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Florida’s Top Picks: Gators vs. Seminoles

Aidan Boggs, Staff Writer

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As a high school senior, college is both a very exciting and stressful part of my life. With college looming just around the corner, the decision of where to go has become more and more nerve racking. Many Floridian students can relate to the idea of choosing between Florida’s two powerhouse universities, the University of Florida (UF) and Florida State University (FSU).

Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to experience a thorough tour of both universities and thought to share my personal experience with you; hopefully, making that crucial decision a little bit easier. Keep in mind, I’m completely neutral to both universities and am still unsure of where I would like to attend school the next four years. So, there will be no bias here for you die-hard fans.

University of Florida:

My most recent college tour was to the University of Florida. I was able  to miss an entire day of school and make the journey to Gainesville, Florida, home of the Gators. The first thing I noticed was how available everything was in the area. It was almost like a system of roads—each leading towards the university, each holding all kinds of restaurants and convenient stores.

The next thing I noticed was how the city of Gainesville revolved around the university. A lot of restaurants were themed after the Gators and all emergency vehicles bared orange and blue designs. Even the buses bled with orange and blue color. The impact the university had on the surrounding area was a large factor while considering both colleges.

When the tour began, the informational greeting was short and sweet. I appreciated how straight forward everything was. They had a small video depicting what the university focuses on and then a question and answer session. A staff member stood at the front of the room and answered any and all questions. This left more time for the actual tour itself.

When the tour began, our group was warmly greeted by two upperclassmen. They were very personable who offered unique perspectives on the college. While one lived on campus all four years in a fraternity, the other lived off campus in an apartment. This offered a window into two different lifestyles and how it has affected each of their lives in college.

The campus itself was stunning. It had a mix of older architecture and new buildings. It was evident that the university has a very deep and exciting past, which only made it all the more exhilarating.

The humbleness of the university was also something to be admired, although they did preach on how amazing the university is academically. The staff mentioned how proud the college was to be ranked 14th in the nation, and well…  that was it. They didn’t constantly remind us or preach on how amazing it is to go to school there.

The staff at the University of Florida cared more about our questions and curiosity rather than how great of school it is. This is something to respect in both how the campus is run and how students feel about being able to go there.

 

Florida State University:

 

Compared to how close the University of Florida was, the three and a half hour drive up to Tallahassee was a bit excessive.  But nonetheless, I made the journey with and open mind.

The moment I stepped on campus, I admired the layout of the university and the buildings themselves. They had an older brick look to the outside, but a new and refurbished interior. The uniformity of the buildings was sure to impress anyone.  The heart of the campus was the breathtaking football stadium. Everything orbited around the massive field and it was easy to access every other building in the surrounding area.

Unfortunately, the stadium was under construction at my time of arrival so I was unable to have a first person view.

Later on in the day, we went through the informational greeting and I was very impressed on how in-detail they described everything. They broke down all requirements needed to get into the school detail-for-detail. Being that this was my first college tour, it was helpful to gain my footing in this new world.

The tour went along smoothly and I enjoyed the overall feel of the university. The campus was well kept and I acknowledged the social areas made available for students.

The campus also affected the surrounding area similarly to the University of Florida, buses and businesses alike all rocking the garnet and gold look to support the local school.

A unique factor of FSU was the relationship it has with the capital of Florida, Tallahassee. Unlike UF, FSU seemed to coexist with the city. They seemed to help each other symbiotically, only strengthening one another. For most other schools, it seems to only be one or the other, never both.

By far one of the most impressive aspects of the university was student luxury. I have visited a total of six different universities, but nowhere else have I seen students getting free admission to all home football games except for Florida State.

Something like this really goes to show you how much administration cares for the student body by granting them special access to all kinds of events just for spending the next four years there.

Overall, both universities had many ups and very few downs. While I enjoyed FSU’s campus and students privileges, I also enjoyed the older feeling of UF and the overall vibe of the university.

Though I will not reveal the more preferred of the two, I will say that if you have a chance to visit these two astounding places, take the opportunity and time to pick where you would like to spend time furthering your education.

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Florida’s Top Picks: Gators vs. Seminoles