10 Things You May Have Forgotten to Thank FGCU For
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10 Things You May Have Forgotten to Thank FGCU For

Thank you for giving me the best four years of college I could possibly have.

10 Things You May Have Forgotten to Thank FGCU For
Olivia DeLucia

As I sit outside at Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus for my last full week of classes, I can feel the breeze going against the warm Florida sun, the sound of longboards, students chatting as they make their way to their 10 AM class, and the smell of Starbucks’ coffee near the picnic table I sit at. It is simple and absently easy to take advantage of our school.

However, as I reflect on my time at FGCU, moving to Florida for college and the how fast my college years have gone, I highlight how much I have to thank my campus for. So, here’s to you, FGCU, thank you for the best four years and all that you have done for me. While the sadness of leaving behind the place I called home may bring out a bit of grateful reflection, I have never been prouder these past four years to say “wings up” every time Florida Gulf Coast has made me smile.

Here’s a small list of the top 10 “thank-yous” I have forgotten to say to my school and home for the past four years.

1. Campus Housing Make College Livin' Good

*Cue the eye rolls and my roommates reminding me of how long it took maintainance to fix the giant hole in the wall living when we were living in North Lake.*

Despite some causal complains and problematic fixes involved with living on campus – us Eagles are pretty lucky. While you may have vented to your friends how annoying your Freshman roommate could be, don’t forget for our first year we could actually have the leisure of being able to shut the door to our own room? Not many college freshmen can say that they got to have their own, private room to call their own and a pool right within walking distance from their building. We are pretty spoiled I think.

On top of that, FGCU is often compared to a “resort” and it is no wonder with an on-campus beach, giving us opportunities to paddle board, swim, and go sailing. While I live off campus now, I have learned to appreciate my time on campus and the beauty of living and learning in Florida Gulf Coast University’s beautiful campus.

2. Our School Loves The Planet

Going green is cool, and not to brag, but FGCU was way ahead of this trend. It was the University’s promise since the beginning to leave half of the 800 acres preserved to nature. Not just that, but when FGCU did start to expand, they did it the right way. Leadership in Energy and Environmental design is a green building certification program that FGCU committed to in 8 buildings so far. In addition to learning in environmentally friendly buildings, students are also required to take a class their junior year all about Southwest Florida’s Environment and how to preserve it.

Thought field trips were only for elementary school students? Not at FGCU. A day of classes for this course takes us to eco-friendly adventures, including cypresses, nature walks and kayaking around Southwest Florida. Even walking on campus from the parking garage is an adventure over the nature trails, across the boardwalk and even spotting an alligator or two along the way.

3. Friendships Last More Than 4 Years

Starting in my Sovi days, making friends in college was pretty simple. Even though I didn’t have a car, FGCU offered so many activities to meet new students at that it was impossible not to get involved on campus. Endless lists of student registered organizations, or getting involved in Greek life, offers all baby eagles to spread their wings and fly. Meeting friends to go to the Sovi pool or take a Target run at Gulf Coast Town Center makes college memorable.

There are so many different types of people at FGCU that make meeting others of different perceptive and finding new friendships –not just your freshman year – but all four years some of the greatest memories of all. I know when I leave this place I’ll still be tight with my best friends that lived down the hall my freshman year, the friendships I made with sisters in Kappa Delta and my study buddies that helped me get through those classes I never thought I would make it out of.

5. Off-Campus Is Just As Great Too

Some may think the only activity to do in Fort Myers is to fry on the beach. While I am not complaining about the beautiful sunsets and endless summer, FGCU is conveniently affiliated with, there is so much more to do around our campus. People may complain that FGCU isn’t a “college town," but with enrollment growing so are the students and the impact we will make in the area. Students get involved with service learning hours, which promote community engagement and are a graduation requirement.

Getting hours isn’t just a part of the checklist to graduate thought (I mean, not to brag, but getting the 80-hour requirements is a breeze) but also a way to meet locals, find new places in Fort Myers and network for opportunities. Playing with puppies at Gulf Coast Humane Society, cleaning up beaches for Earth Day or tutoring students around Lee County School systems, allows Fort Myers not just to become your typical “college campus town," but a home.

6. Study Abroad Opportunites

Everyone is doing it, and not just to live out their Pinterest board dreams, but because studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not only do you earn college credit for traveling, but also make connections and expand your horizon around the world. While studying abroad is pricey and not everyone can fit it into their schedules, FGCU makes an effort to promote summer study abroad opportunities and scholarships to aid students in expanding their college experience.

Study abroad programs also allow students to meet other FGCU students in their major or minor. As a Spanish minor, and with FGCU’s help I traveled to Spain with many of my classmates and Spanish professors which was one of the most influential experiences of my college career. Florida Gulf Coast University gives you opportunities not just in Florida, but all around the world.

7. Campus Bars Aren't That Bad

Okay, I know the stigma that FGCU isn’t a party school and when “you go to UCF every weekend you can get away with your shitty fake ID from ID God every time” take a second to appreciate the party scene a little at FGCU. While we only may have four bars college students are regular at around campus, at least you’re pretty much promised to see a majority of your friends when you go out. FGCU has a fun off-campus party scene that even though some people may complain about, gives students things to partake in every weekend.

8. Small Campus Feel

I have only been in a slightly large lecture hall twice during my college career. Not only did having a small campus feel make not getting lost as a freshman easier, but also make my move to college much more comfortable. Making a transition from high school to college can be difficult and being “just a number” doesn’t make this change any easier.

FGCU offers small class sizes, with a 21:1 student to faculty ratio. These classes make it easier to get involved around campus, meet classmates and also extend opportunities. I have had the flexibility in my schedule to take lots of unique classes and obtain two minors. FGCU’s small campus has big opportunities that make our college one of a kind.

8. Professors That Care

Not including my horrible freshman math professor (kidding), but if I logged in to ratemyprofessor.com I wouldn’t have a problem giving my teachers 5 stars. Especially in my major, my professors have been passionate, intelligent and helpful in all aspects of my undergraduate life. They have pushed me to try my hardest and given me opportunities for internships and research that bigger schools might not have done for me. My professors have genuinely cared about my post-graduate career choices, written letters of recommendations, been attentive in office hours and have even become my Facebook friends

9. Food Is Life, And Decent At FGCU

When I took my first college tour at FGCU, I can’t lie and say a contributing factor wasn’t the fact that they had a take-out sushi place on campus. As a girl that loves to eat, FGCU and the surrounding area has lots of places to get your foodie fix. Not to mention, ice cream is a yearlong thing in Florida and there are about 4 acai bowl places for all my basic girlies to get their fix. So in between classes, you can head over to get a smoothie bowl, pack on the fruit and Nutella and take a snap for #healthyeating.

10. A Forever Home

Take it from a girl who applied to 13 colleges (yeah, I went a tad bit crazy senior year with my indecision) I have to say falling in love with Florida Gulf Coast University’s Campus was the best choice I could have made. I don’t regret a single second of moving out of state to attend school at FGCU. I have made amazing friends, gained unique opportunities and had a college experience like none other. Don’t take any second for granted because Florida Gulf Coast University is a place you’ll always want to call home, even when it’s your time to say thank you and go.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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