Juniors return from annual college trip

This year’s annual junior college trip was from January 23rd to the 25th. MAST took 47 of it’s 11th grade students to tour six of Florida’s colleges.

“It was interesting to explore life on campus. Also, giving on the trip opened my eyes to other colleges. It gave me a new perspective on college life, it’s one thing to see a college on paper and another to see it in person,” Alex Hall said.

The first day of the trip was kicked off at 4:45 a.m. when students and chaperones met at school to be checked in and then board the bus. After a three hour drive, the first stop was Florida Gulf Coast University which is in the heart of Fort Myers. Our FGCU guides brought us on a bus tour of the campus, including information on specific buildings and dorm rooms.

Later, we arrived at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and ate lunch on campus among teachers and students at the University. Our student guide, informed us about the things that USF does differently than other Florida schools. This includes having an application process that focuses only on test scores and GPA level. We enjoyed dinner at Applebee’s in Tallahassee that night and then stayed at a hotel near our next stop.

The next morning, everyone received a wake up call at 7 a.m. and had breakfast in the hotel. It was a 15 minute ride to the next school, Florida State University. Here, we also spent lunch on campus and then boarded back on the bus to depart to Gainesville. FSU has some interesting class choices such as a Circus class in which students have the ability to learn skills such as trapeze.  

At our next stop, The University of Florida, we enjoyed a tour from two of its students.

“I was skeptical about applying to UF, but after going there, I realized how great of a school it was and how much I wanted to go there,” Max Russo said.

We later departed to Orlando to eat dinner at Disney Springs and spend time out on our own.

After, we left to a nearby hotel, which was significantly larger than the last, and spent the night. The next morning, we woke up at 8 a.m. to eat breakfast and depart at 9 a.m. to the University of Central Florida. We had time after our tour to eat lunch and explore the campus at our leisure.

Our next stop was Polytechnic University. Despite being open for only 5 years, the campus was very impressive. Although the school is still fairly new and parts of it were under construction, its buildings were architecturally complex, making every MAST student stare in awe. The school is solely focused on fostering the aspirations of people who are planning on going into the STEM field. After an informative tour on the ways the school is tailored to focus on innovation, we departed back to Miami and arrived at 9 p.m. after a long five hour drive.

“It was a very informative trip and it answered all my questions I had about the colleges. It was good to see the campuses and get a feel for them. And the trip was planned out very well,” Enrique Gaston said.  

Overall, students enjoyed getting the opportunity to explore the array of options regarding college choices in our home state.