7 Basic Essentials For Your First Summer And Fall Term At UF

7 Basic Essentials For Your First Summer And Fall Term At UF

I definitely wish I brought these things to campus for my first term at the University of Florida.

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Congratulations and welcome to the Swamp! If you haven't heard yet, it is very swampy here, especially in the late summer and early fall months. I thought South Florida was humid, sticky, and rainy; and Gainesville has all of these qualities, but amplified. However, it can also be pretty chilly in the early winter months. Here are a few essentials you will need to avoid looking out of place (like I did) and clueless during your first semester.

1. Rain Jacket

Patagonia

While this may seem obvious, do not forget to bring a rain jacket. What is even more important is that you don't skimp out on a rain coat. While it may seem ridiculous to spend more than $25-$50 on a rain coat, do it. I took the cheap route and ended up having to buy another, more durable, jacket. You also will want one that extends past your torso a bit and has a hood that actually fits your head. You definitely want a hood that stays put when you are running from class to class in the pouring Gainesville summer storms.

2. An Umbrella

GIPHY

Another obvious pick, but bring an umbrella. I thought my rain coat would be enough, but boy I was mistaken. Also, just like the rain coat, make sure your umbrella is big enough to cover both you and your backpack. My umbrella has been one of my biggest saviors when it comes to hustling across campus in the pouring rain.

3. Water Resistant Backpack

Carhartt

While this one may not seem very important, I assure you that your papers and technology will thank you. Because I live off campus, I have to take the bus to and from school. Of course, there are rainy days when you have to walk from your stop to your apartment, dorm, or class. A water-resistant backpack will keep your tech safe from rain. I don't suggest buying a fully waterproof backpack unless you are planning on throwing your backpack in Lake Alice.

4. Good Walking Shoes

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I wish I spent more of my freshman year walking in proper sneakers rather than in Birkenstocks and socks. Campus is big, and I mean really big. I would often walk about 5 or 6 miles in my first two semesters on campus when I took traditional on-campus classes. Definitely get a nice pair that you can wear for those long days on campus, your feet will thank you years from now.

5. Rain Boots Or Water Resistant Shoes

Madewell

I wish I would have brought some rain boots to campus for my summer term at the University of Florida. It rains almost everyday in the summer at least for 20 minutes. I made the mistake of not investing in a pair of rain boots and ended up ruining my pair of running shoes, at least cosmetically. Shoes are hard to wash, so get some rain boots!

6. Reusable Water Bottle

Hydro Flask

If you haven't gathered this, it is very hot in Gainesville, Florida. I am from South Florida where at least the sea breeze cooled us down a bit. However, Gainesville is landlocked which means the air doesn't move much unless there is a significant breeze in the forecast. The climate is unforgiving for those who aren't properly hydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle to campus because it keeps your water colder and you also have access to refill stations at various locations across campus.

7. Scooter, Bike, Or Skateboard

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As mentioned previously, campus is big. You will most definitely want to bring a quicker mode of transportation to campus. My preferred method is biking because scooters, "scoots" as they are more lovingly called, are dangerous; and campus isn't very skateboard-friendly. Sometimes we get caught up in things and only have a few minutes to trek across campus. Bring something that allows you to travel quickly across campus, your attendance grades will thrive.

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of the above products.

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52 College Student Discounts That Are Extremely Real And TOO Easy To Use

31. Goodwill - 20% off on Tuesdays with college ID
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College is great.

But college is also expensive AF.

The cool thing about that is everyone knows that, and everyone — businesses included — knows college kids can't afford to spend *too* much money that they do NOT have. So you know that student ID you have?

It gets you college student discounts. Lots of them.


Entertainment

1. AMC Theaters

Discounted tickets on Thursdays

2. Apple Music

50% off.

3. Cinemark

Discounted tickets.

4. Regal Cinemas

Exclusive deals!

5. Spotify

Spotify Premium for $4.99/month!

6. New York Mets

$10 tickets with college ID.

Technology

8. Apple

Free pair of Beats with Mac purchase!

9. Best Buy

Exclusive deals!

