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My name is Paige Fintel and I am an Aerospace Engineer in my third year here at UCF. I originally come from Springfield, Missouri where I graduated Kickapoo High School. In my freshmen year, I took an Intro to Philosophy class as part of the GED curriculum, which is one of my favorite classes I’ve taken at UCF. The class itself is quite far outside my major, but I really, really enjoyed the class. It didn’t hurt that this was during COVID and only a handful of other students showed up to the in-person class sessions. I really liked how it made me think differently about the world and our rules for both it, ourselves, and others. More recently, I took statics with Professor Zaurin, who is one of my favorite professors because of the way he taught his class. The class itself is intensive because he forces students to bring the homework concepts into the physical world and understand how it would work and function. I am more of a visual learner, and working with 3D problems on a 2D piece of paper is sometimes incredibly difficult. Having that option of working with some problems we’d likely encounter during our engineering life as real physical models was hugely beneficial. Plus, he always got the class engaged, even if it was 7:30 in the morning. I was in the COMPASS program when I entered UCF as I didn’t really know what I wanted to go into. I was looking into Aerospace, and I have settled very comfortably within the major, but I had a mentor that was also an AE and set the path for me that I’m still walking today. I want to give back some of that mentorship to others that I received when I was a freshman and help others along their own paths. If I could give one piece of advice to every incoming freshman, it would be this: Find your niche! Find a group of people, and especially some places on campus, that you can call your own, that you can fit in with. Having a group of people that you know and can rely on and comfortably call friends is hugely important. You can only get so far on your own and having study buddies is never a bad thing (even if they’re sometimes more of a distraction than a help)!