?" However, once you get into the groove of things at a college/university, you realize that declaring a major is a temporary decision and it is okay to change your mind, even multiple times if needed. You can start off with one interest and transition into another if you realize the first option was not the best option. Although, yes, you should take college and your career choices seriously, real advice would be to relax. The pressure of completing the transition into college the "right" way is a subjective concept that varies for each person. It may be the beginning of life getting real, but it involves a series of trail-and-error to get through it.


There are two bits of advice I would give myself if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior. The first bit of advice that I would have given myself is to budget. Budgeting in college in a crucial skill, as there are tons of things to pay for. Besides just education costs (tuition, books, lab supplies), there is also the cost of living (rent, food, electric, etc). My first year in college was especially difficult because I never had to account for the cost of living on my own. There were times when I spent all my money for the month in the first week, and ended up eating ramen noodles for the next couple weeks to get by. The second bit is to learn to prioritize. I struggled my first year of college with balancing work, friends, and school work. It would have been much easier for me if I had learned to prioritize my time and put school work above all others. Having a personal life is certainly important, but ultimately you are in college to learn and I should have made that my top priority in my first year.


Begin to start saving money, begin to develop time management skills , and begin to acquire study skills that works best for you. All of these pieces of advice are very vital when it comes to being a college student. Some days you're going to have good days and some days you're going to have bad days, just never give up no matter how difficult it gets because it is definitely worth it in the end. Get ready to meet new people, get ready to take on tough and rewarding challenges, get ready to experience new experiences, and get ready to have the best four years of your life. Learn to be open minded and understand that you will be working hard and long. Most importanly, have fun, college dosen't have to be stressful. At the University of Central Florida in a school with 60,000 students, stand out, get invloved, and become noticed.


The most important advice I could give myself is learn how to time manage yourself and set budgets when it comes to spending money. There's so many chances to waste your time and falling into distractions will only distract you from focusing the primary reason you attended this school. As far as money goes, you'll be spending it on almost every and anything you want, but if you seperate the amount of money you need to spend on certain things, you'll have the ability to use it for something that'll be good for your health, both mentally and physically.


I would advise myself to, first of all, apply for more scholarships so that I would not have to take out loans that I would have to pay back later. Second, I would tell myself to practice developing time management skills because it was difficult to get used to the concept of managing my time since school did not begin and end at the same time every day like high school. Third, I would say meet as many people as I possibly could because the transition from high school to school of over 60,000 students can be overwhelming and intimidating. If I were used to meeting lots of people on a regular basis, I would have joined more organizations and I would’ve socialized more during my freshman year of college. Next, I would tell myself to learn techniques to effectively study. During my freshman year, I did not study effectively and I ended up coasting through classes with mostly B’s. I would say take every class seriously and strive to get all A’s. Last, I would tell myself to start learning how to cook because it is cheaper than eating out and I could save money.


Two words resonate in my mind when I look back on my senior year of high school: time management. Yet despite the plethora of instances in which an elder in my life offered these words of advice and encouragement, I failed to truly acknowledge the importance of what would soon allow me to successfully maneuver my way through my first year of college. During my first two weeks of college, the biggest hurdle I faced was figuring out what to do when I wasn't in class. I had plenty of time on my hands, so at that point, getting around to my homework was not as big of a concern as trying to fill up my schedule was, which was an issue that troubled me for the first two weeks, and an issue I look back now with painful laughter. Second semester has proved a dramatic difference. Now that I am enrolled in five classes, work a part time job, am part of a team working to produce a film by summer and am focusing on building my portfolio, I wish I had fully grasped the crucial importance of time management while I was still in high school.


If I had the opportunity to go back and speak to myself, there would be many changes to my life today. My duration at high school was not spent wisely, to say the least. I ignored my school responsibilities and relied on my charisma and sheer luck to pass my classes. Instead of preparing myself for college, I decided to have fun and spend all my time playing sports. My dream school has always been to attend the University of Florida, yet I was confident that high school did not matter. Fully confident that I had no problem of getting accepted, I continued my neglectful behavior until I was denied from UF. Devastated I realized that if I had put more effort into high school, there would not be any repercussions that I am dealing with now. With this in mind, I am now making up for it by being the great student I am, staying on top of all my work and getting good grades. With my goal of going to medical school to continue my education, I will ensure this does not happen again.


If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell him not to overcomplicate college and to always keep a schedule. With this knowledge I may have saved myself from stressing over classes that I could have gotten A's in. I would emphasize the schedule because time management is very important for both sanity and academics. If I had the schedule I have now freshman year I believe I would have been much further along in both educational and social aspects.


There are many things that I would love to tell myself, as a college freshman now, I have learned so many different things, however, if I wasn't who I was in high school, I would not be the person that I am today. However, one practical thing I would tell myself is to be consistent. Many times in my life, I have started something and have never finished it. Either because of fear of failure or "boredom". That definitely hasn't helped me be the person I am today. I would tell myself to actually finish a program or academy in school and be consistent with it. Be consistent with your studies yet also with your beliefs. Be consistent in friendships and not flip-flop to the next. Be consistent with a sport, and learn to work in a team because that will help you so much in college and your life after that. Being consistent was one of my biggest problems in high school, but if I could go back and tell myself something, it would have to be, to be consistent and continually go forward.


Dear 16 year old Kathryn, You’ve made it to graduation. You’re in the top 10{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c}, involved in choir, drama, FCA, NHS, etc. You’re above average but you don’t feel you can be the best. The two years between you and classmates has you down. You’ve got opportunities in the fall, but Mom and Dad aren’t going to let you go because you’re “too young.” Don’t grow up too fast to compensate for your age. You don’t have to prove you’re a mature, independent adult right now. That comes with time and experience. No other way. Instead of dropping out of community college because you feel “better than the mediocrity” and just working, be rational. Talk to Mom and Dad about the fragility of your future; show them you’re willing to do whatever it takes to be the first in the family with a Bachelors Degree. But respect their intuition. Because when you are 24, you will be the only one you know without $80,000 in college debt. Plus, you’ll make better grades because of how hard you’ve had to work to be there. Love, Yourself. (Literally).