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My Parents Don't Agree With My University Choice

I'm currently a student in Florida, USA and am planning on staying in-state for college since it is a lot cheaper. I was choosing between University of Florida and University of Central Florida. I have been accepted into the Honors program at UCF and have also decided to go there. My parents don't like this choice, however, because everyone tells them that UF has more name recognition and prestige than UCF, and thus is a better choice. To me, I feel like if I tried hard enough I could get far in life even if I went to a lower ranked school. Does ranking mean everything, really? What annoys me is that they keep saying, "well it's your choice, we'll go through with whatever choice you make", yet now after I have accepted the admission, paid deposit, and everything, they still bring up this topic. Their point is that I am too err.. "deterministic"? (I am not sure what word to use), that I stick to my own opinions and do not listen to others, especially "adults who know more than me". It makes me upset that my parents aren't fully supporting me to going to a place I will spend my next 4 years of education at.

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I'm sorry. I kind of know how you feel. I'm only a junior, but I'm afraid my mother doesn't agree with my choice of college either. Wish I could be of further assistance.

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From what I've heard, UF is a HUGE party school. UCF is too, just by virtue of being huge and a state school, but less so.

I think the word you're looking for is "determined," perhaps "stubborn."

Tell your parents that if it means that much to them, you'll look into/try for UF for grad school or something, but as of right now in three months you'll be a Knight, not a Gator, and they've just got to learn to deal with it. Your absolute best bet would just be to get out of the Florida educational system entirely, really. A degree with honors is one of the few ways to break the "educated in Florida" stigma.

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From what I've heard, UF is a HUGE party school. UCF is too, just by virtue of being huge and a state school, but less so.

I think the word you're looking for is "determined," perhaps "stubborn."

Tell your parents that if it means that much to them, you'll look into/try for UF for grad school or something, but as of right now in three months you'll be a Knight, not a Gator, and they've just got to learn to deal with it. Your absolute best bet would just be to get out of the Florida educational system entirely, really. A degree with honors is one of the few ways to break the "educated in Florida" stigma.

Ahhh yes. That's the word I'm looking for. I'm not thinking straight. Okay this may also sound like a stupid question but having a degree in honors is basically being in the Honors program, correct? Because I know they have all of those honors in the major sort of things. My cousin went to UF for Undergrad and he told me that Honors is basically useless because it's not put recognized or something like that. I'm not sure if he was talking about just at UF or Honors in general. I know the UCF Honors program is much more comprehensive than UF's though.

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Hey, another FLIBber here. I'm going to FSU in the next few months, for music therapy. As someone who has been listening to friends raving about UF's prestige for the past four years I feel your pain. I moved from Pennsylvania in fifth grade so I never really got involved in the rivalry between the Florida schools, and I think it's just ridiculous. I hear a lot of people talking about FSU's lax admission standards, but these are, of course, IB students, supposed to be the best of the best; of course we'll get in. I wouldn't say any of the Florida schools are significantly better than the others, it all depends on the programs they have and what you want to be involved in while you're attending school. I have a friend who is in the top 4% at our school and could have been accepted into so many schools, and as a native Floridian was really excited to get into UF, but because of her commitment to weightlifting, is also going to UCF because of the opportunities she will have there to train. So basically, besides my venting, I think what you really need to emphasize to your parents is that while UF may be an awesome, well-known school, it's still a state university, with programs or an environment that may not necessarily be suited to your needs. This is where you're going to be living and learning for the next four years; you have to enjoy where you are and what you're involved or you won't get much out of it, in my opinion.

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My parents unceasing determination is the only reason I am in IB at all.

But really, how much does going to this university mean to you? If you are choosing it simply to oppose your parents (not accusing or condemning; it's something all teens come to terms with) then you should swallow your pride and be a good momma's boy. But if you've really thought it out and decided, logically, that it is the best school for you, then yeah. Most parents are like yours. I suppose you could try having a big family talk, but like most, you'll probably just have to persevere through the nagging.

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My parents unceasing determination is the only reason I am in IB at all.

But really, how much does going to this university mean to you? If you are choosing it simply to oppose your parents (not accusing or condemning; it's something all teens come to terms with) then you should swallow your pride and be a good momma's boy. But if you've really thought it out and decided, logically, that it is the best school for you, then yeah. Most parents are like yours. I suppose you could try having a big family talk, but like most, you'll probably just have to persevere through the nagging.

