There are many unspoken social rules at University of Florida, like to not wear your high school sport’s shirts, or play humans vs. zombies on campus and, there are other rules of more practical relevance. These rules have been learned over an entire college experience, and are undoubtedly the most important.
1.) Don’t Forget Your Umbrella
No matter what the season is or how beautiful of a day it might be, it is very likely that it will rain at least once. So, always be prepared and keep an umbrella on you. You may need it for an unexpected monsoon, the persistent humidity, or even just the harsh sun’s rays. Just remember that nothing is as miserable as shivering in the freezing lecture halls while you are soaking wet, and you will certainly find a permanent place in your backpack for an umbrella.
2.) Do not Get a Meal Plan
Even if the meals seem delicious during Preview, when you come sleep in the dorms and get used to campus before your semester stars, it is meaningless. The food quality is a trap it goes down almost immediately. More importantly, the meal plans end up being overpriced because extremely easy to end up with leftover money on your balance that cannot be spent anywhere else, and because you could spend less money cooking for yourself. It is best to get a mini-fridge and a crockpot and learn how to buy cheap, staple, foods in bulk.
3.) Do not Go to The Hub During Preview
During most of spring semester, there is an absurd amount of soon to be freshman and their families congregating on campus at The Hub trying to eat at Chick fil A or Einstein’s Bagels during their break. It gets so crowded that it is stressful to walk around and, it questionable whether or not you will be able to get food before you need to start heading to your next class. Most importantly, it is 0% fun to be judged for wearing what could be pajamas by conservative parents/doe eyed freshman in slacks or sun dresses.
4.) Never Jaywalk
It is extremely tempting to walk across the streets that surround campus, 13th and University, whenever there is a lapse in traffic, but do not do it! Even if a cop is not visible, one or more might be lurking, and they will give you a ticket for jaywalking whether you are on foot, bicycle, or skateboard. You will be late for class, and you will be out $200 that could have been spent on textbooks, Smokin’Notes (class notes), or a night out.
5.) Do not Forget about Financial Aid
There are a lot of dates and happenings to remember at UF, like when exams are, when a fun formal is, or when an awesome speaker is coming, but the most important dates to remember are when to reapply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and/or Bright Futures. Not all students have Bright Futures (high school based merit scholarship that can cover up to roughly half of tuition) but a lot of them do, and it would be devastating to forget about it and miss the deadline after you put in all of the work to maintain the necessary GPA. You cannot go to class or do fun things on campus if you do not have your funds in order!
Sami Dean graduated from University of Florida in 2014 and is now a freelance writer for carious publications.