Friday, July 17, 2009

UF Preview (Day 2)

From the schedule alone, it looked like Day 2 would be much better than Day 1 -- not as much information to cram in, more things to see and do.

Breakfast was also at Broward Dining, where they have gator imprinted waffles. At 8:05am we met in the Broward Hall basement and were given individualized schedules by our Preview Staffer. The day was pretty much arranged according to your advising appointment time, whether it was morning or afternoon. Mine was at 9:45am. The morning appointment folks were herded over to Pugh Hall to be moved into another hall in even smaller groups. We were supposed to be reading that book they gave us, but most just watched Headline News on the large TV above us. At 9:15am the 9:45am group was moved to the advising center to a small lecture hall to wait for our individual advising appointment.

Speaking one on one with an advisior was great, as the generalized presentations assumed everyone came in with no credit and would basically have the same schedule. The advisor could easily assess your capability from scores and previous experiences and help you to make wise scheduling choices, I guess that's what they're there for. I registered for my critical tracking courses with my preview advisor present (its cool that they can call over somewhere and open up seats in classes if it's a tracking course that you need) and then she went over my chosen Gen. Ed courses and sent me to lab to finish registering. Everything worked out pretty well, except there were no seats open in Chem except for about 500 online, so I had to take that and see if I can change it to the live class in early August when the scheduling system opens up again. Registration is kind of a game -- searching for courses, seeing 1 or 2 seats open in the perfect time slot, rushing to type in your password to add it, finding the right section that fits into your schedule, or dropping courses and hoping your alternative is still available. Here's how my schedule came out for fall:

SYG2000 is Principles of Sociology, ENC3254 is Professional Writing and Communications for Engineers, MAC2311 is Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1, LIN3010 is Introduction to Linguistics, EML2920 is Department and Professional Orientation (Mechanical Engineering), and CHM1025 is Introduction to Chemistry.

After advising the group went one of the smaller recreational centers to hear a presentation about Rec Sports and how to get tickets for games. We toured The Swamp (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium), Heavener Football Complex (where all the championship and Heisman trophies are), and a few buildings and notable areas. I met up for lunch with my mom at the Hub and we had plenty of time to kill after so we headed over to the bookstore to buy official UF merchandise. They must make a killing on Preview days and during games.

Student and parents were separated again and the parents went wandering while students went to the Reitz Union Auditorium to learn some cheers, hear presentations from financial services, financial aid, the student health care center, and Gator 1 Central. After that half of us were herded over to Gator 1 Central on the first floor of the bookstore to get our Gator 1 cards and the other half went to see some more presentations. There was a bit of time to kill after getting my Gator 1 and before the next presentation, so I found my mom and caught up a bit. I also managed to switch around my schedule a bit since a course that I needed opened up. I'm finding more and more practical uses for my iPod every day.

The doors finally opened for the next presentation, which were fortunately more upbeat than the others. We heard about opportunities to get involved, the code of student conduct, and from some hilarious old guy about faculty expectations. After that there were separate presentations from on campus and off campus housing, we grabbed our final schedules from our preview staffer, and were done for the day around 5.

Overall the Preview experience was pretty nice, but there is definitely room for improvement. There is a lot of sitting and waiting, being herded around like cattle, and force feeding of powerpoints and brightly colored sheets of paper. I don't think all of the presentations were necessary since they were VERY redundant and almost everything was covered online. Maybe it was just more boring for me since I read everything they sent me and told me to read online and I guess everyone doesn't do that. Staying in Broward Hall made me more than happy that I have an apartment, since I couldn't imagine living in a tiny, old, decaying hole like that for an entire year. The Preview Staffers and Advisors were great, cheery, and exceptionally helpful though. Day 1 wasn't as exhausting as many may have made it seem, I think it was just a lot of information thrown at you at once, take from it what you wish...not everything was important and required full attention. Day 2 was definitely more engaging with less of being talked at.

So now that that's out the way I'm an official UF student with classes and an ID card and all that good stuff now, so all I have to do is show up and go to class on 8/24. Woohoo!


Tsukasa said...

It's very interesting reading about what was different for the non honors kids... I'm gratefull I dealt with less sitting and waiting. But I missed out on gator waffles! Who were your advisors?

Noelle said...

I just read about the waffles in the F Book, not sure if they were serving them while we were there.

My advisor was Prof. Pelfrey and my preview staffer was Keith

Anonymous said...

In researching what Preview would be like, I found this to be the most helpful.

Benjamin said...

I'm an incoming student fearful of being overwhelmed and your two posts were very helpful in allaying these fears.