How My Experience in UCF Have Changed Me

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Transitioning from high school to college can sometimes be scary and overwhelming for some students. From my two weeks of experience here at UCF, I have noticed the mass differences from high school to college. High school is a place where students go to 7 or 8 hours a day and 5 days a week. It is a place where attendance is mandatory and required. There are strict consequences for being late in class: from a verbal warning, phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, to suspension. Your teachers and your family monitor how you spend your time in class and at home. On the other hand, in college, there is a definite difference in everything. There are different ways of teaching and learning and different expectations and responsibilities. Some of the noticeable differences I see from high school to college is the class size. Some college classes range from 200 to 300 students and sometimes more. Unlike in high school, there is no such thing as easy classes in college.

Each class requires more than memorizing vocabulary words and basic regurgitation of facts. From what I have gathered in my short time here at UCF, classes are more challenging. Professors will push you to develop your critical thinking skills and use what you learn in class to another set of circumstances. In college, you are responsible for your own schedule. Your mom or dad is not there to tell you to wake up and go to class. No one but yourself is responsible to come to class on time. Although it is not mandatory to attend your classes every day, you are expected to be there because some professors include attendance as a part of your participation grade. College offers a variety of classes for students to explore.

There is more selection of classes and programs that will help you pick the right career. UCF is an institution that caters more than 60,000 students with over 600 clubs and organizations that is available for any students to be a part of. The most exciting thing I have experienced here at UCF is meeting a diverse group of people with different cultural background, culture, beliefs, and customs. Making connections and building relationships with different people is beyond amazing because it allows you to not only enhance your communication skills but also increase your sense of belonging. I came to a deep realization that in a huge campus like UCF, networking is the best way for me to be introduced to new opportunities.

The scariest thing I expect to experience at UCF are getting lost and being late to my class. Navigating through a city-like campus is difficult and scary, especially when you are by yourself. Arriving late to class is another scary thing I expect to experience. I grew accustomed to my parents being there to wake me up and now that they are hundreds of miles away from me, I am responsible to wake up on time. One thing that I learned here at UCF is that punctuality is imperative to success. Being punctual shows respect and it improves people’s perception of you. It decreases stress and enhances self-confidence. The one goal I have set for myself during my first year of college is to get involved in at least 2-4 campus clubs and organizations. One organization that I have in mind is called the American Society for Engineering Education. ASEE is a non-profit educational and service organization that encourages local schools (K-12), minorities, and women, to pursue an engineering-related career.

This organization is dedicated to promoting and improving students to pursue higher education. Getting involved on campus or any types of social gathering forces will not only help me get connected to the university but it will also open the door to a world of new opportunities and experiences. UCF is full of resources and it is up to me to take advantage of them. I feel that being a part of the University of Central Florida would further influence my scholastic abilities, character, leadership, and would allow me to integrate into the community.

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