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.


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)

Confessions of “Blind Girl #2”

My junior year of high school, I had a newfound (probably Glee fueled, not that I’ll ever admit it) obsession with theater. I decided to try out for the school’s Fall production of the 19th century set The Miracle Worker—the audition being the first time I had ever said my lines in front of other sentient creatures—somehow turning a minute monologue into a seven second one. (To everyone who witnessed that, you know who you are, and thank you for never ever acknowledging that monologueever once the nightmare was over) Miraculously (actually, by sheer probability because not enough people auditioned) the honor of playing the unnamed character “Blind girl #2” was bequeathed upon me.

Ok, actually, confession, I wasn’t even “#2.” We were just referred to en masse as “blind girls,” so everyone I’ve been recounting this tale to, I’ve just been lying to you for dramatic effect.

We were on stage for two minutes. I had one line. (“Where’s Alice?”) And that was that. Rehearsals were daily, grueling, and time consuming. Grades suffered, along with my dignity, but for some bizarre reason, I got it in my head to try to audition for our Spring musical production. 

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Dirty Laundry: Otherwise known as the 21 previously unforeseeable side-effects of joining a dance team

  1. Perpetual, debilitating soreness in places you didn’t even know you had muscles.
  2. Inability to clamber onto the awkward height beds in the Hume dorms due to said soreness.
  3. Actually considering sleeping on the floor because of above reason.
  4. Mountainous accumulation of dirty, sweaty laundry that you keep saying you’ll take care of, but “lol yolo” tends to take precedence.
  5. Trying to dress a least a little bit cute for the first couple of practices,
  6. But realize that these days you only spend 5 frantic minutes trying to find at least a clean t-shirt before rehearsal.

(For full post, click here)

Existential Crisis-ing, My Visit Home, and why Honors Advisors are Da Bomb Dot Com

If my day-to-day conversations of the past week were to be monitored NSAtwitter-style, #ExistentialCrisis would be the number one trending topic, hands down. The crisis is real, as I’m sure my fellow honors students can attest to. My high-school-self used to scoff at friends in college that would complain about said internal conflict, accusing them of being melodramatic and ungrateful–partially because of my naive overconfidence, and partially because college looked too damn fun from the eyes of a pimply, brace-faced high schooler eager to break free from the bridle of school bells and awkwardness.

However, a week ago, after a particularly inspiring/panic-inducing talk about the plethora of scholarships, internships, theses, study abroad ops, research, leadership, community service… etc. etc. available, the panic began to set in. How can I fit all of this into four years? Do I even know for sure what I want to study?  Where am I going to be in the next 10 years? Why can’t I just be a hermit and live in the woods? asdfjk;hOw dO I LIFE?

(For full post, click here)

This was the most viewed post of all time, on the UF Honors: The First Year blog! (Oct. 8, 2013)

On feeling overwhelmed, blue, and other sad tales of Freshman Week #4

Guys, it’s actually happening. The newness is wearing off, the tiredness is settling in, campus doesn’t feel that big anymore, and exams are actually a thing now. The realization that, wait, we’re not on a no-parents-allowed temporary romp into adulthood, and that responsibility is actually a thing that exists — it’s rough after almost a month of dining-hall-chocolate-chip-cookie-fueled, wide-eyed, naive excitement to fall into an actual routine of taking out the trash and doing laundry and maintaining deadlines and studying. Bleh.

I actually had to stay up until 2:00 am last night/morning. And not because of tumblr, or cat videos, or rage against humanity for the Miss America 2014 /twitter debacle, or even the Doctor Who 50th anniversary speculations (Whovians unite!), but because of the horror known to all pre-med freshman called “Gen Chem 1.” Seriously, does anyone feel ready for that exam?

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On procrastination, dining hall food, and other easily abused substances

Just to make things clear: Yes. I should be doing work right now. I am an ungodly number of lessons behind in my math class, and a similarly large number of chapters behind in my chemistry class, but the internet is a black hole for concentration and focus. Yet, knowing all of the above, I sit here, using my math textbook as an armrest to type up these very words. Clearly, I have no shame.

As a personal confession, and a form of self-disclosure to my new readers, here are all of the “freshmen sins” I have committed today:

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