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Mike Llerena is an SC Campus Representative for University of Florida. He is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in leadership. Read more from Mike here

As the saying goes, “It’s great to be a Florida Gator.” However, surviving life at the University of Florida can be a daunting task. Here are 10 tips you should know before move-in day.

1. If you take the bus to class, download the TransLoc app.

No one likes missing the bus to class. If you find yourself running late to class often, download the TransLoc app. It shows you where your designated bus routes are in relation to your location. For those of us who don’t always leave for class on time, this app can be a real lifesaver.

University of Florida Transloc RTS Bus

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2. Don’t drive on or near campus on game day.

In case you didn’t already know, Gator football is a pretty big deal in Gainesville. So unless you enjoy unbearably long traffic jams, make sure you don’t drive on or near campus. Unfortunately, there are also less buses available on game day, so be sure to plan your transportation accordingly. If you’re not attending the game, this might be a good day to stay in and reacquaint yourself with your Netflix account.

3. Use SNAP on those nights you get stranded.

At some point in your adventures as a college freshman, you will most likely find yourself without transportation after a fun night at Midtown. At 1:30 a.m., buses are slim pickings. The solution: SNAP, otherwise known as Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol. As the name implies, SNAP is a nighttime transportation service that shuttles students around campus. The service is free and runs until 3 a.m. Just think of it as taking a free cab ride.

4. Don’t buy your books from the bookstore first.

Sure, that bookstore sales associate was really helpful in getting that textbook for you. But does that justify spending $300 on a book you’ll probably skim the night before your exam?

Utilize online sources like Chegg and Amazon to rent or purchase your books. Chegg even shows you how much you save by using their services. Try it. Your wallet will thank you.

5.  Use

Your favorite professor might make even the driest subject matter seem exciting. On the other hand, your least favorite professor might fail you on that final project you worked on for two weeks. Get the insider information on your potential professors and check out The website allows you to browse through ratings and firsthand testimonials from students who took the class. 

6. Bring an umbrella to campus.

It rains here. A lot. Do yourself a favor and invest in a decent umbrella. No one likes arriving to their 8:30 a.m. class after a 10-minute sprint through a torrential downpour.

7. Library West is your second home during finals week.

Looking for a place to hunker down and cram for your finals? Library West is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday, with reduced weekend hours. There’s even an in-house Starbucks that maintains the same hours. So snag a comfortable armchair on the third floor and let the all-nighter begin.

University of Florida Library West

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8. Get to know your professors and your classmates.

The importance of this tip cannot be overstated. Whether it’s getting some leeway on a borderline final grade or snagging a recommendation letter for grad school, it’s in your best interest to develop relationships with your professors.

As for your classmates, one potentially awkward conversation is all that stands between you making new friends. And trust me, you’re going to want friends by the time finals roll around.

University of Florida Professors

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9. Hit up rush events and club functions.

Two words: free food. Even if you have no desire to join a particular group, one should never pass up the prospect of free pizza. Who knows? You might even up liking the club or fraternity/sorority. If nothing else, find someone who is as bored as you are and strike up a friendly conversation.

10. Stop and smell the roses.

Before you know it, your senior year will be coming to an end. You’ll be amazed at how brief four years in college really is. Remember to take a step back and savor the moment every once in a while. A wise man once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

University of Florida Stop and Smell the Roses

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What advice would you give to University of Florida students?