Finding Love at Florida State

March 18, 2015 in Alive Campus, Love

Library Love

Library Love

Dating is one of the many difficult yet exciting experiences of college that almost all students will confront at some point, whether it is throughout all four years of college or just a few short months. Some students prefer to be single their first few years to enjoy the freedom of college without any relationship constraints to hold them back, while others prefer to have a significant other by their side every step of the way. In any case, all relationships are fundamentally different and should never be compared with one another. While some may be successful and smooth-sailing from day one, others may experience several patches of ups and downs over the course of time, but still turn out to be a success. This is especially common in college, as students are still coming to terms with who they are what they see for their potential future, whether or not that includes the current person they are dating.

At FSU specifically, I would say that at least half of the student population is in a committed relationship, maybe even slightly more. After all, there are a ton of students confined to the city of Tallahassee, so going out to the same places on the same night is a common practice of the FSU population. This makes it exceptionally easy to meet people and develop relationships with someone new almost any night of the week. However, the downside to this is that you will oftentimes meet people while intoxicated at the bar on a Saturday night. This frequently results in one-night stands that come with a disappointed stance the next day when you don’t receive the text you were originally promised as you parted ways. Unfortunately, several college students at a party school as big as FSU are more interested in the hook-up than the long run, especially freshmen, who believe they can conquer the world their first year. This makes going to bars and house parties difficult to find anything serious, but still not impossible. Of course, there are always exceptions and those who are truly serious about finding a partner.

Almost every restaurant or coffee shop you go to in Tallahassee is packed with couples showering each other with PDA. There are a number of local bars and nice restaurants that attract couples to enjoy a nice dinner or just a drink for a date night. A huge spot for meeting someone for a first date or enjoying dinner and drinks with your significant other is Madison Social. It turns into a bar at night, but quickly retreats back to a restaurant, especially on Sunday morning for brunch dates. College town in general is a romantic spot for couples, with Moda’s Italian restaurant and frozen yogurt for nearby dessert. Some of the more expensive restaurants for date nights include Bella Bella or Harry’s, which are usually visited for special occasions, such as “anniversaries” (ex: dating for a year) or birthdays. Momo’s Pizza and Monks are also spots that call for a cheap Friday night for couples on a budget. Brunch and coffee is also a Sunday morning ritual for FSU couples at places like Brooklyn Water Bagel and Prime Time.

College Couple

College Couple

Meeting people either in classes or through mutual friends is probably the most successful way for relationships to develop at FSU as opposed to the hook-up scene at the bars. While strolling the beautiful campus on a typical school day, you will find young lovebirds chatting on benches during their breaks, enjoying a coffee date at Starbucks, or simply walking each other to class, hand-in-hand. It’s impossible to walk the campus any day of the week without noticing at least one couple, smiling from ear to ear as they share with one another the events of their day and the test they forgot to study for. This may be surprising for a school with such a big party scene, but it’s obvious that meeting is not hard to come by. Believe it or not, Tinder has become another means through which several people meet, which is increasing with time due to the huge reliance our generation has on chatting through social media sites.

There are actually several Greek life couples at FSU also, meaning that fraternity and sorority members are usually in relationships with one another. This may be because they are frequently paired up for occasions, specifically date functions and nights out at the bar. In a case like this, it is very easy to meet multiple people through mutual friends from your Greek organization. This is one of the reasons people rush to be a member of Greek life in the first place. It promises meeting people, whether that be a strong group of friends or a significant other. Whatever the case, if you are really looking, you are bound to eventually meet someone in those four years through just your Greek organization alone.

Finally, several students at FSU are from south Florida and in long-distance relationships with their high school sweetheart from back home. I have spoken to various amounts of students that have healthily maintained their relationship with their significant other hours away in sunny south Florida, which is actually surprisingly hard to do considering there are so many people attending FSU. You’re bound to meet someone new. Trips home on weekends have become a way of life for these couples, driving along I-75 with music blasting to see their boyfriend/ girlfriend for the weekend, resulting in another Sunday of disappointment as they pack up and leave for Tallahassee once again. It’s an exhausting process, but not impossible.

