By James Fludgate
Volume 69, Issue II
Aliyah Sutton surprised her fellow junior class mates when she announced she was leaving Briarcliff after her junior year to attend the University of Central Florida. She decided to keep her decision to go to college a year early between friends and family until she committed to a school. “I knew I wanted to graduate early because I had already known what I wanted to do career wise,” Aliyah stated. “I’ve known for a while that I wanted to pursue medicine, so the opportunity to start earlier was one I was happy to take.”
Aliyah got into many schools, including Binghamton University, New York University, Temple University and Florida State University. Out of her many options, she knew University of Central Florida was the best fit for what she wanted to study. “I knew that UCF was the best because of the programs they had. I got into a program for academics and community service.” She also mentioned that it has its own medical school, so if she decides to continue to pursue medicine down the road, she has the option of doing so at her school.
However, she found that starting college a year early also came with some anxieties, especially because Aliyah would be one of the youngest students at her school. Aliyah admitted that she “was a little worried about some things like fitting in with people who were all older than me.” However, she was never worried about living over a thousand miles away from home, “I knew I would be able to visit pretty often, and I loved the weather in Florida, so it outweighed any fear of being so far away,” she explained.
Considering that UCF has the largest undergraduate enrollment in the country with over 55,000 undergraduates and a campus consisting of 1,415 acres, it understandably took some time for her to get adjusted. Aliyah admitted that “It took a while to get used to getting around to my classes.” But she claimed that the size of the undergraduate program did not bother her because it allowed her to meet so many other students. “It’s been easy to find people I have things in common with.” In fact, the only problem Aliyah encountered with other students were the ones she was living with. She explained that there have been some disagreements among her and her other roommates. Unfortunately, there was one roommate in particular who had caused “a lot of unnecessary problems. Some of them were actually pretty serious, but we haven’t been able to get her to move out. Considering we share a bathroom and have to see each other every day, it’s been pretty challenging to deal with that.”
Returning to UCF this month, Aliyah has enjoyed her overall college experience so far. Like most college freshmen, Aliyah misses the freedom she has at UCF. “Being able to leave or go out whenever I want has definitely been the most enjoyable part.”
Aliyah wants all the current seniors stressing about their future to know that everything happens for a reason, and that in the end, it all works out. “It’s a cliché that everyone has heard, but it’s true that ‘you just know’ when a school is perfect for you.”