University of Central Florida Top Questions

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


If I had the chance to go back in time, I would advice my 17-year-old me to become more involved in the community. Something that I have learned in my time at UCF is that the one always should give back to the community. I would also tell my 17 year-old to become involved with the programs offered at the university for high school students. That way once my 17 year-old me made the transition to UCF, it would not be such a dramatic change.


If I had the chance to go back in time and talk to myself about the transistion from High school to college I would inform myself on various of things to do and to look out for. I would first tell myself to start applying junior year for scholarships to attend college so that I will not half to pay take out as much loans or take money from out of my pocket. I would also tell myself to do some dual enrollment classes at the local college so I will have college credit and be ahead of the game when I transfer to college as a full time student. Laslty I would tell myself to get the highest grades as possible in my classes from freshmen year all the way up until it is time for graduation, so that I could receive even more financial assistance help throughout my college years.


If I could go back in time I would tell myself to always go with the gut, under any circumstances. Your loved ones will always tell you what is practical and where you will make more money, but you just simply have to love what you do to be happy in life. It is your life and it is your choice; it would be great if you were sure of it. The only way to find out what you like is to let go of fear. We all have fears: fear of judgment, fea rof failure, or fear of not conforming to majority- be different if you want to be. High school is a great time to explore yourself without paying a lot of money for all the quests you have to make before selecting your major. Your explorations will build the confidence to trust yourself. It is necessary to ask for help and guidance, but the only right thing to do is listen to your inner calling. It is ok to change your preferences. The more you learn about the world the closer you get to the destination which is right for your true self.


College is an opportunity to learn new things you didn't know existed. Keep an open mind, but at the same time be opinionated. You'll be engaged in controversial conversations and debates that push you out of your comfort zone, but they will only make you stronger in the end. Do not shrug anything off because you think you know the way, instead stop and listen even if you don't agree. By listening, your voice will grow and by reciprocating that action, you will be cultivating the voices of others until it becomes a cycle. This small action can have a huge impact on our generation and can start to be the positive change we need. Not only will it help society, but it'll help you. Don't waste your first semester by concentrating on the life you left back home. Get out there and get involved with anything that interests you. Don't worry about making new friends because by listening to different perspectives and getting involved, friends will be made. This is your time. Make this experience so that it truly lasts a lifetime. Follow your heart and chase your dreams and never stop believing.


If I could go back to my 18 year old self that is about to jump, head first, into college, I would tell her not to wear a helmet. I would tell her that college is one of those experiences that you don't want to be overly precautious about. I would tell her to keep her mind open to the experiences. I would tell her to find herself then be herself. I would be cliché and tell her that college years will truly be her best years. I would tell her not to drown herself in stress but surf on opportunities. I would tell her to smile at strangers. I would tell her that a GPA won’t define her. I would tell her to travel as much as she can. I would tell her to start a savings account because life happens. I would remind her that not all teachers are the same. I would tell her not to forget where she came from. And if I could tell her to remember one last thing, I would tell her to document her entire college experience, because it will be one she won’t want to forget.


Knowing what I know now, having been going to college since Fall of 2009, if I could go back in time to give my high school self some pointers, I would tell myself three important things. The first and most important thing that I would tell myself would be to apply for every scholarship offered in my senior year, no matter if it was for $100 or $5,000. Every penny counts! The second thing I would tell myself would be to get more involved in leadership classes that were offered so that I could have been more involved in school, made more memories, boosted my confidence, and learned more about taking and having responsibilities. Finally I would tell myself to get a part time job because that would give me more job experience, which would have made it easier for me to get a job now in the present day! Also having a job would have built up my work ethic and confidence. I gypped myself out of a lot of adult life experiences that could have bettered my time in High School and prepared me more for the college life I was moving toward and hoping for.


If given the opportunity to speak to my former self, I would be quite frank. "You," I'd start, "need to get your head on straight seeing as though you have our heart set on going to an out-of-state college. Florida? Are you crazy? Nonetheless, I have returned from the beyond to express to you the future you shall certainly arrive at unless you change your loner ways. First, Algebra 1 is the devil and if you slack off you will fail like I did the first time. Second, jogging pants and t-shirts are not considered a wardrobe and 'Freshman 15?' Try Freshman 25, okay? Pace yourself. Thirdly, tumblr is not your friend and don't let him coax you into spending six hours giggling at love quotes and stalking celebrities from around the world the night before a Chemistry exam. Lastly, and probably most importantly, don't decide what to get into and what not to get into. Do everything, try everything, and experience everything. Remember I said everything and not everyone, don't be 'that' girl. But in all seriousness, don't worry about spreading yourself thin as long as you enjoy every last minute."


If I was given the chance to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I know exactly what advice I would give myslef about college life and transitioning into it. I would tell myself to get into good study habits now, so that when I get to college, I'd already have a good routine for when studying. In highschool I barely had to study to get As and now I've learned that college is nothing like that. If I had already figured out how I best study by my first year in college, it would have gone much smoother. In summary if I could give my high school self any advice, it would to be to learn how to study before going to college so as not be overwhelmed in the first semester.


If I could sit down and explain the college transition to high school Jessie the first thing I would offer is a piece of advice I received that first semester; to treat college like a 9-5 job. Even if your classes end by three, it is best to get ahead on your homework and studying so that you can have your evenings and weekends free for extra-curriculars and relaxation. I would remind high school Jessie that UCF is an incredibly large school and thus it is important to get involved as soon as possible to make friends. I would advise her to always have one involvement that acts as a resume builder but to more importantly, join one club that is "just for fun" and allows for an outlet to relieve stress of everyday life. I would emphasize to high school Jessie to enjoy every precious second of the experience. There would be difficult moments- the relationship ending with her hometown boyfriend, moments spent missing her family, and trying to avoid the freshman fifteen. However, the joy and growth she will experience that year will greatly outweigh those brief sorrows.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would make sure I stress the importance of college and that you should not give up and drop out. I would tell myself that you will have greater regret if you try to go back to college when you are older verses just going now. It will be much harder to go back later. I would tell myself that having a college degree is very important for your future life and without one, you will struggle and most likely be unhappy with your job. Most importantly, I would say to think about your future children, and be the example you want them to see, so that when they are graduating high school one day, they will not think of college as an option, but as the next step in their future. A successful future!