Orientation: Central Hub

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There is a lot of information parents and students need to know leading up to New Student Orientation. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  In addition to frequent e-mail communication students will be receiving between now and Orientation (hint hint: check personal and UNF e-mail accounts often for important updates) we have used the UNF Admissions Blog as a central hub for important 2015 Orientation information. This way, you can access our blog at your leisure and read up on all of it or just the parts you have questions about! Continue reading

You’re Graduating. Now What?

With only a month left until graduation, this is the time when reality starts to hit seniors like a ton of bricks. You start to realize that you will have to enter the real world way too soon. No more staying up every night until 2 a.m. eating pizza with friends and then sleeping until 11 a.m. Goodbye student discounts, long holiday breaks and free food, gym access and UNF Student Government-sponsored t-shirts. Cue the mental breakdown.

If you aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to a campus that has become like home, then we may have some good news! There is a brand new graduate program that will allow students to expand their knowledge while extending their beloved college years. The program allows students to enroll in a master of arts in international affairs. See the flyer below for more information.

MAIA

The program is an excellent way to prepare for life in a global economy. It will teach you how to think critically, analyze world events and learn more about what is happening around you. It will prepare you for further study or for a career in the government, international organizations and businesses and education. If you are not ready to leave just yet, this might be the perfect program for you. We aren’t ready for you to leave either, so consider applying today. But hurry, there are a limited amount of spots available and they are filling up quickly!

Benefits of Attending Orientation

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Congratulations! You have survived the wild jungle we call high school and you’re now entering the scary rainforest called college. Just kidding, college is great — no seriously, it’s awesome. But before you jump right into this next chapter, we want to help you prepare for a successful academic and social career at UNF through our on-campus orientation.

Freshmen orientation is basically a rite of passage every incoming college freshman should experience. At this time in your life, moving from high school senior to college freshman may be exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating. Maybe you’re nervous about finding your way around campus or making new friends. Don’t worry, we promise you aren’t the only freshman worried about these things, even if no one else will admit it. To make this transition a little easier, our Orientation Team Leaders (OTLs) will guide you through orientation, helping you effortlessly become academically and socially integrated to campus, experience a real college class and meet other new Ospreys who could become your future best friends in college.

Orientation offers many beneficial opportunities for you. But first you need to sign up. Follow these simple instructions to register for your orientation date.

Still not convinced it’s worth your time?

  1. You can make friends before the semester starts. By attending orientation, you can meet other incoming freshmen that are feeling just as awkward (or excited) as you are. Bond over that mutual feeling so that when you are still best friends during your senior year, you’ll look back and laugh at how your friendship started during the icebreaker at freshman orientation. You might even meet your future roommate.
  2. You will know your way around campus before arriving on campus this fall. OTLs will guide you around campus while also providing history and fun facts about our University. They’ll share their favorite hangout spots, nicknames of certain buildings and the locations of the best places to study. After your guided tour, you will already know that Building 4 is not even close to Building 5 and that there is no Building 13. Sometimes the layout of campus doesn’t make sense, but at least you’ll know that before you need to find your classes the first day of the semester.UNF Biological Sciences
  3. You can experience a real college class. During orientation, you will have the opportunity to sit in on a classroom experience to get a feel for the rigor of academic life.
  4. You will be able to learn about various campus activities. At orientation there will be plenty of information about our campus life and all the ways you can get involved in student organizations. Thinking about joining one of our 200-plus clubs? Interested in Greek Life? How about Student Government? Feel free to ask your OTL about ways to get involved.
  5. You will receive help with class registration. You’ll meet with an academic adviser who will help you pick out your classes for your first semester. It’s pretty exciting when you realize that you’re not in high school anymore and you can set your own schedule. Goodbye 6 a.m. alarm clock, hello 10 a.m. History of Rock class. Before you attend your orientation, make sure to do some research on the majors and minors we have available by browsing through our online course catalog.
  6. You will be able to experience residence hall life. During our two-day orientation program sessions, you will be able to experience life in a residence hall. We will host you overnight in one of the seven residence halls on campus and you will be able to truly experience what life is like as a member of our resident campus community. You will never want to leave.
  7. And you can take care of unfinished business. Any additional questions, comments or concerns you have can be taken care of with a quick visit by our One-Stop office or by asking an OTL ­— they basically know everything.

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Tips for while you are at Orientation:

  • Talk to upperclassmen if you can, especially your OTLs. It might be intimidating to approach them but they have lots of valuable advice to offer if you just ask. Ask for tips about how to get involved, which classes will give you the best academic advantage, where to hang out on the weekends or the student traditions we have here at UNF.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for contact info of the other students. Seriously, do it. Keep in touch on Facebook, follow them on Instagram and get their number. That way, during the first week of class you can reach out and maybe go to the Boathouse for lunch or go paddleboarding in between classes. Or you may never hang out with them again. But at least you will be able to contact someone you know (kind of) if you need to connect with a familiar face during the first week.
  • During orientation, you will have your photo taken for a student ID, your Osprey 1Card. Ladies, this is your warning to fix your hair the way you like or touch-up your make-up because you’ll use this card frequently throughout your college years here.
  • Come prepared with a fun fact, or an adjective that starts with the same letter as your name. Why? Because chances are you will have to use it during an icebreaker at least once. And if not, you can save it for the first week of class because professors like to use icebreakers too.

We're waiting for you!