Oh haha. I'm a girl. No I don't think I picked it to aggravate them. It's strange how it turned out because I used to want to go to UF. A reason I told them was because in Honors my classes are small. While I don't take all honors classes, some of them will be. I hear at UF a lot of classes are a lecture hall of 100 students. It just seems like UCF would be better for me. And I think the environment around UCF is better for me as well. As a person who wanted to go to university in New York, a big city, I don't know how I would like a college town like Gainesville.

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I'm currently a student in Florida, USA and am planning on staying in-state for college since it is a lot cheaper. I was choosing between University of Florida and University of Central Florida. I have been accepted into the Honors program at UCF and have also decided to go there. My parents don't like this choice, however, because everyone tells them that UF has more name recognition and prestige than UCF, and thus is a better choice. To me, I feel like if I tried hard enough I could get far in life even if I went to a lower ranked school. Does ranking mean everything, really? What annoys me is that they keep saying, "well it's your choice, we'll go through with whatever choice you make", yet now after I have accepted the admission, paid deposit, and everything, they still bring up this topic. Their point is that I am too err.. "deterministic"? (I am not sure what word to use), that I stick to my own opinions and do not listen to others, especially "adults who know more than me". It makes me upset that my parents aren't fully supporting me to going to a place I will spend my next 4 years of education at.

I think your parents are just trying to do the best for you. Going to a university with a higher ranking means more recognition and opportunities for your future career. However, it is ultimately up to you because you need to be happy with where you are studying.

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As a student at UF, I will gladly tell you that UF is much more than a "party school." For anyone who thinks that we just get drunk and party like it's our job, consider that there is a reason that we are among the top academic universities in the state. The classes are a lot harder than I personally was expecting. Although there is a good chance that all the crazy stories you may have heard about UF and its "party school" status, be forewarned that you better work hard to have the opportunity to play hard. It's all about balance.

What are you planning on studying? One of my good friends chose UCF over UF because he's a forensics major and UF only has criminology. He's been involved with the Honors program and the LEAD Scholars Program (I hope you applied it's an awesome program!) there. He loves it at UCF. He loves the campus he loves the campus life. Anyway, the point is if you pick UCF for a specific academic program, then more power to you. I think you parents are probably frustrated because they might not see why you picked UCF over UF. Work on compiling reasons why it's a better fit for you. As long as you're sure it is.

Honors Programs: Generally, these programs are as inclusive as you want them to be. I know for a fact that you can get very involved with the UF Honors program whether you decide to help plan events for other honors students with the Student Honors Organization (SHO for short) or if you start getting involved and start looking into becoming an Honors Ambassador, there are a bunch of ways to make excellent connections and really establish yourself in the UF Honors Program. On the other side of the coin, if you decide to just take the honors class each semester and stop there, you shouldn't expect to get very much out of the Honors program. Now the reason that it doesn't really "matter" is because the honors program doesn't have anything to do with graduating WITH honors. Graduating with honors usually means graduating with a certain GPA and writing a thesis. That's a huge deal. I have a few honors friends at UCF and but none of them have really gotten involved with the program and it hasn't done much for them (big surprise, mild sarcasm).

Class sizes: I have taken my fair share of lecture style classes and although they are huge, the professors are usually quite accessible and willing to help outside of class. Just a warning taking a bunch of honors classes because of the smaller class sizes might be a huge mistake. Some honors classes are more difficult than others, so if you're going to load up on honors courses, be smart about it because it probably won't benefit you that much otherwise. Just another thing that might be worth acknowledging, UCF is the 3rd largest school in the country. Their goal is to be the largest school in the nation. I have family that teaches at UCF in the Film department and they believe that UCF is sacrificing quality for quantity. So take that as you will.

Regardless, no matter where you go, I'm sure you'll be able to succeed academically and that you'll be able to establish yourself at either university. At large universities like UCF and UF, you have to want it. You have to have the ambition and desire to succeed and thrive because your professors and administrators won't hold your hand through it unless you go out of your way to establish personal relationships with them. (It's not that hard. At UF, my professors have been that much more impressed when I go to their office hours because so many students don't.) My advice to you is GET INVOLVED, build references, and go outside your comfort zone and make the best of your college experience. I like to say that only 25% of the college experience revolves around academics, so keep that in mind.

PS. I don't know if UCF has a "First Year Florida" equivalent, but I highly recommend that you take it if it's out there. It's most likely course code SLS1102 if you have it. Is a great introductory course designed to help first year students transition successfully into college life. It will also tell you more about various underutilized campus resources.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. :)

EDIT: The LEAD Scholars Program at UCF is still accepting applications. APPLY! It's an amazing program (and you get a nice, cushy dorm. They are pretty I'll vouch).

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