- Class: Junior
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Palm Harbor University High School
- Transfer Student: N
UF is a big place, but I wouldn't change that for the world. There are so many great people with such varying backgrounds and interests that it makes life interesting. If you have a smaller major, you'll get to know the same faces anyway, so having a large campus behind it is definitely good for branching out. The best thing about UF is definitely the atmosphere. We have such pride as students. It's definitely unmatched to other campuses in Florida. The Gator Nation is truly everywhere and it's something that I know I will pride myself on when I leave school. Whenever I tell people that I go to UF, they automatically ask me if I love it. UF is definitely associated with a great college experience and I would tell anyone that it is absolutely true. Gainesville itself is built around UF. That's another reason why I think the atmosphere here is so great. There are things open late, there are tons of coffee shops, there are lots of Gator apparel stores, and there are two of everything. The campus itself is so large that you feel like you are within your own community when you are on it. The atmosphere that Gainesville provides is definitely far from what my homelife was, but for a college city, it's not too bad. UF's administration has it's ups and downs, like all colleges. I think there are some great strides being made on our campus. I'm a liberal arts and sciences major and currently that is one of the hot topics on our campus - CLAS budgets. I think that our administration is pushing the envelope with this issue because it is a large college and cutting our funding is, in my opinion, a bad call. It's frustrating to me because we have such an advanced and well know science department (Shands Hospital helps with that) - you should be pushing the other side of college academia as well. Overall, I have not have a particular bad encounter with any of the administration. Everyone I have had contact with is more than happy to help if you ask the right questions to the right people. I'm going to walk away from UF with a ton of great memories. There is so much going on in Gainesville and on campus that it is hard to not have the time of your life. If you get involved in the right things on campus, you will have a great time here. Some say that UF is too large for you to have a memorable experience, but I think that makes it better here. Perhaps it takes an outgoing person to have a good time here, but I would not trade schools for the world.
Being an English major, my professors get to know my name a lot more than other classes. My classes are generally 30ish people, so the intimacy factor is there. I have been in class with an upwards of 600 people in them before. If you have a good TA in those classes, you can have a good bond with your instructors, however that is purely up to chance. The English department offers so many cool classes. My favorite courses have definitely been the children's literature classes. They are so interesting and definitely off of the expected path of English literature. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of my English classes though and the freedom that the professors have in choosing their topics gives the students an awesome selection to choose from as well. I spend a lot of time doing my reading for English classes, averages around a book a week. I have homework in my other courses and, most of the time, you can get away with not reading. More often than not, at least in my experience, professors are willing to help you with study guides or exam reviews if you ask for them. You can get out of doing a lot of the reading for classes by participating in classes. For my classes, class discussion is so important. If you don't know what you are talking about, however, you will sound like an idiot and professors will take note of it. You'd be surprised how many professors are willing to and wanting to hear from their students. Office hours are great if you use them wisely. Students here are definitely pretty competitive, especially within the various colleges and departments here. Grades are still very important to us. We do have intellectual conversations outside of the class - sometimes carrying on the conversations we had in class. I have sat in professor's office hours before and had hour long talks about the topics we cover in class on a much more personal level. If you put the time into your studies, you will definitely get a lot out of your coursework. Depending on your major and college, you get a different experience here at UF. For me, English is all about learning about the subjct and taking out of it what YOU want. In other courses, I know the courses are designed to get you hired. It depends on what your major is and how much you are willing to put into a course. If you take the time to do the work and talk to people about the subject matter, you will create an environment where you learn for learning's sake. I think most of UF can by summed up by saying: you get out of it what you put into it.
There is such a diverse student body here. There are countless ways for UF students to get involved with their race, religion, culture, and interests. The non-social fraternities and sororities definitely help with that. There are also a ton of clubs (averaging I believe around 700 a semester). Even if you aren't religious, we have a lot of free speech here. Preachers frequent the campus and discuss religion in open and heated ways. The Hare Krishna's have lunch on campus for students who are interested. UF is an open place that has all kinds here - it's hard to be alone here in my opinion. UF students are from all over. I hear most everyone being from Florida with a few out of state students. The state has pretty good representation from all of the major areas. There is a good mix of ethnicities, religions, and cultures here. I feel like I have been exposed to a good group of people here. There are your stereotypical kids here - the nerds, the preps, the air heads, the jocks. But then there are a ton of people who break the stereotype. There is a lot of student interaction here. If you are at a sporting event, you don't care who is next to you - odds are you won't ever see them again - but in the moment, everyone is a friend. There are definitely times when the whole campus comes together and I think that for the 50,000 of us here, that's a great thing. There are a lot of students here on scholarship for need and for merit. There are all ends of the spectrum here - kids who are taking out personal loans and kids driving Daddy's Mustang. I think that is typical of anywhere on campus. There are a lot of first generation college students, it seems. Perhaps those are just the people in my major, I don't know. Overall, the blend of students here is pretty interesting. For politics, I would say most students are more liberal than anything. There are a ton of religious and convserative groups though. I think it depends on your major and your extra curriculars. There is truly something for everyone here with it comes to politics. There is always literature and there are definitely people out there to get you informed. In election years, it is a big deal. For Gainesville, a place mostly populated with students, there is also a large push to get us involved in local politics since it is "our city" too.
The Best Things
The atmosphere - it's so encompassing and makes college just what you want it to be!
The Worst Things