Picture this: You have never stepped foot on UF’s campus and are faced with the decision of whether or not to submit that tuition deposit. Well, guess what? I’ve been there! You may have heard someone else’s story about visiting their college’s campus and knowing it would be “home;” now you feel slighted by COVID-19 for taking that opportunity away from you. Here’s the thing though: home isn’t a place, it’s the people with whom you choose to surround yourself. And I can assure you that you will find your people at UF!

The University of Florida is home to the most passionate student body you’ll ever meet. These are incredibly accomplished individuals from across the country (and around the world!) all in one place. They will challenge you, support you and walk alongside you throughout the next four years. Beyond that, our campus culture promotes social engagement. In the classroom, you will take part in group projects. During your free time, you’ll attend free events like Gator Nights. On a daily basis, you will pass students spreading the word about their clubs at Turlington Plaza or the Reitz Student Union.

But no matter where you decide to go to school, it’s all about finding your niche. Big schools offer more variety, but small schools may feel less overwhelming and more easily adaptable. You have to do what’s best for you, and only you know what that is. Finding community will happen organically as long as you put yourself out there to meet others!

When considering my choices, I recognized that UF would push me out of my comfort zone in and out of the classroom. I was right. I joined organizations in which I never thought I’d fit, I changed my major not once, but twice, and with every leap I took I learned more about myself and grew into the woman I am now. Today, I look towards graduation with two degrees, a network of connections, and a story to tell. I chose UF because of the opportunity to write my own narrative.

When choosing where to spend the next 4+ years, my seasoned advice is to consider what you are looking to get out of your experience. Change can be difficult, but college gives you the space to try new things, make mistakes and discover where your passions lie. Universities all have similar offerings: a career center, a multitude of clubs, a sports program. But each university is also rooted in unique traditions; these are what make one’s college experience truly special. From Saturdays in the Swamp to Century Tower’s harmonious concerts twice a day, The Gator Nation is waiting to share these special moments with you.

So, what are you waiting for?