Young Love

Young Love

It’s important to remember, however, that every couple has their own story. While we may oftentimes see the happy couple claiming to be in love blowing up our social media feeds, little do we know that just met drunk at a party a month ago and are bound for failure once the honeymoon phase has diminished. Our generation has become so consumed by basing our lives around social media as a means of bragging that we easily forget the truth behind each couple’s story. So, while FSU may have a number of couples frolicking along its beautiful grounds, this does not necessarily mean that these students have officially met the loves of their lives. I have heard multiple stories of couples meeting at FSU and eventually moving on to engagement and marriage, but I have also heard of couples breaking up after just a few months due to immature jealousy issues and so on. College is a learning process that you will both fail and succeed at in multiple ways, which certainly includes the whole experience of dating and finding your soulmate. Have fun with it and appreciate every person you meet throughout your time in college. The first person you meet may not be “the one,” which is completely okay. Remember that if any relationships don’t work out, it’s just another learning experience, which is what college is really all about.

From Academics to Athletics at Florida State

February 25, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

While academics are the main focus throughout college, sports programs can be a key aspect as well, especially at large universities. Whether you’re playing on a competitive travel team, involved in an intramural team simply for fun, or an onlooker in the bleachers, any sporting event makes for an exciting day or night out. Florida State University has several competitive and intramural teams to offer both male and female students who enjoy partaking in any type of athletic programs. The teams range from soccer, basketball, football, bowling, volleyball, baseball, lacrosse, water polo, and the list goes on.

Throughout the fall semester at FSU, the football team is essentially the main focus almost every weekend. Football games are not just a 4-quarter game; they are an all day event, starting with tailgates and ending with celebrations at the bar. “Game days are the best days” is a common phrase several students will post as their caption under their gameday photos on social media, as they proudly show off their garnet and gold attire to support the Noles. Being that FSU held the title of the National Champions throughout the year of 2014, the home games progressively became popular; every home game of the year was completely sold out this past season. As you can imagine, this created an unbelievably exciting atmosphere in the stadium, especially for intense, nail-biting games, such as Notre Dame.

Doak Campbell Stadium

Doak Campbell Stadium

Since the students do not have to pay for tickets, seats are first-come, first-serve. In order to score a front seat, you should arrive at least two hours prior to kickoff. While it is most students’ goal to attend every home game, work or school can sometimes deter this, depending on schedules. However, the one football game that everyone should attend, including friends and family members, is the notorious rivalry game against the University of Florida, played at the end of November every year. Another exciting game is held during homecoming weekend, which is generally in late October. The intense energy from the fans literally makes the stadium vibrate, as students shout and stomp on the bleachers, cheering on the Noles to win. Or cursing them out for having the audacity to fall behind by a just few points. After all, we held the record of winning 29 games in a row, so we became just a tad bit spoiled by our undefeated football team.

While the basketball team is not as popular as the football team, attending at least one game throughout the semester is always a good pastime, especially if it’s a big game, such as Clemson or Duke. Beer, nachos, and time with friends is generally the excuse for people to set foot in the Civic Center to relax and watch the game on a Saturday afternoon or dull weeknight. I have been to one game myself and definitely would attend again. It’s relaxing compared to that of a football game, but sometimes, that’s just what you need since your ears may slowly be starting to go deaf from the noise in Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Civic Center

The Civic Center

The baseball games are popular to attend throughout the spring semester. While I have personally never attended a game, I have been told that they’re perfect to watch on a comfortable and sunny Florida day. The women’s soccer team is also big at FSU, as they recently just won the National Championship. Women’s volleyball is another very competitive sports team that can actually get extremely rowdy during a rivalry game.

And for those who enjoy partaking in athletics simply for the fun of it, there are several intramural sports teams offered here at FSU. Sometimes, it’s the perfect way to get your share of exercise, relieve stress, and meet a close group of friends without the commitments of constantly traveling to play against competitive teams. I have been told that the intramural soccer team is awesome! There’s also the dance and cheerleading teams for both guys and girls, which is a privilege to be a part of, considering you can travel with the football team for each away game. This includes the bowl games and the Championship.

