The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

In-State College Tour

Concluding+their+tour%2C+students+pose+and+smile+in+front+of+the+prestigious+University+of+Florida+to+photograph+their+memories.
Courtesy of Tiffany Beh
Concluding their tour, students pose and smile in front of the prestigious University of Florida to photograph their memories.

Waking up bright and early on Jan. 24, college-bound Cavaliers made their way to Coral Gables Senior High where they hopped on a travel bus, awaiting the long journey to several universities during the In-State College Tour for the Class of 2025. Accompanied by staff such as Ms. Suarez, Ms. Sanz, Ms. Van-Wyk and Mr. Molina, the group made their first stop at Orlando, Fla. as planned by the Class of 2025’s student board.

Arriving at 10 a.m., students made their way off the bus to see the campus of the University of Central Florida. The beige, bricked campus welcomed them as they entered a presentation room. There, they were welcomed by UCF students who would become their tour guides. 

Informing students about their large population, thriving majors and the institute’s emphasis on research, the tour guides used their knowledge and experience to showcase all that UCF had to offer. As Cavaliers walked through the 1,415-acre campus, they took photos and asked questions in areas such as the Arboretum nature trails, the Millican Hall, Memory Mall and even the marketplace that stood on campus every Wednesday. 

The overflow of information called for a lunch break in which students were given access to 63 South Dining Hall. Students chose from several food options from healthy options such as salads to typical American food like burgers and pizza. They sat with friends, recounting all the memorable spots they visited on campus.

With that, students and staff met again to board the bus and take a visit to their next school, Rollins College. After a short 20-minute ride, the private, liberal arts institution located in Winter Park, Fla. greeted students with a warm, friendly campus and a quiet atmosphere. With a mission to encourage students into positions of responsible leadership, presenters and tour guides alike made sure Gables students were instantly aware of that goal. As the students were split into two groups, Rollins College tour guides gave personal, more intimate tours of their campus. Walking students through freshman dorms, dining halls and lakeside views, Cavaliers became knowledgeable about the school. Asking questions about their prestigious study abroad programs, their Division || sports, and their student life, students used the experience to spot what they looked for most in their future school.

As the sun began to set, Cavaliers asked their final questions before boarding the bus to Gainesville, Fla. During the two-hour drive, students laughed and recalled all their favorite moments from the first day of touring.

Arriving at Miller Alehouse, the students were given various options to dine on from a chicken alfredo to a classic burger. While Cavaliers fed their hungry stomachs, they bonded with their peers on their similar interests and where they plan on attending college. Forming new friendships that would grow throughout the trip, the students ended day one on a high note.

Once making it to ALoft hotel, the Cavaliers said their good nights and dozed off to bed, awaiting for the next day.

On day two, Cavaliers awoke early morning to have breakfast in the hotel lobby. They made use of their time by eating, talking and getting ready until the bus arrived at 9:00.

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Hopping in, the short drive ended at Gator Nation, otherwise known as the University of Florida. Known for its ranking as the fourth best public university in the nation, students were thrilled to arrive at such a prestigious school. Met with Gables alumni like Ralph Sans, Isabella Morales and Audrey Simon, students were separated into groups of four, each guided by one alumni.

Snapping pictures at famous locations like the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, nicknamed the Swamp, or the 157-foot tall Century Tower, students got a feel for the large, populous campus. The active campus made for prime people-watching as UF students headed to the library, exercised at the gym or worked on their laptops outside. 

Saying their farewells, the Gables alumni and UF undergraduates waved goodbye to the Cavaliers and ended off the tour at the student union. Cavaliers bought merchandise at the bookstore and ate from the various chains offered within the building until the bus arrived at 11:15 p.m.

Finishing up their UF tour, the Cavaliers hopped on the bus and made their way to Tallahassee to visit Florida State University. After a three-hour ride on the bus, students had lunch at FSU’s Seminole Cafe before moving on to the tour. Once again, the Cavaliers would be toured by Gables alumni Sarah Whalen, Chrissy Concepcion, Glenis Mendoza and Cristel Cantarero, who all recently graduated from Gables last year.

Walking through the historic campus, the students asked questions about the guides’ personal experiences coming into FSU, giving them an idea of what to expect with life as a Seminole. In addition, the tour guides took the Cavaliers into the dormitories and other areas in the campus, giving the students a sense of daily life at FSU. 

Capping the tour off, students visited the bookstore, picking up merchandise before taking the bus back to Gainesville. Making their way back to the hotel, the Cavaliers packed up their luggage and went to bed for their final night in Gainesville.

With one final day left in their tour, the Cavaliers took the bus down to Tampa at 8 a.m. to visit the University of South Florida. In the two hour ride, students bonded over their shared experiences at the rest of the colleges, talking amongst each other about where their futures might take them.

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Arriving at USF, the students were met with Gables alumn Halona Bosca, who would serve as their tour guide for the day. The Tampa campus, spanning over 10 million square feet with over 240 buildings, provided for a tour full of sightseeing. Also home to over 700 acres of recreational areas, students took pictures and walked around the elaborate nature of the campus.

Finishing up their tour of USF, the Cavaliers enjoyed lunch at “The Hub,” USF’s on-campus dining service cafeteria. From there, they departed Tampa at 1 a.m. and made their way back to Gables.

After a long three days of touring, the Cavaliers finally came back home, fresh with ideas and hopes for the future. Building upon their initial impressions of the colleges, they came back informed and prepared to look towards making the next step in their academic careers.

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About the Contributor
Angelina Morffi, CavsConnect Co-Editor-in-Chief
Junior Angelina Morffi has spent her past two years embodying the term, "school spirit," and it remains on the top of her agenda for her third year at Gables. She currently holds leadership positions in Future Business Leaders of America, Academy of Finance and as she boasts most, in CavsConnect as Co-Editor-in-Chief. Outside of academics, Angelina works as a camp counselor. Tutoring eight-year-olds on simple mathematics and assisting them through their biggest troubles like misplacing crayons or leaving the playground, Angelina has loved serving her community. During her free time, when she is not solving drama caused by toddlers, Angelina loves to remain busy. If she is not addictively passing through levels on Candy Crush or baking from the box, then Angelina is certainly driving friends to Goodwill or stopping at Chill-N for ice cream. With big plans and an even bigger dreams, Angelina is excited to see what the future will bring for her. She is optimistic that whatever feats lie ahead, she will conquer, and whatever opportunities arrive at her door, she will twist open the doorknob.
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