An Opportunity of a Life Time
By Sydney Schultz
This time of year, many senior students are scrambling to finish their college applications and submit their transcripts, letters of recommendation, and ACT and SAT test scores before their application deadline. This process can be tiresome, and I’m lucky enough to say that I am completely finished with all of my applications. Not having to worry about filling out any more information or writing another essay to get into college is a great feeling. I have already received acceptance letters from The University of South Florida, The University of Tampa, and Bellermine, and have received a scholarship from all 3 schools. I am still waiting to hear from Florida State University, Ohio University, The University of Kentucky, and The University of Cincinnati.
This past weekend, November 9 and 10, I took my first college visits. Typically, students tend to apply for schools in the state that they live in because they want to be close to home or that in state tuition is generally must cheaper. If a student chooses to attend college and live at home, that also saves a lot of money for the student and their parent. But this weekend, my mom and I flew to Tampa, Florida to visit The University of South Florida (USF) and The University of Tampa (UT).
The first place I visited was USF and I was warmly welcomed by my tour guide, Michael. Because this was my first college visit ever, I was a little nervous. When I arrived, I sat in a room with about fifty other potential future students and we listened to a presentation on why we should attend USF. After that, I proceeded to tour the beautiful campus. While I was there, there was a 5K race going on to help raise money and awareness for diabetes. I love running, so if I chose to go to school here next year, that is definitely an activity that I would take part in. On the campus, I visited the dorm rooms, the gym, the fast food restaurants and the cafeteria, and many other facilities, such as a place where students can tan outside by a lake in between classes or in their free time. Definitely for me!
On Sunday morning, I visited UT. UT is a private, smaller school, but it was absolutely gorgeous. I attended their open house with nearly 350 other high school students. We gathered in the gym and also listened to a presentation about all of the good things UT has to offer. They also gave away prizes, and I was lucky enough to win a cup, a draw string back pack, and a $10 gift certificate to their book store. After the presentation, all of the students split up into their prospective majors. I am planning to major in nursing, so I followed a tour guide to the nursing lab. Here I was introduced to UT’s nursing teacher. She was very informative and honest about the classes. She made it known that getting into UT’s nursing school is very challenging because of the rigorous coursework, but it is also a lot of fun. In her class, the students take very few notes, but practice what they learn in the labs. The nursing lab looked exactly like a floor of a hospital, except that the people in the hospital beds were replaced by anatomy mannequins. Although they were fake people, they were able to breathe, cry, sweat, talk, and even give birth! Shortly after, I visited the dorm rooms. They were pretty small, but what dorm room isn’t? The historical buildings and architecture were very beautiful, which made the campus look very inviting.
My experience this weekend in Florida was wonderful. On my trip down there, I met so many friendly people and saw what it would be like to go to school far away from home. Not to mention, I was on the beach while it snowed in Cincinnati. Although schools in Ohio are great, why not take a chance and go out of state? It’s a great opportunity for anyone to start fresh and live in a new place, and it’s something you won’t want to regret not doing. I believe that going far away for college is a great way to find out who you truly are and to grow as a person. You can meet so many new people and see what it’s like to live on your own. Although it could get expensive, many of the Florida schools super score, as well as several around the country. When a college super scores, that means they take each individual highest score from all of the ACT or SAT tests you have taken, and then combine those together for a new composite score. They give out financial aid and a ton of scholarships. So why not do it? It could be the opportunity of a life time!