Hello, future Gators! I’m Bailey Inglis, a sophomore from Carmel, Indiana. I’m studying Applied Physiology and Kinesiology on a pre-occupational therapy track.

Deciding to apply to UF as an out-of-state student was pretty easy. I come from a Big 10 family, but I wanted to create my own adventure and get out of the Midwest. So when my mom asked me if I had considered going to an SEC school, there was only one obvious choice. UF really stood out to me because it was both an academic and athletic powerhouse. The most important thing to me is a good education, but I also wanted a school that I could watch win bowl games and national championships on ESPN. I wanted a school that had an outrageous amount of school pride. I wanted a school that would give me endless opportunities to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. UF checked all my boxes (and boxes I didn’t even know I had)! Like the sunny, mild weather in February – fine, I guess I’ll take it.

On a more superficial level, there were lots of adjustments I had to make to get used to life here in Gainesville. I remember my first month putting on sunscreen every day, trying to keep track of all the different Florida cities my friends called home (Siesta Key, Sarasota, Sanibel…where even are they?), exploring Publix, figuring out what to do for an incoming hurricane, etc. It felt exciting and doable, and I loved the challenge! However, on a deeper level, being out of state means being far away from home and your primary support system. There are days where it’s really hard, when you’re sick or stressed and all you want is a hug from your mom, and all you can do is FaceTime. It is really teaching me how to be an independent and resourceful individual. I also value the time with my family so much more given that I only get to see them for portions of the year. I am just grateful that they have been so supportive and have become the biggest Gator fans!

In terms of housing, I knew I wanted to live on campus in a traditional dorm, like in the movies. So I got on Facebook and found one of those pages with all of the new UF admits that are looking for roommates. I thought it would be best to room with another out-of-stater, so I wouldn’t feel insecure that she had all these friends coming into school and I didn’t. I found someone I shared common interests with, we DM’d for about a week to test the waters, and then decided to room together. It was the best decision I could’ve made, and probably one of the top reasons why I had such a great freshman year. We lived on the fourth floor of Rawlings and made friends with our whole floor. I loved my roommate with my whole heart! I would recommend living on campus to anyone who isn’t afraid to make some friends while brushing your teeth in the communal bathrooms.

*Note: Photo taken prior to COVID-19 Pandemic