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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Campus tours leave out the important stuff

Sometimes, I like to wake up early, get a delicious breakfast from "Not My Dorm Room" and grab a bench outside to do some reading.

This is not every morning. I'm not that much of an adult yet.

But with this new weather in town, it's nice to just sit and relax outside. I might look a little foolish trying to control my papers and food wrappers against the wind, but it's definitely worth it.

However, I keep forgetting that it's campus tour season, when Cicerones take groups around the school to show them what it's like.

I think we're all in on the joke here at UF: the extreme difference between what they tell you on campus tours and the actual reality of life.

Last Friday, I was enjoying one of my bench breakfasts when, all of a sudden, a group of apathetic high school students and their skeptical parents were led in front of me. I was planted near University Auditorium, a stop on the tour.

The Cicerones, ever-perky and slightly quirky, gave the information about the auditorium. One thing they didn't mention - and one of my favorite facts - was that the infamous "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" incident occurred there.

When I went on my campus tour, that tidbit was one of the things that stuck out and was much more interesting than whatever stories the tour guides mentioned about the building.

They went on to explain to this group all about Turlington Hall: It's the most confusing building on campus, yadda yadda. From there, they talked about the hustle and bustle of Turlington Plaza.

They explained how busy the plaza gets during the day. They also briefly mentioned the tables of organizations and groups where people will talk to you about their various causes.

One thing was left out, however, when discussing the free speech areas on campus. Now, I understand that we can't just divulge every dirty secret about the real UF, but there are some things I wish I was told before starting my academic career here.

People need to start warning freshmen about the religious nutjobs and "fliering" vultures that inhabit Turlington.

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It's not pleasant to be screamed at during your first semester about the multitudes of ways that you are definitely going to hell, then walk two steps and be force-fed a flier for an apartment complex that you will never live in.

I'm just saying that a little warning would have been nice.

Maybe there should be a second campus tour; and I don't mean whatever happens at Preview.

It would tell you to listen to your iPod as you walk through Turlington if you don't want to get harassed.

Simultaneously, it would remind you to be polite if you are ever required by a club to do some fliering and to not be a dweeb about it. Calmly engage people in conversation. No one likes a Unite hawk.

That tour would explain that absolutely no one calls it "Club West" and that Criser's toe goes un-rubbed.

My tour would tell you not to be "that person" who talks on the phone in your dorm's hallway in the middle of the night. Nothing is that important. Just go to sleep.

It would remind you to please actually use the recycling bins that are now all over campus; there's a reason the trash cans are now labeled "landfill." Of course, it's there to morally blackmail you.

Oh, and Krishna lunch isn't weird. It's cheap and delicious; get over it.

If you're a freshman student reading this, you've probably already noticed how coated in sugar your campus tour was.

If you're an old soul like me, then you realized it some time ago. That's the point of those tours, if you ask me.

They give UF students a wonderful inside joke with one another.

Sami Main is a journalism junior at UF. Her column appears on Tuesdays.


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