The Undesignated "Designated" Smoking Spots On A Smoke And Tobacco Free Campus Have A Culture Of Their Own

The Undesignated "Designated" Smoking Spots On A Smoke And Tobacco Free Campus Have A Culture Of Their Own

Smoking on campus provides a different meaning than squeezing in a smoke break.
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The University of South Florida declared a tobacco and smoke-free campus on January 4th, 2016 - about two years ago. As many of Bulls know, that is not exactly the case or in which some of us deviate from or prove ignorant to these declarations that are aimed to encourage the health and the wellbeing of the students and faculty of USF.

Though I am very proud of my school to take this initiative and promote the awareness or the need to encourage the adoption of healthy habits, there seems to be a division between that of the “smokers” and the “nonsmokers.”

Despite my rare engagement with cigarettes, my viewpoint has not drastically changed from the time before I had my first cigarette - cigarettes are not the best for you and it would most likely benefit you in the long run to trash the habit altogether. However, I have observed the culture that is derived from the habit. Smoking on campus provides a different meaning than squeezing in a smoke break.

For some people smoking cigarettes is a form of a stress free act and could curve certain feelings like that of depression and anxiety. Others do it socially. Whatever the reason it may be, I am grateful for these spots. I rather enjoy watching people laugh and enjoy themselves. Yes, there is a myriad of other things to get that relief, but I rather there be more smoke breaks than stories of trips to the hospitals. I rather there be coffee breath cigarette talks amongst friendships than surrounding yourself with four cold walls of confinement.

There are cultures that are bursting along the side of USF’s library, on the steps outside of the Social Science building, and benches underneath whistling trees. It is not particularly easy to make new friends or come to a new place entirely and building yourself from what it seems to be the beginning.

USF is a stained glass window of cultures and human beings making this campus a home away from home. Leaving what they know best to pursue an education they believe in. These spots allow for sparks of conversations among people of different backgrounds that have something in common.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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39 Things Every Girl Should Really Know About Life By 20

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.
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1. Dispute ALL tickets... even if you were going 35mph over the speed limit.

ticket

How can it hurt? If anything you can save yourself some money.

2. If you're not 10 minutes early, you're late.

Your boss, your teachers, your co-workers... They all notice. Be the early one.

3. If you find yourself waking up feeling miserable, start the day by making your bed and washing your face.

Coming back to a made bed after a sh*tty day can change the world.

4. It's okay to fall off track once in a while. You'll only be wiser for next time. (Don't push it, though!)

When I say fall off track I don't mean COMPLETELY off... Just make sure you hold onto something that reminds you to keep going. You'll figure it out... Sometimes it takes years and that's okay.

5. Don't fight your family. They ARE always going to love you.

family

I used to fight my family and try to push them away... It was probably the dumbest thing I've ever done looking back. So, even if you say, "I'm never going to like them!" Trust me you will. Unless they're actually toxic a**holes...

6. Mom actually, seriously, literally, insanely knows everything.

It's crazy, I swear my mom is psychic. Or she can see the future. I used to do the opposite of what she said and my life was messier... Now that I found out about her powers I listen and things run smoother. Weird. Love you, Ma.

7. If an elder in your family tries giving you money as a gift or to cover lunch... Reject it first.

They won't stop insisting and they will force you to take the money even if you say no 3,000 times. So why not earn some brownie points and act like you seriously didn't need it. Meanwhile, you know how badly you need it.

8. An e-mail and/or a phone call goes a long way.

Don't pester... But if you're the one who calls to "follow up on a resume," a week or two after you applied, you're the standout!

Also, as a college student, I find e-mailing and staying in touch with professors builds a relationship and engraves your name into their brains. As long as you're good at writing e-mails and a good student, they'll usually instinctively like you more; seeing how much effort you spent on communicating.

9. If you hate school, just suffer through the attendance, and make sure the teacher knows your name.

Even if you actually have no idea what Descartes sixth meditation is about... Just show up, do the work consistently, and build a relationship with the teacher. They won't fail you if they see effort. (Just don't give them a reason to!)

10. It seems like the end of the world sometimes... it's not.

"And this too shall pass."

11. If you hate yourself one day (or even all the time), just pretend you don't.

Did you know our facial expressions can influence our emotions?

12. Line up another miserable part-time job before quitting your current one.

work

Waitressing, customer service, reception... We've all been there and it usually sucks (Unless your parents spoil you too much). So, if you need to get the hell out of there, make sure you have somewhere else to go before you quit. And give 'em a notice in advance, don't be a d*ck.

13. Traveling is the best thing in the world.

travel

I don't need to explain much more. I think we can all agree we want to witness the beautiful parts of this world we've never seen before.

14. If someone doesn't say thank you when you hold the door for them...

...hit them with the classic under-your-breath-but-you-know-they-heard-you type of "you're welcome!"

15. Respect authority, even if you think you're right.

cops

Just FULLY cooperate and it WILL be easier. It's also great to make friends with authority figures. Talk to everyone! Make connections and maybe you'll learn something new.

