Letters of Success #2

Letters of Success

Nicole R.

College: Eckerd College

Major: Psychology

In Florida, it’s hard to believe that everyone doesn’t either go to UCF, UF, FSU, or UM for their university experience. It seems like every store only sells merchandise related to these schools and no others. For Nicole, it was hard to believe that any other schools existed!

Yet, private colleges in Florida can be just as great as one of the more popular schools depending on the major you’re looking for. For Nicole, she wanted to focus on Marine Science and Marine Psychology. The best program for this would be found in a school near Tampa that she hadn’t yet heard of or even thought about.

Nicole, like many other students, was dead set on a different school before her parents insisted that she take a look at Eckerd College. Eckerd had the best program for Marine Science, which Nicole found intriguing. She was reluctant (to say the least) to even tour Eckerd when the time came. But, she was certainly glad she did. She fell in love with Eckerd, and the rest was history.

So, how did Nicole get into Eckerd? Well, Nicole had an interesting resume. She started off high school doing concert band and marching band and pursued this all four years. She noted that dedication was key to her because it would show commitment in her college resume. Furthermore, Nicole balanced this with cheerleading. She wasn’t able to do Varsity cheerleading because of the time conflicts with her marching band. She recalls having to jump across the bleachers in her cheer uniform during football games down onto the field during halftime to perform a marching band show while everyone else was in their marching band uniforms just so she could do both. Yet, to her, it was all worth it.

As for the SAT, Nicole admits that she didn’t study as hard as she wanted to for the test. She used a few study books but didn’t emphasize the test enough because she didn’t know how to study for the test. She felt that her experience in high school didn’t allow her to develop a good study method. Nicole recommends that students don’t slack off their first year of high school and begin working hard towards standardized testing as early as possible. She also notes that not taking freshman year seriously can cause one’s GPA to tank and that a GPA regrettably doesn’t go up as easy as it goes down.



Letters of Success #1

Letters of Success

Taylor M. 

College: Florida Institute of Technology

Future Major: Forensic Psychology

Taylor M. had wanted to be a pre-school teacher in high school. So much so that she decided that she would take early childhood education courses taught at her high school. By the end of the course, Taylor would get her teaching certification for pre-school students. It seemed like her future was certain.

Yet, things took a turn for Taylor when she decided she wanted to research (on her own) Forensic Psychology. Her interest peaked in the subject after watching Criminal Minds. It is safe to say that TV sometimes can change your life. While she googled forensic psychology schools in Florida, she found the one.

Florida Institue of Technology was the ONLY school in Florida that offered the major that she wanted. On the bonus side, FIT was close enough to home for her to be able to visit on weekends. Telling her parents, they told her to think about it. The following day at school, they took a college matching test, and FIT was her number one result. That’s when she knew it was meant to be.

Overall, Taylor thinks that high schools don’t do enough to tell students what to do as far as getting into college and applying for college. They simply “don’t tell you what to do”.  Taylor didn’t study for standardized tests. She felt as if she never had the time and wasn’t motivated to do it. Her school didn’t make an effort to emphasize the importance of studying for standardized testing to the students. This, combined with not having a group to study with or to keep her motivated, is where Taylor feels she fell short. “If I had a group of friends to study with, I probably would have tried more,” She says. She also noted that she didn’t get the score she wanted, yet she believes that her score ultimately got her into FIT, which was important to her.

Taylor participated in the band in high school. She did marching band and concert band all four years. She held leadership positions such as Percussion Captain. She felt that this really showed her dedication to colleges. She also continued with her early childhood classes, because she wanted to show continuity to her resume despite changing career paths in high school. Outside of school, Taylor did dance competitions on a dance team and worked the summers as a camp counselor. To Taylor, she wouldn’t change a thing.

As far as the struggles and advice she would give, Taylor said that staying organized and filing all her important documents since the beginning of high school kept her grounded. She recommends file folders that you can organize your tests, quizzes, important report cards, AP scores, etc. This portfolio helped her apply for colleges and remember her achievements. Her biggest struggle so far has been figuring out how to pay for college. As an expensive private school, Taylor is on the hunt to find school loans that will help her pay for her college tuition. She plans on holding a job to help pay for the costs while she is there.