Any sports event that an FSU student attends is completely free of charge with a valid ID. Students are highly encouraged to support their fellow Noles at these events, so points will be given to their FSU card card each time they swipe into an event. This is extremely beneficial to those who want first priority when claiming a ticket for big football games that sell limited amounts of tickets due to high demand. The higher amount of points you have from attending events, the better chance you have of scoring a ticket to a big game. So put the homework aside and go support your Noles! And of course, don’t forget to wear your garnet and gold!

The Two Disasters at FSU

February 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

The Florida State University is just short of perfection. The food, sports programs, students, nightlife, academics, campus life- everything is exactly what you want out of a huge college university. But with something great always come a downside. In my personal opinion, there are two particular aspects about this school that should be changed: the dormitories and the parking.

The dorms on the FSU campus are like night and day. On one end of campus, they are beautiful, clean, comfortable, and spacious- similar to that of a hotel room. But on the other end, they’re cramped, dirty, and nothing short of absolutely disgusting due to old age and lack of proper attention. It’s like comparing a luxurious Ritz Carlton to a motel off the road.

I lived in a dorm my freshman year at FSU, in what is known as the infamous Kellum Hall. As you can imagine, Kellum is located on the side of campus with the outdated dorms. Despite the amazing friends I made while living here, it’s safe to say that I was residing in horrific conditions. Being that the building is so old, mold was growing all over the place, resulting in students acquiring what is known as “The Kellum Cough.” I heard this rumor during my orientation, but I thought this was just an overreaction by critical, whiney students. I was hoping that my future home for the next year could not be nearly as terrible as people claimed. However, I found that I was sick with a cold multiple times throughout the semester as a result of the stale conditions and excessive humidity that had continued to accumulate over the years. The second I walked into the building, it felt like I was in an 11-floor prison; it’s dark, dreary, and provides a downright depressing atmosphere.

Another downside of these particular dorms is the community-style bathrooms. While several of the newer dorms have one bathroom per room, the older dorms have two bathrooms per floor, which contain only 4 stalls and 3 showers. Waiting to shower was yet another inconvenience I experienced several times. Although the bathrooms are cleaned throughout the week by a staff, they were neglected on weekends, which is when cleaning is needed the most. The garbage would begin overflowing and the showers would start to accumulate hair and dirt. It felt as if I was living in the filth of people I barely knew- something that I was not expecting after leaving the comfort of my own home. The rooms are extremely small as well. Since each person is paired with a roommate, one person’s side of the room is equivalent to the size of large bathroom; there’s barely enough room to hold all of your necessities. Is this really fair to students who are simply trying to adjust to their first year in college?

For a university of 40,000 students, I feel that every single dormitory should be kept clean and up-to-date. In my opinion, dorms like Kellum and Smith Hall, which are at least 55 years old, should be knocked down for sanitary purposes and rebuilt as new, clean dorms, similar to that of the beautiful dorms on the opposite end of campus. It is unfair for students who have applied for on-campus housing to worry about being placed in a dorm that will most likely make them experience flu-like symptoms throughout the year. The old buildings on the campus are what make Florida State University so unique and charming. However, buildings that grow mold from a lack of attention and age should certainly not be considered living conditions for incoming students, several of which even come from out-of-state. Even if only freshman generally live on campus, they deserve a homey, clean, and comfortable environment.

Kellum Hall

Kellum Hall

Now let’s move on to the parking issue. Again, for so many students to attend this large university, there is not nearly enough parking. Several of the upperclassmen that attend FSU live off-campus, so driving is necessary if the buses do not stop at your particular apartment complex. Anytime between 10 AM and 4 PM, students should leave at least an hour early if they expect to find a parking spot. Circling around the lot for at least 30 minutes burning gas is a common practice that every FSU student is a little too accustomed with. Unfortunately, it’s become a way of life.

I personally feel that there’s plenty of room to build at least one more parking garage. If this is not the case, then freshmen should not be allowed to have cars on campus so the upperclassmen can drive without the constant worry of scheduling classes based around parking. I have spoken to a number of students who schedule 8 AMs just to avoid the chaos of circling the parking garage for hours. Time is the last thing college students need to waste with the amount of work and obligations they have committed to, especially just to park their car. I have myself experienced this frustration multiple times as well. Generally, the only hope of finding a parking spot is tracking down a student walking to his or her car and leaving.

