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College Vibes

Junior Kayla Whisneant spent her whole spring break touring colleges such as Lynn, Tampa ,JU, UNF, FGCU , Atlantic Palm coast, FAU,  and NSU. When touring she was looking for schools that were smaller with a pretty campus.

photo by Leslie Whisneant

Junior Kayla Whisneant spent her whole spring break touring colleges such as Lynn, Tampa ,JU, UNF, FGCU , Atlantic Palm coast, FAU, and NSU. When touring she was looking for schools that were smaller with a pretty campus.

Melissa Donovan, Assistant Editor

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Spring break: normally a time for the beach and catching up on sleep missed from all the stress of third quarter. For junior Kayla Whisneant, however, it was a time for college tours. During spring break, Whisneant toured eight colleges: Lynn University, Tampa University, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Atlantic Palm Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Nova Southeastern.

“My mom wanted me to tour a bunch of colleges since it worked out so well with my brother,” Whisneant said. “I spent the whole break touring.”

Before spring break, she had also toured Florida Southern, William Peace, Southeastern University and Duke University with her soccer team, either because they had tournaments there or because she was interested in them.

While Whisneant looked only at state schools this spring break, juniors Rosa Mentlick and Anna Wimberly looked at schools in surrounding states as well.

Mentlick came into the touring process with her heart set on University of Miami, but once she toured, she realized it was not for her. She decided to not even apply there.

“Your perspective changes a ton,” Mentlick said. “I didn’t like Miami anymore because it looked like a community college to me, [plus] the dorms were teeny tiny, and their law school was not good.”

She toured the University of Florida, Florida State University, Miami, the University of Alabama, and the University of Auburn, and she currently in favors UF and FSU because of the “mood of the campus.”

“I looked at if people were happy there, and at some schools no one was happy,” Mentlick said.

As for Wimberly, who toured FSU, Louisiana State University, Ole Miss University and Mississippi State University, like Mentlick, she looked for schools that had the mood she wanted on campus.

“I believe in Southern comfort big time, it is definitely real,” Wimberly said. “You will never get the same warm welcoming from someone you don’t even know.”

She spent five days touring and liked LSU the most.

“The students are all so spirited, and I’m very into SEC football. LSU is definitely top notch,” Wimberly said. “The only thing I didn’t like was how big the campus was. It is very spread out.”

This summer, she hopes to tour Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Senior Nick Hurley was sure he was going to the University of South Florida; he had applied, been accepted, and just had to tour.He felt it was the perfect middle ground: a school away from home but also close enough to be with friends and family. Once he got there, he had a gut feeling that this could not be his home for the next four years.

“When I went and visited, it wasn’t necessarily the campus that sent me away, but the culture,” Hurley said. “The campus was beautiful and I would have gone in a heartbeat, however the vibes and the culture was what made me want to go to UCF more. I didn’t feel at home at USF and I wanted more of that.”

Now, he plans to go to the UCF to study Sports Medicine.

“I felt I had more opportunities and connections here at UCF as well as more support from family, and friends,” Hurley said.

While some students look for how strong their specific majors are, rooming situations, or Greek life, it seems that a major factor that drives students to their future colleges is the feeling that they get during a campus visit.

“You need to feel comfortable and safe at the school you choose and not just pick a school randomly, because you are going to be there for four years of your life,” Whisneant said.

*Sidebar information provided by College Board.

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