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Hi everyone! My name is Unika Mirza and I am a Biomedical Sciences major and a Cultural Anthropology minor at UCF! I am also going into my senior year. I graduated from Plantation High School in Plantation, FL. Some of my favorite classes at UCF has been immunology (which I conveniently ended up taking during the COVID-19 pandemic!), and anatomy. Immunology was a very interesting classes and due to the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic I was able to delve deeper into immunology and understand in real time the effects of the virus. Anatomy was also really interesting and Dr. Samsam did a wonderful job at connecting the human body together in a way that was easy to understand. I would say one of my favorite professors at UCF was my English I and II professor, Stuart Dees. He was a big part of why I was able to have an excellent freshmen year and I still am able to reach out to him for advice on how to handle being in college because I still feel like I’m learning every day. I decided to get involved with GEMS because I received a lot of valuable advice on classes to take and a consistent support system during my first year in college from my own mentor! I want to be able to pay it forward and hopefully make the transition into college easier for someone else. One word of advice I have for incoming students is that you get out of college what you put into it. Put hard work into your classes, extracurriculars, and making friends and the benefits will come naturally! One of the first things Dr. Dagley told me is that college is 20% your professor and 80% you and that mindset has helped me succeed academically so far. Don’t let academics consume your life though, have fun because you’re only in college once. One of my favorite things to do in my freetime is spend time with my friends so don’t be afraid to get creative with what you do with your college friends! I look forward to meeting my new mentees this upcoming year and I’m sure together we can help you succeed!