Summer B marks the halfway point of summer session, but for most of the fresh faces on campus, this is just the beginning. With beginnings come the transition period of figuring out what the hell is going on in this humid, and at times bizarre, place we call Gainesville. Your high school shenanigans may or may not have prepared you for this whirlwind six weeks of learning. The Editorial Board has a combined 14 years of experience on UF’s campus so take it from us…
The transportation aspect of campus life is a difficult monster to handle. Parking is limited. Your bus will whiz right by you stand on the wrong side of the street. Those yellow envelopes left on your vehicle are not love letters.
Urban legend has it you’re not a real UF student until your car has been towed from parking in a tow away zone. Yes, if you park in the wrong zone you will get a ticket. Yes, if you park in a tow away zone, you will most likely get towed or booted. To avoid tickets or fees and save yourself from an unhealthy high blood pressure, take the bus. Saving the environment is pretty cool, too.
Downloading the Transloc Rider app is a decent place to start, but do not trust the estimated time of arrival. The app’s ETA is like a bad ex. It will lie to your face and say it’s all your fault. Pay attention to the bus’ location and watch it like your favorite Netflix show. Otherwise, you will find yourself standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus already a mile down the road (similar to your ex who stood you up).
Once you master transportation, naturally the next tier on the hierarchy of needs is food. Home-cooked meals are hard to come by in this town. Regardless of what year you are, nothing will ever compare to a dish served with a side of mother's love.
The bright golden arches seem like the ideal eatery to drown your “I don't know how to cook anything, and I miss my parents” sorrows. A good cry and hot fries never hurt anyone, but remember to eat food with nutrients whenever you get the chance.
Invite your floormates for a dinner party. Making a family-favorite dish can be cathartic and a way to open up to people.
If tight on cash, the Field & Fork Pantry provides students with grocery items for free and is located between Marston Library and the Reitz Union. Getting a healthy meal may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Even experienced college students struggle with the home cooked meal crunch.
One of Gainesville’s nicknames is Rainesville. So much of an unofficial-official title, Snapchat even provides a Rainesville filter while in the city limits. But it is no joke. Bring an umbrella everywhere, even if the forecast says there is no rain. It is a good habit to have because around 2 p.m. most days, it rains until the late afternoon. The first time getting caught in the middle of a thundershower, you’ll think it’s a fluke. The next three times it happens, you’ll learn your lesson.
But regardless of the weather, the transition period can be trying on one’s mental health. The UF Counseling and Wellness Center is where students can go get help when dealing with any mental health concerns. It offers is group and individual counseling.
Even if you don’t need the services, bring it up to a roommate if you notice changes in their behavior or harmful habits. The CWC also has drug and alcohol counseling, a resource to highlight addiction’s warning signs.
Summer B is the warm up lap. It’s arguably a fantasy.
There is class only a few times a week. Less people are on campus (yes, the amount of people you see on campus these coming weeks is far less compared to what’s to come in fall.) New experiences and the potential of fresh friendships are ripe for the taking.
Cherish Summer B because even though you may not know how to cook or who anyone is, this is the adult version of summer camp. So jump into the Swamp.
The Alligator Editorial Board includes the Opinions Editor Jackie De Frietas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Stine and managing editors Hannah Beatty and Lindsey Breneman.