Student Spotlight: Gillian Sweet
My name is Gillian Sweet and I am currently a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science program. I am majoring in General Health Science, as well as minoring in Public Health. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a gator and go to the University of Florida. My mother was a student here so it was pretty much imbedded in my head since I was born. The day I found out I got into UF was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my entire life. All my hard work had finally paid off, but I knew that the real hard work was just beginning and attending a top school like UF was not going to be easy.
When I first started taking classes it was tough. I had to adjust to a much heavier work load and study more hours than I ever had before. Due to rigorous courses I decided to focus more on my academics for my first two years at UF. My dedication proved worth it and I now have a 3.86 GPA. However, once I entered the BHS program I began to be more involved in the extracurricular side. I joined Health Science Student Organization (HSSO), Undergraduate Physical Therapy Association (UPTA) and became a LEAP mentor. I am now the new Vice President for UPTA for 2015-2016. All of these programs gave me experiences I am very grateful for and if I had any advice for underclassman it would be to get involved as soon as possible. There are endless possibilities at UF and so many options to get involved.
Another organization I have grown very fond of over my years at UF is Camp Boggy Creek (CBC). This is a camp that hosts children and their families for a weekend of activities and fun. These aren’t just ordinary children, however. Many of them are suffering from different diseases ranging from cancer to spina bifida to heart disease. CBC allows students to volunteer as camp counselors and they assign one to two counselors to a family for the weekend. I have attended two weekends so far as a counselor and plan to go many more times. This organization is changing people’s lives and it is an amazing thing to be a part of. I have never met one person who had regretted volunteering here for the weekend.
Finally, I am very involved in volunteering and shadowing at different Physical Therapy clinics, as this is the career I wish to pursue. I have gotten the opportunity to shadow in a variety of clinics including inpatient, outpatient, orthopedics, geriatrics, pediatrics and neurological. Recently, I realized that my greatest passion out of these settings has been pediatrics. It is astounding the positivity and drive these children have even in the face of such adversity. Being able to help children get better and achieve all the goals they have for their future would not be just a job, it would be a privilege.
Currently, I am applying to physical therapy graduate programs in Florida and my greatest hope is to continue my education at the great University of Florida DPT program.