When you think of Tallahassee, Florida, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Being the state capital and home to all the important state government institutions, you would think it is that status as the capital of Florida which is the primary brand of this city. Instead, for most people in the United States and around the world, Tallahassee is best known as the home of the storied Florida State University (FSU). Especially well known is its storied Football program, which has won three national titles over the years and during the 80s and 90s, was a consistently dominant force in college football. On my first visit to Tallahassee nearly 4 years ago, I was eager to see what the fuss was all about regarding FSU- and I must say that I have not been disappointed since.
The first thing that strikes you about the Florida State University is the imposing structure of the Doak Campbell Stadium, home to the Football team and one of the largest stadiums in the country. The location is right in the middle of campus, the beautiful brick exterior that looks like a medieval fort, and the sheer imposing size of the stadium which seats nearly 80,000 people are some of my favorite things about this stadium. “Doak” as it is commonly known by locals is truly a landmark within this university and historic town. It is also a place you will find packed with fans on a Saturday, supporting our beloved Seminoles through each football game. There is no greater way to experience Doak than with your friends, shouting the Florida State war chant.
Florida State scenery
I love the red brick exterior of the buildings that make up the main campus of the university as it creates a homely environment and fits in perfectly with the rest of this historic town. The school has taken great pains to maintain the consistency of this look and feel throughout the campus. The campus is spread across multiple buildings in the heart of the city of Tallahassee and the walkable aspect of campus adds to the charm. Walking from class to class isn’t so terrible when you’re surrounded by breathtaking architecture that will soon feel like home.
While it can be unbearably hot at times, the beautiful, towering, trees will surely provide some shade when walking through campus. Besides the football stadium, the university is dotted with world-class facilities for all sports and academic disciplines, whether it is professional-grade training and practice facilities for the athletes or the world-class technologies that fill the labs and fine arts studios.
The Florida State brand
One of my favorite aspects of Florida State University is its mascots and brand logos. The mascots of Osceola and Renegade are recognizable around the world and represent the rich history of a great Seminole tribe leader and his Appaloosa horse. At the start of each football game, these mascots ride into the stadium with a burning spear and plant it in the center of the field which serves to reconnect everyone to these symbols and the brand of the university. The colors of garnet and gold have become my favorite as I think they combine a sense of boldness and subtle class at the same time. These colors adorn everything on campus and along with the mascots and the spear form one of the most recognizable brand logos in the world.
There are numerous resources
Entering college can be scary- you’re faced with choosing a major, finding friends, and taking harder courses all while trying to adjust to living on your own. One of the main reasons I chose Florida State was for the numerous academic resources provided for students. I entered college as an Exploratory major, unsure of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The advising center guided me through choosing my major- giving me detailed information and guidance to choose what is best fit for me. The ACE tutoring center can also be a life-saver in passing challenging classes.
ACE provides one-on-one tutoring as well as group sessions to answer any questions and further explain material you may not understand. For older students, Florida State holds a career fair at which numerous companies attend to provide opportunities for internships and careers outside of school. Here, many of my friends have found internships and gained practice speaking professionally. Because Florida State is so large, there is also a small lake with activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and many events for our beloved alumni. In addition, FSU has many resources (included in tuition) for your personal health such as a Health and Wellness Center, Women’s Clinic, Therapy, and many more.
Besides being a strong school academically, Florida State is known for its commendable Greek life on campus. As an incoming freshman, I was initially hesitant to participate in Greek life. While it can seem intimidating and exclusive, Greek life is not at all what I expected. If you are able to, I strongly recommend giving sorority or fraternity recruitment a chance. Through joining a sorority, I have found genuine friendships and support that I know will be with me for life.
Besides being a great emotional and social support system, my sorority has helped me find other women in my major or pursuing similar career paths. This is especially helpful when searching for people to study with or networking for the future. Despite which chapter you join, other members and alumni will always be willing to help you professionally and in your personal life. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to join the Panhellenic Community and to be surrounded by ambitious, friendly and caring women each day.
Nearby cities and activities
While Tallahassee may not be your cup of tea, many neighboring cities are beautiful and full of adventures. When I’m looking to catch a break from the usual nightlife and stress of school, I like to plan a trip to either St. George’s Island, Panama City Beach, Tampa, or Jacksonville. All of these cities are only a short trip away and make for the perfect day or weekend trip. St. George’s Island and Panama City Beach are the closest destinations. Here you can find beautiful beach towns with delicious food, welcoming locals, and a more low-key atmosphere. I’m never disappointed by a trip to the beach, especially at these beautiful cities.
Why I chose Florida State University
Florida State University has swelled to over 41,000 students in recent years including over 33,000 under-graduate students and 8,000+ graduate students. With an acceptance rate of around 37%, the university attracts a large pool of applicants each year from across the state of Florida as well as around the country and indeed the world. I made the decision to join the under-graduate ranks over three years ago because I fell in love with the campus on my visit and due to the breadth and depth of choices it offered in fields of study since I was undecided on the major I wanted to pursue. Since then, I have grown to love all aspects of student life at FSU and appreciate all the assets it offers to students like myself to grow both academically and as productive adults in society.