AJ Vazquez

AJ Vazquez is ready to start his college journey at the University of Florida.

Alejandro Vazquez: From Cavalier to Gator

In the very competitive pool of applicants for the University of Florida (UF) senior Alejandro Vazquez surely seemed to stand out from the crowd. UF offers multiple undergraduate programs—including business administration, engineering, law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary practice. Vazquez always had his mind set on becoming a Gator and gladly committed after being accepted. Below is a look into Vazquez’s college acceptance journey, including his application process, the passions that have taken him as far as he has gotten throughout and some wise words of advice for future college applicants.

Q: Before you committed to UF, were there any other schools you were considering attending?

A: Not really. UF was the school I was aiming for, so I had not committed to any other schools. I was prepared to make a decision,though, if I had not been offered admission to the university. I was accepted to other in-state schools, but UF has always been my top choice.

Q: What made you commit to UF instead of the other schools you had already heard from, if there were any?

A: I committed to UF over other schools because when I visited the campus and Gainsville two years ago, when I helped my sister move in, I knew it was the place I wanted to go. I made sure to walk Downtown Gainesville to really get a feel for what the nightlife is like. I personally really liked how close everything was. It is the true definition of a college town and I truly find that appealing. On the educational side, I am aiming for a career in dentistry and I believe the academics at UF are excellent in guiding me there.

Q: In your honest opinion, what do you think led to your acceptance at UF? Was it your grades, extracurricular activities, or other aspects of your high school career and resume? 

A: I would say that the main contributors to my acceptance were my college essay, test scores, and extracurriculars. For my essay, I wrote about a time in my life when I had a major setback and how I grew from it. This choice took a lot of reflection and, internally, I believe that it was well-perceived by the admissions council and gave them an honest insight into who I am, not just as a student, but as a person, too. My grades, however, were not in the range when comparing them to other applicants. This is probably why I was accepted into their PACE pathway.

Q: How was the college application process for you?

A: In my case, the application process was not too stressful or time-consuming, and for that I am grateful. I only applied to seven schools, which is less than a lot of the other students I know. All but one of my schools had a Nov. 1 deadline and required no supplemental essays. Having no extra essays to work on, I felt confident after having finished the main essay submitted.

Q: What is your intended major at the University of Florida?

A: I am currently undecided on a major. So far, I am leaning towards a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Business Administration with a specialization in Pre-Health. This means that I would be taking pre-requisite courses for a B.A degree while also taking courses that follow the UF pre-health track. I am strongly considering this path as I want to have a solid foundation in both business and biology/chemistry.

Q: What career path do you wish to pursue in the future?

A: I am working towards a career in dentistry. Eventually, I hope to use my business education degree to open and run my own dental practice.

Q: Have you always been passionate about this career path?

A: I began to develop an interest in dentistry about two years ago. I began to consider the major when I would go to the orthodontist for my own treatment and was highly interested in the entire process. After my treatment concluded, I  am more seriously considering pursuing this career option.

Q: Do you have any advice you would like to give to others readying themselves for the college application process?

A: I would advise students to be aware of the deadlines they have. Maybe even consider investing in a planner or calendar to keep track of it all. This will allow interested applicants to manage their time properly and surely plan ahead to not miss any important uploads or submissions. Do not apply to a lot of colleges, ten at most, I would say. If you are applying to more than ten schools, it usually means you are not sure that you can get into most of them, because I personally see it as not being sure what you want to do. Plus, all those application fees really add up.

As the next couple of weeks approach, many of the Cavaliers in the class of 2020 will be hearing back from their colleges and universities. Like Vazquez, they will all be faced with the choice of committing to a school by May 1. For some, it will be as easy as it was for Vazquez, but for others, there will be tough choices to make. For those seniors who remain undecided and are unsure of their next steps, make sure to stop by the C.A.P office to speak to Ms. Driver and go over all your options. This is a decision that should not be rushed. As his senior year comes to an end, Vazquez has joined the group of Cavaliers that are officially college-bound.

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