Gems Around USF Campus

Gems Around USF Campus

Definitely check this out if you are new to the area!

If you are new to the USF area or are just looking for something different, keep reading! A huge part of the college experience is finding wonderful places to explore and eat around the area. Whether it’s a cozy coffee shop, a delicious pizza place, or a fun day activity, Tampa definitely has a lot of places and events to experience. In this article, I will give you some places to check out on your next free day and some tips to help you along the way. Because whether mom or dad like it or not, you won’t be studying all the time.

1. Felicitous

If you enjoy a wonderfully made coffee and/or tea, Felicitous is the coffee shop for you! I have been too many times to count and haven't gotten a bad thing there. Cuddled away behind a strip mall, Felicitous serves the best drinks and makes you feel right at home with a comfortable setting and mix-match mugs. They also have open-mic nights a couple times a month. It's a must.

2. Oxford Exchange

Not only can you get super cute basic photos here, the food is phenomenal. It's a tad pricey, but you get a huge portion and five-star quality. It can be super busy so call ahead to make a reservation. After your meal, you can enjoy a pastry or coffee by Buddy Brew. Then take a stroll around the bookstore while feeling oh-so-cosmopolitan.

3. SoHo Donuts

Around the corner from OE, a glorious donut shop cooks up the best treats. I'm pretty sure they make a donut with every cereal known to man, and they are always fresh and soft. You say now you will only get one donut, but as soon as you step foot in that place, you will know that isn't possible.

4. Datz and Dough

If you have a little extra cash in your pocket and are looking for a hearty meal and monstrous dessert, check this place out. This restaurant and bakery are connected. So when you are too full to function off mouth-watering burgers from Datz, walk on over to Dough and grab yourself a donut ice cream cone. And just forget calories for a day, okay?

5. Vallarta's

All I can say is, "Dollar tacos" (For lunch every Wednesday and Tuesday).

6. The Dali Museum

After you stuff yourself senseless with food, check out this beautiful museum in St.Pete. It may be a bit of a drive but it is totally worth it. USF students get in free, and who doesn't like free? I may be a bit biased as an art major, but the paintings are mind-boggling and worth seeing.

7. Paddle Boarding at USFSP

Time to burn those calories from all those tasty meals! Head on over to USFSP where students can enjoy free paddle boarding. If you aren't into that, they do offer kayaking and sailing lessons! Take advantage of the beautiful scenery.

8. Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

The FMoPA, in downtown Tampa, is free for students with an encouraged five dollar donations. Photography is my medium of choice, and I absolutely love this museum. And not only is the museum awesome, so is the surrounding blocks. After a nice stroll in the museum, head on over across the street and stumble upon cute cafes, yummy NY style pizza, and antique book shops.

9. Pizza Squared

Okay, I know the area might look a little sketchy, but sketchy places are where you find the best food. Pizza Squared offers Detroit-style pizza, and it is totally delicious. Tip: they offer student discount.

10. Ybor

Yes, this is a whole city in itself but it is stuffed with hidden gems. Ybor is great for dancing, tattoos, coffee, pizza, cigars, slushies, and whatever else you can think of. Grab a group of friends and head over one evening and explore. A crazy night in Ybor is kind of a must for USF students.


1. Make sure you ask places if they have student discounts! They may not advertise it but offer it.

2. If you are going clubbing and are a lady, a lot of clubs offer free charge for ladies before a certain time.

3. Most of the time, the more sketchy a place looks, the better food they have.

4. The school and satellite locations offer tons of free events and services for USF students.

5. If you have family visiting, a lot of surrounding hotels will give USF parent discount if you come show your ID at check-in.

6. It is possible to ball on a budget! A lot of places in the area are free or discounted for students.

7. Don't eat dinner until later some nights. A lot of restaurants offer cool deals after 10 or 11pm.

Cover Image Credit: CP Tampa West Shore

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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The Cold, Refreshing, Stimulating Truth About Energy Drinks

Am I ruining my body with these? Am I going to DIE???


The thing about energy drinks... they have a bad rap.

I often bring one to work and then my coworkers will begin to tell me how bad they are for my health. And then I usually reply with how delicious they are or something. Because quite frankly, I absolutely love energy drinks.

I never have more than one on the same day, and I don't drink 5-Hour Energy or any of those energy shots. THOSE can't be safe. I also don't drink Redbull for some reason. I have always thought that they weren't good for you and so I guess I just stand by that. But I drink every flavor of Monster and Rockstar and have now expanded my horizons to Nos, Bang, etc. I sip them like a drink, I don't chug them or start my day with them. Usually. And I like to get the sugar-free or low-calorie ones, although that's a whole other debate on whether or not it's healthier to digest real sugar or fake sweetener.

But my habits are not the focus of this article. Instead, I want to summarize some of the factual information about energy drinks and why you shouldn't assume I'm going to have a heart attack after I finish my delicious beverage. Now, I admit right off the bat that I didn't do any extensive research about this, I didn't look into cases of specific people's injuries or experiences, I just want to state a few facts to put this entire debate into perspective:

The average Monster has anywhere from 140-160 mg of caffeine in a 16oz can. This is the equivalent of a tall Starbucks cafe Americano. And ordering an Americano every morning is perfectly fine to most people.

My absolute favorite flavor of Monster is the Pipeline Punch from the Monster Juice series. This one is not low-calorie or low-sugar, it's just a normal Monster drink. It has 23g of sugar in it. Arguably one of the most popular sugary Starbucks drinks is the caramel macchiato. The grande size has 33g of sugar in it. Not to mention, it's also the exact same caffeine count as an energy drink.

Anytime you order your Starbucks drink with an extra shot, that's an added 75mg of caffeine. So with every double shot or even triple shot, if you dare, you are well over the caffeine amount of 99% of energy drinks.

In light of these facts, it's still fair to criticize energy drinks because of their artificial, sugary nature. Sure, carbonated sugary drinks lead to teeth erosion and dental issues. But then how come people don't freak out every time the waiter asks if you would like a Coke with that?

The Bang drinks actually require you be over eighteen to purchase them. Grocery stores treat it like alcohol and ask for your ID before buying. And maybe this is how it should be for every energy drink brand. It would surely help prevent young children and teens from over-consuming something that they probably don't need in their systems at a young age.

As for bodily defects as a result of drinking energy drinks—do everything in moderation! Stories are released of people drinking energy drinks and then dying from heart attacks or what have you. But 99% of the time it's because they drank three in a row or mixed them with substances you shouldn't be mixing them with. These aren't just drinks. People should be taking them seriously. You wouldn't throw back five shots of tequila and then not expect to suffer the consequences or order three triple shot lattes and not expect to feel a little heartburn afterward.

So, I urge you to take this with a grain of salt. 99% of the time I drink an energy drink, it just keeps me from falling asleep. It doesn't really give me energy or make me stay awake. So maybe I have an extremely high tolerance to caffeine, but I see it as evidence that energy drinks can't be that bad for you or else the supposed "high" levels of chemicals and caffeine would have you bouncing off the walls every single time.

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