No college campus is perfect. FSU has become my second home in so many ways, but there is no denying that the parking and the older dormitories must be changed for the sake of the students’ convenience. After all, they have chosen to attend this school for four plus years over thousands of other colleges in the nation; they deserve to feel at home.

A Seminole’s Guide to On-Campus Eating

February 9, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Packing a lunch for the day easily slips our mind when we’re rushing around in the morning, doing everything in our power to make it to our 8 AM on time. Luckily, there are plenty of food options on the FSU campus, from coffee shops, to restaurants, to grab-and-go food. Here are some descriptions to assist in narrowing down your search when you only have 20 minutes to spare until your next class.

Oglesby Union: The Union is home to several affordable food joints. For students trying to eat healthier, Salad Creations offers delicious wraps, hearty soups, and full-sized salads, all priced under 10 dollars each. Subway, of course, is perfect for grabbing a footlong sandwich and chips, but the line is extremely long between 12 and 2. If you’re in the mood for pizza, Papa John’s is located in the indoor food court of the Union, alongside Miso, a Sushi and Chinese fast food joint. Another great choice is Freshen’s, which sells a variety of smoothies, crepes, and even frozen yogurt. Next to Freshen’s is Pollo Tropical, a very popular quick food joint that sells delicious chicken. There are multiple tables inside the food court, but make sure to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor seating in the Union on sunny days.

Oglesby Union Outdoor Seating

Oglesby Union Outdoor Seating

Coffee Shops: The FSU campus has 5 different Starbucks locations. The double-sided Starbucks in Strozier Library is open 24/7 for students who need that extra boost when cramming to study for a test the next day. Dunkin Donuts/ Baskin Robbins is across the street from Westcott Fountain, open till 10 at night, and the Sweet Shop is nearby for those who want to study in a peaceful environment with friends while enjoying specialty coffee and sweets. Einstein’s is another very popular spot for breakfast sandwiches and coffee, but the line is usually out the door until at least noon on class days. If you have time, it’s well worth the wait- it’s absolutely delicious!

Dining Halls: The two dining halls on campus are Fresh Foods and the Suwannee Room, located on different ends of campus near the dorms. The best part about Suwannee: it looks like a scene from a Harry Potter film! My recommendation is to only eat at the dining halls if you are a freshman living on campus with a meal plan. Unfortunately, making your own food while living in a dorm is difficult, so eating at the dining hall is the best option for the convenience factor. There are generally plenty of meal options throughout the day. A salad and sandwich bar is always open for those trying to eat healthier. Since the dining hall is buffet style, students can go up multiple times for food, which is another upside of eating at the dining hall. If your meal plan has been purchased in advance, all you need to do is swipe your ID before you enter for it to process each time you go. Unfortunately, the food is never extravagant, so make sure to treat yourself to plenty of the other restaurants on and off-campus every now and then. If you do not live on campus, save yourself both the trip and the 8 dollars in your wallet by eating elsewhere.

The Suwannee Room

The Suwannee Room

Landis Food Court: Recently, a new food court opened on Landis Green. It houses the wonderful Chick-fil-A, home of the best chicken sandwiches! Alongside Chick-Fil-A is the Rising Roll, a sandwich and soup joint. While both places are delicious, the smell of Chick-fil-A almost makes it impossible to purchase anything else inside this food court. Most students agree that Chick-fil-A is the best food option on the FSU campus- for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! This dining area offers both tables inside and outside, but I would recommend sitting outside due to the commotion in the food court during lunch hours. Also, the tables outside overlook the beautiful Landis Green!

Restaurants: There are only two sit-down restaurants on campus: Denny’s and Chili’s. Denny’s is open 24/7 for students who may have late night cravings after coming home on a Friday night. Chili’s is perfect for when you want to kill time in between classes with friends or treat yourself from the monotony of the dining hall. The chips and salsa are amazing!

Grab-and-Go Food: There are two Mom and Pop’s food stands on campus for students to grab a quick hot dog or snack when in a hurry. This may sound strange, but they’re actually extremely popular and the perfect go-to when you want something small and quick. The Trading Post and Garnet and Gold are two different convenience stores where students can quickly purchase a granola bar and juice on the go.

