- Class: Junior
- Major: Other Social Science
- Gender: F
- High School: Chamberlain High School
- Transfer Student: N
UF is the oldest, biggest and arguably the most prestigious public university in Florida, and it is many high schoolers top choice in the state, and it has a very "university" feel. I am proud to say that I attend UF. I love Gainesville, which is considered a college town. UF is large enough that students can get involved with almost anything they desire; from greek life to Students for a Democratic Society, and from putting on performances at our theater to leading study groups. Students always have avenues with which to stand out, even at such a populated school. It is not uncommon to find students across campus simply laying down on the grass with a book. However, some problems have arisen lately. For one, many departments in the school are in debt, and on top of that, many schools are receiving budget cuts. This severely affects class size and quality, and if students can even sign up for different classes. There has also been issues with the administration investing in "socially irresponsible" investing, and also not making many of their spending habits transparent to the public. There are also virtually no parking spaces for students, which is especially a problem for many of the libraries on campus which stay open until after the buses stop running.
Freshman year, many classes are between 200 and 400 students. As students move up academically, class sizes become smaller. Professors do not know students names automatically; Students must make themselves known by being active in class. A downside to academics here is that many professors were hired for research, and although they may be intelligent, they are not necessarily good at teaching the information that they know. Another downside is that many professors are tenured, and do not need to worry about performing well as teachers because they will still get paid. My major is Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; and I'm lucky because my department is small enough that I can meet with my adviser almost whenever I wish to. My classes are interesting and are preparing me for graduating.
The student population here is so large that everyone has an avenue for expression and feeling welcome within a group of their own. I don't think that many students would feel out of place here. There is a Black Student Union, as well as an organization only for Lebanese students. Religious organizations cover everything from Baptist Collegiate Ministries to Pagan Student Union. There are organizations for every political cause, academic track, minority group, hobby, or remote interest available. Most UF students are involved in at least one organization. Most UF students are from Florida, although we boast a decent-sized International population. Many financial backgrounds feel welcome because there are so many scholarships here, as well as the work study program.