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Thursday, November 30, 2023

You may still be settling in, but before the grind (and gridiron glory) of fall starts, take some time to learn the ABCs of being a UF student.

Lake Alice is a sanctuary for alligators and birds and is a popular destination for students looking to plunge into nature.

The Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History is home to more than 55 free-flying butterfly species and many exotic plants.

Chili's Too just opened inside the Racquet Club Dining Center alongside a new Moe's Southwest Grill.

Go to the nearest D'lites Emporium near you, and don't feel bad about staying. The store offers low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb ice cream, and flavors change weekly.

Get your picture with statues of UF mascots Albert and Alberta at Emerson Alumni Hall.

If you really want to impress your peers, learn the words to UF's fight song. Fans sing this song during home football games.

Gator Growl is the largest student-run pep rally in the world. Past comedians featured at the Homecoming event include Bill Cosby and Dane Cook.

The Hub isn't home to just Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, you know. The building houses a computer help desk, several private study rooms and UF's International Center, a must-visit for planning study abroad trips.

The Inter-Residence Hall Association, or IRHA, represents on-campus residents and puts on Weeks of Welcome events for new students.

Jogging on campus sidewalks and trails is a popular pastime, and starting Sept. 1, you can call a member of UF's Naval ROTC to be your jogging buddy, free of charge.

Those who don't visit Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium this spring will probably miss out on a great season for UF's softball team. Last spring, the team made it to the Women's College World Series and went 70-5 last season.

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Lake Wauburg is the off-campus destination for those looking to canoe, swim and even climb a rock wall, among other outdoor activities. All you need is your Gator1 Card to enter.

Micanopy is a sleepy town located about 15 miles south of Gainesville. Spend a day browsing its many antique stores and local businesses for a unique experience.

Norman Field, near Sorority Row, is good for organizing pick-up games of soccer, Frisbee and football.

The O'Connell Center, or the O-Dome, is where UF's volleyball, gymnastics, basketball and swimming and diving teams compete.

Welcome to the No. 1 Party School. While it's not exactly the same as cracking the Top 10 of public universities, we'll take the crown anyway.

Quidditch has to be one of the only sports UF doesn't offer. Suit up this year and join an intramural team or one of 40 sports clubs.

Spend some time in the Reitz Union and bowl, shoot pool and play all the Dance Dance Revolution money can buy.

The Swamp Things is the moniker given to rowdy student fans who come to cheer on Tim Tebow and the gang on game day.

We didn't win the ESPN contest, but Gainesville is known as Titletown for winning back-to-back basketball national championships in 2006 and 2007 as well as the 2006 football national championship.

Don't pull a Joakim Noah and get caught up with the University Police for the wrong reasons. The department operates 24/7.

Don't miss out on your chance to vote in this year's election. If your legal residence is still in your hometown, request an absentee ballot. If you'd prefer to change your legal residence to Alachua County, fill out a form online and bring it to the Supervisor of Elections office downtown.

"We are the Boys" is a classic song played at the end of the third quarter at football games. Get ready to sway and swing, arm in arm with friends and strangers alike, as the band strikes up the popular tune.

XS, next to Gator City Sports Grill, is one of several bars and clubs located in "midtown" on University Avenue.

The Yulee Pit, near Museum Road and Southwest 13th Street, is a sinkhole utilized for tanning and games of ultimate Frisbee.

Visit the teaching zoo at Santa Fe College and meet about 220 animals. Admission is free to SFC students and $4 for adults.

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