December 3, 2022

With an ever-increasing variety of four-year faculties within the U.S. — 2,968 as of 2012, in response to the Nationwide Heart for Training Statistics — the alternatives are countless. (Korea Occasions file)

There comes a degree for each pupil throughout which the query comes: The place ought to I apply for school, and can it’s an excellent match for me?

It’s a tricky query to crack, even after the usual one- to two-day campus tour, and with an ever-increasing variety of four-year faculties within the U.S. — 2,968 as of 2012, in response to the Nationwide Heart for Training Statistics — the alternatives are countless.

The Korea Occasions is kicking off a brand new collection to assist college students make what could also be one of many greatest choices of their lives by inviting graduates of schools throughout the U.S. — the Ivies, the general public faculties, the liberal arts faculties, the small, the large — to put in writing about their experiences and college cultures to offer a window into every establishment.

Isabel Won is a second-year pharmacy student at the University of Florida, where she also completed her undergraduate studies in psychology in 2014.

Isabel Gained says College of Florida is greater than only a college — it’s a house that lets you go away a legacy that’s your individual.

By Isabel Gained

Rising up, the strain of being accepted right into a prestigious college weighed closely on my shoulders. Whereas my household by no means blatantly instructed me to check onerous, I all the time knew that it was anticipated of me.

I labored relentlessly to excel in my teachers. Lots of my buddies inspired me to use to colleges exterior of Florida, particularly these Ivy Leagues, however my household wished me near dwelling and their needs all the time got here earlier than my very own. By then, I used to be packed and able to go to the house of the Gator Nation: Gainesville, Florida.

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Once I first stepped onto the enormous 2,000-acre College of Florida campus, I did it with a preconceived notion that every one I’d be doing was finding out. I used to be the woman too nervous to boost her hand at school, the woman who was scared to voice her opinion, and I discovered myself getting ready to be that very same woman once more.

Because it turned out, being alone in a brand new place was the breath of contemporary air that I wanted.

As a Korean American, I discovered a real dwelling right here at UF. One of the crucial superb elements of campus life is the wealthy tradition and alternatives that it presents for minorities. It’s an unimaginable community of people who attempt to make an setting that fosters the event of leaders. They, in flip, really welcome every particular person, it doesn’t matter what ethnicity, with open arms. That sort of real kindness results in friendships that provides college students the braveness and confidence they should step out of their consolation zone and unlock their potential.

I grew to become concerned throughout the Asian American group. Earlier than faculty, I by no means thought I’d be part of Greek life, however I lastly discovered my area of interest in an Asian-interest sorority often called alpha Kappa Delta Phi (aKDPhi), and from the second I formally grew to become a sister, I might already see myself rising as an individual. By means of this group, I’ve discovered the way to proactively provoke dialog, the way to watch out with what I say, and the way to successfully handle my time. The sorority gave me the launching pad to be an knowledgeable networker and an individual who takes each alternative prefer it’s my final. Due to it, I used to be capable of maintain numerous management positions, together with a task as the chief director of Asian Kaleidoscope Month, the biggest Asian Heritage Month within the state of Florida.

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From the skin trying in, many individuals would simply go Gainesville by as a result of it doesn’t have the enchantment of a giant metropolis, however what they don’t see is simply how a lot the small city really builds itself across the college.

Isabel Won is a second-year pharmacy student at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where she also completed her undergraduate studies in psychology in 2014.

Isabel Gained is a second-year pharmacy pupil on the College of Florida School of Pharmacy, the place she additionally accomplished her undergraduate research in psychology in 2014.

Gainesville treats college students like the primary sons of a household — I’m certain many Asian People can relate to the significance of this assertion — the place they’re catered to by way of low-cost hire, weekly offers on meals, and free transportation all through the entire metropolis on the RTS bus system with a pupil ID.

What makes this metropolis actually particular are the hidden gems that you may’t discover wherever else, whether or not it’s going mountaineering, zip lining, or paddle boarding on the native university-owned “seashore” often known as Lake Wauburg, or spending your time in between courses munching on Krishna (a campus hotspot/custom that provides you all-you-can-eat, karma-free meals for simply $5) or at Satchel’s, an eccentric junkyard-turned-pizza joint that gives eats inside a classic van.

Recognized for its big meals truck rallies, hipster espresso retailers, and scenic nature trails, I fell in love with Gainesville’s humble “dwelling away from dwelling” ambiance.

However there’s pleasure, too — our “Swamp,” Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, is often a sea of orange and blue that may make any passerby proudly gator chomp, rain or shine, whether or not we win or we lose.

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Being a Gator is a power that by no means fails to lose its worth. It is a connection that turns intimidating networking into candy reunion. Success and monetary stability are traits that lots of our alumni possess; as a result of they remind themselves of how they bought there, they’re all the time the primary to come back to Gainesville to recruit college students for potential internships and jobs.

And that’s as a result of they know that this college focuses on each the standard of training and the event of strategic planning, turning into a workforce participant, understanding the significance of main with a passionate coronary heart, and different abilities you may’t study in a classroom.

I by no means knew that I used to be able to being greater than a studious woman who wished to turn out to be a pharmacist. I by no means knew that I’d discover a power and keenness in programming occasions for Asian pupil organizations on campus. I by no means knew that my resume wouldn’t simply be the three numbers of my GPA, that it could turn out to be so aggressive full of the sorts of opportunities-turned-experiences I’ve had right here.

The College of Florida cultivates relationships constructed on unconditional assist, loyalty, and an unbreakable bond. This place is greater than only a college — it’s a house that lets you go away a legacy that’s your individual.

The Korea Occasions is in search of faculty college students or graduates who could be keen to share recommendation relating to the seek for the best college.

In case you or somebody has a narrative to share, please contact us at [email protected]