An Open Letter To USF Housing, From A Very Concerned South Florida Student

An Open Letter To USF Housing, From A Very Concerned South Florida Student

Why can't you make moving in and out of the dorms easier?
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Dear USF Housing,

I've been in college for two years now, and in those two years, I've lived in four different dorms. Each move seems to be harder than the last.

I love my school, don't get me wrong, but they seem to be underprepared when it comes to the dorm situation.

They have a few dollies in each building to help people move in and out, but nowhere near enough to make moving in and out comfortable. I had to buy my own dolly just so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

The RAs expect you out of the dorm at a certain time, which is completely reasonable. However, what isn't reasonable is that everyone is trying to move out at the same time, the elevators are backed up because everyone has heavy stuff to move, and parents are getting parking tickets because they don't have a parking pass.

See also: 10 Things I WILL NOT Miss About Living On Campus Next Year

Now come on. We have resident parking lots for a reason, but during move in/out, the "parking patrol" shouldn't even worry about it. What if the kid doesn't have a car and the only car they can use to pack stuff up in is their parents?

Moving out is a nightmare, but moving in can be even worse.

I moved into the newest dorm on campus for the summer term, and there was absolutely no easy way of moving my stuff from the car to my room. On top of that, I live on the sixth floor, and there are only two elevators in the building. Can you imagine how rough that one was?

See also: To My Residents, From Your RA

We have Bull Haul, which I've participated in both years of college, but that's only for fall. What about the people that move in during spring? What about summer term?

I know that some of this cannot be prevented, but there are certainly ways to make it easier for students to move in and out of their dorms.

Make the move on us kids easier. (Yes, we're kids. We don't know how to "adult" yet.)

Sincerely,

A concerned USF student

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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4 Must-See Destinations You Need To Check Out

My top 4 favorite Youtube travel diaries and must-see travel destinations.

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With the endless opportunities and various cultures the world has to offer, there is nothing more I want to do than to explore the many different walks of life. While I am always on the lookout for new places to add to my travel board on Pinterest, there is no better way to get travel inspiration than by watching some travel diaries on Youtube where adventure enthusiasts showcase their journey through a camera lens. With that being said, I have put together my top four favorite travel diaries that will inspire you to visit these must-see destinations.

1. Santorini, Greece - Tess Christine

Ever since the year 2008 when my grandma introduced me to the movie "Mamma Mia", I have wanted to visit the islands of Greece. I mean who wouldn't love the photogenic architecture and jaw-dropping views? One of my go-to Youtubers, Tess Christine, visited this past summer and uploaded a slow-motion aesthetically pleasing travel vlog. Whether it be the unbelievably stunning sunsets or the black sand beaches, Santorini, Greece is definitely somewhere I want to explore.

2. Portland, Oregon - Aspyn Ovard

Traveling the world doesn't necessarily mean traveling overseas. There are plenty of perfect destinations for any travel enthusiast right here in the United States. For instance, after watching Aspyn Ovard's Portland, Oregon travel diary, I fell in love with it. Ranging from the picture perfect color changing trees throughout the many hiking trails, to the many different biking trails and the one of a kind beaches, there is something to do in Portland, Oregon all year round.

3. Banff, Alberta - Brad & Hailey Devine

After watching Brad & Hailey Devine's travel guide of Banff, Alberta, I want to stop what I am doing and plan a trip to Canada as soon as possible. With the extremely beautiful mountain range, miles of trees, the various hiking trails and the incredible lake views, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

4. Bali, Indonesia - Aspyn Ovard

If the breathtaking rolling hills of Bali doesn't convince you to visit, then the delicious one of a kind food will. I never thought of visiting this incredible island off of Indonesia that is known for forested volcanic mountains, beaches and coral reefs, until I watched Aspyn Ovard's video that showcased the many wonders of Bali. It's the places like this that make you want to pack your bags and plan a trip discovering the never before seen destinations.

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