With sweat dripping down my face from the Florida heat and hundreds of students trying to fit into one lecture hall, the first day at UCF hit me like a ton of bricks. The classroom had over 900 students in it which was twice the size of my entire high school back home... The girl next to me leaned over and asked where I was from. I replied "New Hampshire", and I got a blank stare back. My heart sank, and the expectation I had set for college began to diminish.
The bell rang, and I was thrown into a whirlwind of 65,000 students moving quicker than the streets of Times Square. What was I doing here? I struggled to find things in common with people who had been born and raised down south. I did not know a single soul in Orlando, and it became apparent I would have to work hard to branch out.
I came to UCF with the intent of getting the "college experience", but over the years I have gotten so much more than that. Once I dropped my expectations and cookie cutter image of what school "should" be like I began to enjoy myself. I tried new things, made friends, and am forever grateful for the experience of being a campus ambassador for KIND. The people I have met here have had such a positive impact on me, and truly helped me grow as a person (I promise I'll stop getting sappy now)... These are the ten things that make our school unique, awesome, and why I am proud to be a Knight!
1. Our School Spirit
As undefeated national champions this year, our school pride is on another level! The football games at UCF are definitely something you don't want to miss.
2. The Campus
Our school has super modern classrooms with new things constantly being built (hence the acronym Under Construction Forever)... The sunsets over places like Lake Claire or the Reflection Pond still take my breath away. Luckily, despite the large size of our school it is all in the shape of a circle so it is very easy to find things.
3. Homecoming Week
From free concerts, fireworks, or a huge football game this is one of my favorite times of the fall semester. Our school has had performers like Big Sean, Martin Garrix, and Ludacris.
4. Universal Knights
What other school closes down a theme park for a night for their students? UCF used to have students wait in line for hours on campus to be one of the lucky few to get a free ticket.
UCF takes football very seriously - they close down our campus whenever there is a game. Thousands of people line up on Memory Mall to tailgate. From alumni, family, and students there is such energy as we all head into Spectrum Stadium to cheer on the team.
6. The Events
On any given day there could be bounce houses, zip lines, or free t-shirts being given out on campus. Our school constantly has SO much going on it can be hard to keep up with it all. One of my favorite events was when we partnered with the Wellness Center to give out flowers and KIND bars to students on Memory Mall.
7. The Ridiculous Parking
Every year I try to see how long I can go without buying a parking ticket. It becomes a game to see if they can figure out I put an old ticket on my car (they always find out). Not only are they brutal about ticketing, but it's a running joke that it takes longer to find a parking spot then it does to do our homework.
8. Spirit Splash
During Homecoming Week thousands of students skip class to run into the large fountain in front of our library. They all race in search of getting a custom rubber duck from the water.
9. Our bar being called the "Library"
The name of this place has given me countless excuses over the years... "No, Mom - I can't talk right now I'm at the library!" (she definitely caught on eventually). From block parties, happy hours, or ladies nights this place is iconic to our school.
10. The Myth "U Can't Finish!"
There's a running joke at our school that if you walk across the Pegasus seal at our Student Union that you will not graduate! I'm very superstitious so I've stayed clear of it... But proud to say I finally completed my undergrad degree.
Welcome to my blog, my name is Rachael. I'm a twenty-something year old from southern New Hampshire. I'm studying marketing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Follow me as I adventure through my senior year.