I'm Caity Herndon, and I am a senior at UCF studying Biotechnology. I graduated from Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee Florida in 2011. My favorite classes at UCF have been my upper level Biotechnology classes like Methods in Biotechnology and the Foundations of Bioimaging Sciences, because I love the small class sizes and the community you make with your fellow classmates. Dr. Cherie Yestrebsky was one of my favorite professors (CHM 2045) because she did a great job of making material challenging and applicable. During my freshman year, I entered the EXCEL Program having no idea of my place at such a big university and eager to get started. The direction the program gave us was great, and I made some wonderful friends through the process. I joined the program as a GEMS mentor shortly after in hopes of giving back to others whenever I could. If I had any advice to myself as a freshman or to any incoming freshman it would be to never let other people try to tell you who you are (cliche, but true). When it comes to choosing a major, don't pick what your friends or family want for you… this is the rest of your life! Choose what makes you excited to go to class every morning, and what you'll be excited to do in a career. Don't settle for something that bores you because of money or pressure from others. When I'm not studying for tests, I can be found doing something to support undergraduate research. I've been lucky to become part of a laboratory studying tuberculosis and the Secretary of SACNAS, a club which supports researchers in achieving their goals. I also love volunteering with the children's ministry at my church, playing piano, and doing anything outdoors, like kayaking and playing tennis.