16. Spend time outside and in public.

After high school, you aren't forced into a classroom five days a week where you will have to socialize. After high school, you can decide to chill in your room and do nothing. But seriously don't make a habit out of it, you will end up feeling like crap when you realize you have no friends.

17. Don't roll your eyes at people.

So rude. Eye-rolling just makes it look like you're admitting you're wrong and you have no defense to whatever made you roll your eyes.

18. Life's a b*tch and then you die... But guess what? Even B*tches have fun!

mean girls

News flash, we are currently all in the process of dying. Stop worrying so much and try to have fun even in the dullest of moments.

19. If you're speaking about something professional, call don't text.

You do realize we still have a call feature on the iPhone, right? Use it.

20. Decorate the Christmas tree with your family amidst your teen angst.

 christmas

It really seems like a horrible excursion to pile into a mini-van, cut down a tree in the freezing cold, and then hang shiny balls while developing a rash on your hand from the prickles... But down the road, you'll regret not doing it.

21. The D.A.R.E. program makes it seem like drugs are just freely handed out.

drugs

That sh*t's expensive. And you don't want to do it, anyway (Minus weed it's harmless, just wait until you're old enough!) .

22. Smile and say hi to as many people a day as you can.

You never know if you just made someone feel a little better or accepted.

23. Make sure the E-brake is OFF.

brake

It will sound like you're dragging a dead body attached to your car and will ruin your brakes. Just double check.

24. Use all your resources even when it seems pointless.

Even if you learn absolutely nothing, you gain connections.

25. What's most important in life?

Connections.

26. Know how to swim.

swim

It is a basic skill everyone should know. You don't need to be Phelps. Just doggy paddle if you're really that bad.

27. If you don't have a firm handshake, learn how to, a**hole.

handshake

If you are a lady shaking a man's hand, strive to have a firmer grip than him. You'll either scare the sh*t out of him, gain serious respect, or get complimented on how great your handshake is! That's my favorite compliment if I'm being honest.

28. Step back and think before you explode.

Seriously dude, don't press send. You probably used the words, "like" and "literally" too much in your text, anyway. Wait 10 minutes and see if it's worth it.

Also, it's better in person.

29. Question everything.

question

Never assume you're safe or well-informed. There could be a murderer in that restaurant... Question anything that you aren't sure of. Hell, even question what you are sure of.

30. Don't trust a headline or statistic until you know it's credible.

What if you're looking at a bar graph from 1968, not 2018? You might think this is obvious, but there are clearly plenty of people who share false information. We've probably done it ourselves before. We should all work on that.

31. Park far from the store.

parkng

Walk, you lazy youthful soul. Unless you require a handicap spot or weather conditions are poor.

32. Take the stairs.

"I have no time to workout!" *takes elevator*

33. Don't text people when you want to tell them how you feel.

It only makes you feel good for like 20 seconds and then you'll probably read it back saying, "What was I thinking?"

34. Have something to be proud of.

Otherwise, you'll get lost. Life is confusing.

35. Listen to old school music, the classics, and artists who inspired what we hear today.

music

We cannot let the real instruments die people. Do you know how fun a jam band show is?

36. If you're inspired, act fast.

Don't let inspiration slip away. Sometimes it's easy to forget that great feeling.

37. If you start, finish.

Finish what you start and do the best you can at it. We all have off days, that doesn't mean you suck if you mess something up a few times.

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.

beer

You don't want your favorite bikini stowed in the wrong plane when you go on vacation. Plus you spent all of your money on Corona's and can't buy a new one.

39. Change your oil.

Love your car and it will try to love you back.

Good Luck!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Fahey

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I Am Using This Summer To Grow

I will also be able to grow in my own faith as I am helping other children.
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I am spending this summer in Tampa, which is my hometown. It is a lot different this summer because I am not in Fort Myers where all my friends are.

I have noticed that I am feeling more lonely, just because I am not surrounded by the people that I am so used to being around. Through the few years of college, I have started to drift away from friends that I had in high school.

There are only a few people that I still talk to, and keep up with.

I am taking 3 classes this summer and will be teaching faith formation to 7th graders, in June. I am so excited for that experience because it is going to help me grow so much in my faith and as a teacher.

I think about this camp, as an opportunity to grow, and pour into students like I will be doing when I become certified in a few years. I will also be able to grow in my own faith as I am helping other children.

This summer I really want to spend time growing in my faith and relationship with God. During college, it is so easy to read my bible every night and spend time praying. I had so much quiet time when I was there and always was involved with ministries every week.

When I am home it becomes more challenging because I am so busy with life at home. It isn't just me anymore, I am back with my family. I love being home with my family but it is definitely different, after getting used to being on my own at school.

I am taking this summer and using it as a time to grow in my life so that when I get back to college in August, it is easy for me to continue to have a relationship with Christ and be a productive teacher in training.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Markee

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