Orientation is the perfect chance for us to help prepare you for a successful first year of college. But we can’t help you if you aren’t here. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for your orientation date now. We can’t wait to see you!

Honors: To Join or Not to Join?

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From the outside looking in, the Honors Program may seem like an elite, exclusive club for the geniuses, overachievers and highly intelligent students. It can seem slightly intimidating to join an academic program that wants students to “develop rigorous and comprehensive critical thinking” during their freshmen year. Before I already scare you off, let me clarify: critical thinking doesn’t mean thinking so hard you get a searing headache, it simply means analyzing a concept or idea beyond your original interpretation. In my experiences as a fourth-year Honors student, I can attest that the Honors Program is not just structured for Albert Einstein-type minds or designed to stress you out, it’s for anyone willing to think outside the box and make a concentrated effort to expand his or her view of the world. I would say the key difference between Honors and non-Honors courses is that in Honors, you aren’t trying to merely pass the course; you are genuinely seeking insightfulness and pursuing personal enrichment.

The value of UNF’s Honors Program is something that does not receive enough recognition, nor are the benefits are emphasized enough. Participating in Honors courses provides the challenges necessary to stay motivated and stimulated, but without an incredible amount of work. I think often times new college students shy away from pushing themselves academically and want to sign up for the easy courses with the professors who don’t take attendance or give quizzes. Not to sound like your mom here, but you’re in college to challenge yourself. There are so many benefits of joining the Honors Program; you’d be silly not to at least give it a chance.

Advantages

Honors travel grants: The Honors Program has created special opportunities for its students to study abroad. Each year, students are offered opportunities to take classes in various countries including Ghana, Greece and China. (I’ve been to both Ghana and Greece and they were experiences of a lifetime that helped shape my future career endeavors.) In addition to travel scholarships, Honors offers special funding opportunities to enable students to learn through internships and research.
Cooler classes: No, seriously. I am currently taking the Honors course Food Subcultures and it’s the most fun and interesting class I’ve ever taken. So far we have made grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron, our professor brought us homemade chocolate chip cookies, we’ve eaten oranges, avocados, star fruit and many other produce items, plus taken field trips to cow farms, elementary schools and a cannery. Jealous yet? Past Honors courses include Politics of Harry Potter, Intro to Forensic Sciences and Philosophy through Film. Many of the courses include a field-trip component; something I bet you thought you’d never get to do again after elementary school.
Group projects: Say goodbye to the days where you did all the research, put together a PowerPoint and presented the project because no one else in your group contributed any effort towards the assignment. When there are group projects in Honors, you don’t have to worry about being the only student who does all the work to make sure the group gets an A. You are working with like-minded individuals who are bound by a common priority to further their education — and keep their grades up. This might actually be the best benefit of joining Honors.
Even smaller classroom sizes: UNF already offers a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, but Honors classes are even more tight-knit than that. It’s so great getting individualized attention, and the professors will go above and beyond to help or give guidance and advice. The community developed within Honors classrooms is unlike anything found in a regular classroom. The respect and support you gain from classmates and your professors are unmatched academic relationships. I’ve even been able to create very beneficial mentorships with my Honors professors, who are always looking out for your best interests and seek to help you academically and in the career world.

What does it mean to be an Honors student?
Everyone gets something different out of being an Honors student. For me, it means working with professors who know you by name and remember you through your college years. It means traveling to other countries in order to understand foreign cultures and make international friendships. Being in Honors means being supported by faculty, participating in intellectual discussion, being surrounded by students who motivate you to think deeper and receiving that Honors diploma, cord and transcript upon graduation. The UNF Honors Program has helped me become a more culturally educated citizen of the world we live in. I have learned to think outside the box, and push myself out of my comfort zone.

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2014 Study Abroad in Athens, Greece

Being a part of the Honors program doesn’t mean you are expected to live like a hermit in the library (although some people really just love Tommy G.) or swap weekend activities with your friends for reading pages of ancient Greek literature. Honors courses will challenge you, but not to the point of a mental breakdown.

If I successfully convinced you that joining Honors would be the second-best choice of your collegiate career (first-best being the decision to become an Osprey, duh), then fill out your Honors application now! If I haven’t persuaded you to become a member of the Honors Program just yet, please scroll to the top of the page and read this blog again. Maybe you missed all the perks I listed.

Pre-orientation Must Do: Meal Plan Contract

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New student orientation is fun and exciting. It is also very busy and a little hectic. For that reason, students must complete several items prior to attending. Among other things, submitting a Meal Plan Contract is one of them: Continue reading

Pre-orientation Must Do: Housing Contract

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New student orientation is fun and exciting. It is also very busy and a little hectic. For that reason, students must complete several items prior to attending. Among other things, submitting a Housing Contract is one of them: Continue reading

Pre-orientation Must Do: Registration Holds

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New student orientation is fun and exciting. It is also very busy and a little hectic. For that reason, students must complete several items prior to attending. Among other things, clearing informational holds is one of them: Continue reading

Pre-orientation Must Do: Immunizations

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New student orientation is fun and exciting. It is also very busy and a little hectic. For that reason, students must complete several items prior to attending. Among other things, submitting your immunization form and records is one of them: Continue reading

Financial Aid (Brief Overview)

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For most students, financial aid will be a big part of their college experience. Here is a brief overview of the financial aid process and some important Bright Futures Scholarship reminders. Continue reading

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