My name is Emma Macedo, and I am a second year Biology major at UCF. I graduated from Leon High School in my hometown Tallahassee, Florida in 2020. So far, my favorite class has been Intro to Humanities, which I took during my first semester. I went in with virtually no understanding of what the humanities are, and while this field isn’t something I would pursue as a career, the course was worthwhile. Per the nature of the humanities, every topic we discussed had intersections with life and connected to my interests in horror and other media genres. My favorite part was the framing of the course with an emphasis on monsters and mythology. Getting to learn more about the human experience, fears, and rationalization of the unknown piqued my interest and left me with more questions that I’ve been looking for answers to on my own. One of my favorite professors has to be Dr. Hanlon, who teaches the Intro to Communication course. While I didn’t take the time to form a relationship with her during the semester, I liked how energetic her lectures were. Her explanations felt comprehensive to me, I understood the material well enough from the lecture alone, and the messages and announcements she sent to the class always sounded conversational and friendly. Becoming a member of GEMS gave me a sense of community even before school started, and I felt more secure knowing there was always someone who could help me. Outside of class, I like to run, hike, draw, read comics, and critique bad movies with my friends.
Some advice I’d like to give to incoming freshmen: Find a school/work-life balance early on to avoid burning out as much as possible. If your biggest obligation right now is school, use your free time to do things that genuinely make you happy. Take the time to make a schedule so you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve allocated your time wisely. Also, if there are opportunities you’d like to explore, or contacts you’d like to form: go ahead, and reach out. “No,” is not the end of the world.