Exclusive deals

10. FedEx

20-30% off shipping!

11. Microsoft

Multiple discounts!

12. Sprint

Multiple discounts!

13. Verizon

Exclusive deals!

Insurance

14. Allstate

20% off.

15. Geico

15% off.

16. Nationwide

Exclusive deals!

17. State Farm

25% off!

Travel

18. Amtrak

10% off and bonus points!

19. Chevrolet

Preferred pricing

20. Choice Hotels

15% off!

21. Greyhound

20-40% off!

22. Jiffy Lube

$10 or 10% off with college ID!

Education

23. Barnes & Noble

Multiple discounts!

24. Inkjet Willy

10% off with coupon!

25. Wall Street Journal

$1/week for 15 weeks!

Clothes

26. Aerie

10% off!

27. Billabong

10% off!

28. Champ Sports

10% off $50 purchase!

29. Charlotte Russe

10% off total purchase!

30. Forever 21

10% off full-price online purchase!

31. Goodwill

20% off on Tuesdays with college ID!

32. JCrew

15% off with college ID!

33. Kate Spade

15% off with college ID!

34. ModCloth

10% off!

35. Toms

Free shipping!

36. Topshop

10% off!

37. Urban Outfitters

10% off with college ID

38. Vinyard Vines

15% off with college ID!

Food

39. Arby's

10% off!

40. bd's Mongolian Grill

Student Night - $9.99 bowl of stir fry!

41. Buffalo Wild Wings

10% off!

42. Burger King

10% off!

43. Chik-fil-A

Free drink with a meal!

44. Chipotle

Free drink with a meal!

45. Dairy Queen

Student Meal Deal!

46. Dunkin Donuts

10% off!

47. McDonald's

10% off!

48. Subway

10% off!

49. Taco Bell

10% off!

50. Waffle House

Other

51. 1800Flowers.com

20% off!

52. Sam's Club

Discounts vary by location!

Cover Image Credit: ASMR Darling//YouTube

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Coming Home From College For The Summer Is Much Needed

Wait, how do you drive a car again?

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Since finals week began, I believe I can say for all college students that we were ready to come back to our hometowns for the summer. We had grown tired of eating at the dining hall, spending countless hours in the library, and pulling laundry from the dryers for it to still be damp. Being home for the summer rids you of those worries and only provides a sense of comfort and security with a furnished home and bedroom to yourself. We sometimes forget how things were before college, with a fully stocked refrigerator and even a dishwasher to keep things clean. Coming home often makes life much easier.

Coming home means revisiting all of your favorite places around town — restaurants, parks, or museums — with fresh eyes. Being away from these places for months on end only causes you to develop a deeper appreciation for the little things. In my case, the first thing I did upon arriving home was take a trip to my favorite local coffee shop. Not only is the coffee delicious, but going back to the shop itself also brings back numerous memories made over the past four years.

That is one of the best things about coming home — it's as if you're rediscovering parts of yourself that you left behind.

Being back in your hometown also enables you to reconnect with only friends and classmates whom you haven't seen in months or even a full year. Whether it be going for a walk together or grabbing breakfast, being able to update one another on your year of college life makes for great connections. You oftentimes find yourself missing your old friends more than you thought, but once you all get together again, it seems like nothing has changed.

One of my favorite parts of being home is spending more time with my family. I have never felt so grateful for home-cooked meals or a real washer and dryer until I stepped into my house again. Rather than talking on the phone with my parents about our days, I can sit down with them at the kitchen table and have a conversation in person. I also never realized that I would miss my parents — or my dog — as much as I did over the past year.

Though finding activities to pass the time can sometimes get "boring" in one's hometown, spending some time away can reinstate plenty of ideas. My sister and I found ourselves making a list of things we can do throughout the summer, and though some of the things we had done before, it sounded so much more exciting after spending the school year in a different city.

In the end, coming home makes you appreciate your town even more.

Even if you didn't love it before, being home for just a few months keeps you from taking life's finer things for granted. Especially when it's summer, you can relax on your own couch without the stress of school in front of you. Enjoy your city while you can, because it is always there to welcome you back.

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