My name is Jenna Hodgson, and I am a biology major on the pre-vet track. I am a freshman in college and this is my second semester here at the University of Central Florida. I am originally from West Milford, New Jersey and graduated from West Milford High School in 2022. Though I haven’t been at UCF for very long, one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken so far is Chemistry Fundamentals II. I’ve always had a knack for chemistry and this class teaches a lot of interesting concepts such as molecular bonding and intermolecular forces. The lab, when taken with the class, is also a lot of fun and helps to reinforce the material you learn. One of my favorite professors so far is Lori Dunlop Pyle, who was my professor for Math for Calculus. I didn’t have a great background in trigonometry or precalculus when I came to UCF. She helped me to develop strong algebra and trigonometry skills, as well as great study habits, all of which have helped to prepare me for Calc I. After joining the EXCEL program, I was informed about GEMS and all this program has to offer. This program has been so beneficial because of how it brings women in STEM together. Being a part of GEMS really allowed me to meet like-minded women who have similar aspirations and goals. I love having the opportunity to be surrounded by people who help keep me on the right track. One of my favorite things to do outside of class is go to the gym. I enjoy going to the beach and relaxing by the leisure pool. I am also a member of the UCF Pre-Veterinary Society (UCFPVS) and the UCF American Chemical Society (ACS). One of the most important things I’ve learned in my first few semesters is that you need to find time to relax. Giving yourself time to relax prevents burnout and allows you to be comfortable, knowing that you’re on the right track and you’re doing a great job!