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I’ve been apartment hunting in Gainesville for the past four hours trying to decide between an apartment that will ultimately lead to me giving my spleen as a down payment or something on the cheaper side that could double as a backdrop for the Stanford prison experiment.

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Darts and Laurels

“This is Ground Control to Major Tom,” David Bowie sings to you through your earbuds. As you peer through the tinted window of an RTS bus, the twinkling lights floating around campus buildings seem a thousand miles away. The constellation of lamps hovering above Turlington Plaza shine like lighthouses welcoming early morning visitors like yourself. Campus feels as if it were Mars, desolate and complete with the red brick terrain. You are the only passenger in the large tin can of a bus rolling slowly up Newell Drive. You can barely see anything in the dark, but the bus calls out the stops autonomously and seems to know which way to go. The air is cool and inviting as the bus slows to a stop and the doors part to let you out. Standing in the silence, you see UF in a new light, quarantined from the usual activity and bustle — in a cosmic bubble without distraction or noise. Soon campus will wake, but for now, the stars still twinkle in the soft daylight peeking over the horizon. …