Why Being a Sophomore is Better Than Being a Freshman, as told by Harry Potter

Although the beginning of freshman year was riddled with anxiety, stress and unrealistic expectations, I can say from personal experience that sophomore year is a major improvement in all aspects of college life. Here are just a few of the things that make sophomore year so much sweeter:

1. Sophomores already have a group of friends to come back to. 
Freshman year was full of introductions, cheesy icebreakers and pressure to immediately become best friends with everyone you met, but sophomore year is not. There’s already an established group of friends whom you love and have seen through the best and worst times. Although there’s plenty of opportunity to meet new people and see new faces, sophomore year comes with the comfort of having people around that we’re already close to.

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This post was a top chapter article on Her Campus, on Sept. 16, 2014!

A Freshman’s Guide to UF Involvement

It’s your first week at UF, and one walk through Turlington Plaza leaves you struggling to hold on to the dozens of fliers hastily shoved in your face, and bulletin boards around campus are a haphazard collage of neon papers. You know you need to start getting involved, but don’t know where to start. Not to worry, new collegiettes™! Here’s your all-inclusive guide to the do’s and don’ts of involvement, student organizations and extracurriculars in The Gator Nation.

DO join a club that has a group of people you feel you could get comfortable with. 
Involvement outside of the classroom is going to be a way to connect with people who have similar interests or career goals. Seek out groups that would not only provide a support system, but also push you to be your best with some healthy motivation. Steer clear of clubs and groups that pressure you into activities you don’t feel comfortable with, make you feel inadequate or that you just don’t click with. Your involvement should be a positive experience!

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7 Ways UF is Like Hogwarts

Admit it. At 11 years old, you were probably secretly waiting for an owl to drop a letter off at your door, allowing you to be whisked away to the one boarding school we all wanted to attend: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although that dream never came true (I’m still convinced my letter never came because of a particularly unreliable owl), college is pretty much the next best thing. Here are seven ways that UF’s campus resembles our favorite fictional school:


1. The Quidditch Pitch is like: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 
Like at Hogwarts, the stadium is where students assemble for some good-natured rivalry and competition. However, while Hogwarts remains stiffly divided on its house loyalties at its Quidditch matches, the Gators come together at sporting events under the common colors of orange and blue.

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This post was a top chapter article on Her Campus, on Jan. 22, 2014 and Aug. 27, 2014!

A Guide to UF Panhellenic Recruitment

Panhellenic Recruitment is finally here! From now until Bid Day on August 27, the Gator Nation’s 16 Panhellenic chapters will be searching for their newest pledge classes. We know recruitment can be really intimidating, especially for you baby Gators, so we put together a quick guide to all 16 Panhellenic chapters at UF to help get you get acquainted with them beforehand. Good luck, collegiettes™, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

 

ALPHA CHI OMEGA
Nickname: Alpha Chi or AChiO
National Philanthropy: G.I. Alpha Chi, benefitting Peaceful Paths Domestic Violence Center
Colors: Scarlett red and olive green
Symbol: Lyre
Mascot: Peacock
Motto: “Together, let us seek heights”

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This post was a top chapter article on Her Campus, on Aug. 21, 2014!

This is the way the semester ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.

The last few weeks have been crazy hectic. All of you incoming freshmen: know that IB exams, high school finals, and AP exams ain’t got nothin’ on college finals week — it’s pretty much the bottom of the trough in the college happiness index graph. But now, recuperated by a healthy diet of good nights’ sleep and multiple home cooked meals, I write to you my last post as a First-year honors blogger (*cries*).

College is a time of change, as written in every cliche college guidebook ever written. Here are a few of the changes I’ve observed in myself, from the major to the trivial.

I never thought I’d…

Regularly drink coffee. I was never a coffee drinker, and I still don’t consider myself dependent on the caffeine fix like a lot of my friends, but there is a strange comfort in drinking an over-sugared, over-creamed, iced mocha coffee when you’re plugging away at Study Edge videos at Library West. To incoming freshmen, I bequeath unto thee this sage advice: don’t waste your time or money with the $5 Starbucks like I did the entire first semester. The 3- to 6- pm Dunkin’ Donuts $0.99 happy hour is where it’s at.

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Pictorial Analysis of Freshman Year Occurrences with Real Quantifiable Data (lol jk)

I know, it feels way too early to even begin wrapping up freshman year. But, with UF acceptances for the class of ’18 already out, as well as future Honors Program students awaiting acceptances, it definitely feels like we are getting pushed out of our “freshman baby gator” status at an alarming pace. So, in honor of said nostalgia, here is a compilation of the tips, advice, and #realtalk that I wish someone had given me before I came to college, for the benefit of all of the future freshies. After extensive research, I bequeath upon thee the data that gives you the run-down on the actual freshman experience. If you’d like to see all of the algorithms I developed and raw data I acquired, you can check it out here.

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Humility is what will save you a lot of grief as you try to navigate the ridiculously large community of the many passionate, dedicated, and accomplished people on campus. If you keep trying to compare and rank yourself among them, you will always feel inadequate. Sounds crazy depressing, but I promise, it can honestly be a good thing. I am always so proud of, and motivated by the accomplishments of my peers, and just seeing the possibilities and opportunities that are available to students like us is such an empowering experience.

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This was the most viewed post of all time, on the UF Honors: The First Year blog! (March 15, 2014)

The 14 Stages of Pulling an All-Nighter, as Told by Game of Thrones

1. It’s 8 p.m., and your motivation is at its peak. You’re ready to beast-mode your way through this essay like it’s nobody’s business.

2. However, as time progresses with slow work output, you can feel your productivity level tanking and your motivation slipping.

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