Mom and Pop's Food Stand

Mom and Pop’s Food Stand

Having so many different food choices on the campus is extremely convenient when you’re running around from class to class. We’re all too familiar with the embarrassing moment of our stomachs growling when the class is silent, so it’s important to avoid that at all costs. Just remember, you will never go hungry at FSU, but make sure to also explore all of the amazing sit-down restaurants the city of Tallahassee has to offer!

Top 10 Activities For Florida State University Freshmen

January 28, 2015 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

Florida State University is home to over 40,000 students. As you can imagine, the campus is enormous and slightly overwhelming at first glance. However, once you adjust to it, you realize all of the many opportunities it provides to students to stay entertained throughout the semester and break free from the stress of school. Here are a few of the best activities that all freshmen should take advantage of their first year at FSU.

1. Go to the “Flying High” Circus. FSU is one of two colleges in the nation with an on-campus circus, so you will definitely want to mark your calendars and attend a show on a Friday or Saturday night. Students perform a variety of acrobatics that’ll make you cringe in your seat, praying they don’t fall off a beam. Make sure you don’t miss it; they only perform a few times throughout the semester!

2. Watch a movie at the Student Life Cinema. For those of you who love catching up on the latest movies, you’re in luck. Having a movie theater on campus is extremely convenient and calls for an inexpensive date night. This isn’t a miniature theater either; it’s as large as a Regal theater! Not only do you get to experience the whole movie scene seconds away from your dorm, but it’s also free of charge. Movies are played 5 to 6 times a week and are always selected by student committees to suit that of a young, college audience.

3. Eat a burger at Monks. There is no better restaurant that defines Tallahassee as a whole. It’s only about a five-minute drive from campus and provides for a great, laid-back atmosphere on a Friday night. With a variety of food and burgers all priced under 10 dollars, this is definitely a place you should make your go-to when on a budget.

4. Take a Sunday trip to the Rez. This is the perfect pastime on a sunny, Florida day. For just one dollar, students can rent kayaks or paddleboards for up to one hour with a valid student ID. You also have the option of playing some beach volleyball or relaxing on the sand and reading a good book.

5. Bowl a game at Crenshaw Lanes. Not many campuses have a bowling alley located right in the center of their student union. If you have a long break in between classes, why not bowl a game with some friends. It only costs 3 dollars, and that’s including shoes. If you work up an appetite, don’t forget that Chili’s is right next-door.

6. Do homework on Landis Green. This is the heart and center of FSU’s campus. On a sunny day, you will always find students on Landis either walking their dogs, sunbathing on a hammock, doing homework, playing frisbee, sitting on a bench drinking Starbucks- basically anything and everything. It is an open field to simply unwind from the stress of school.

7. Take advantage of the Leach Center. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college is somewhat difficult, but definitely not impossible. Unfortunately, the freshman 15 is all too common. The Leach center, FSU’s main gym, has three floors, including an indoor track, basketball court, volleyball court, and swimming pool. It also offers free workout classes, such as spin, zumba, cardio party, etc., in addition to 4 free personal training sessions per student. Trainers are always available for helping students adjust to their own personal fitness programs.

8. Join an intramural sport. FSU offers a variety of intramural sports for students who want to participate in a non-competitive activity, ranging from soccer, basketball, bowling, flag football, volleyball, etc. If you enjoy staying active but don’t have the time to commit to a travel team sport, then this is the activity for you.

9. Take a day trip to Wakulla Springs. It’s about a 30-minute drive from campus but well worth the trip to make for a fun Saturday afternoon. Relax for a few hours by enjoying a picturesque setting in the beautiful springs. You can also take a boat tour and sightsee for alligators, manatees, and all of the other green surroundings.

10. Attend a football game at Doak Campbell Stadium. I saved the best for last. This is the number one activity that every freshman must partake in. The energy in Doak, home of the FSU Seminoles, is probably like nothing you’ve ever witnessed. Watching Chief Osceola and Renegade plant the spear and singing along to the Marching Chiefs’ war chant is nothing short of a bone-chilling experience. The game will be blazing hot, but the sunburn will be worth it. You certainly won’t want to miss out on this school spirit. But first, make sure to practice your Tomahawk chop and invest in some garnet and gold attire!

Doak Campbell Stadium

Doak Campbell Stadium