It’s finally over. The nine-month process of completing another two college semesters comes with the arrival of summer, followed by a repeat in the tedius process of earning a degree when August gets here. But unlike most USF undergrads, I won’t be returning this fall. Instead, I’m traveling north to Gainesville to become a Gator, and I’m taking my USF memories with me.
There are some pretty cool things at USF that I couldn’t have experienced at any other college. For example, how many other universities hold their school football games in a stadium that’s home to a professional team? Granted, most USF students don’t take advantage of this, as there are always more empty red seats than fans, but standing on the sacred field of Super Bowl winners certainly gives the Bulls football team, band members, Sundolls and cheerleaders bragging rights. And I can’t think of any other colleges that have a student section located next to a protruding pirate ship.
Besides attending football games in the Buccaneer’s stadium, I’ve gotten to see the Tampa Bay Storm in action. Having a local five-time world-champion indoor arena football team is unique to Tampa, and when there are some good-looking professional athletes right in your backyard, it’s definitely going to make out-of-towners jealous. Plus, those inflatable Thundersticks are great for annoying the crap out of anyone within close proximity.
With Ybor not too far from campus, it’s going to be hard to adjust to Gainesville’s small-town nightlife. Ever heard of downtown Gainesville? Didn’t think so. USF has clubs, bars and even hookers right around the corner. An evening of innocent fun bonding with friends in Ybor can include piercing or tatooing a body part, polluting your lungs with the flavored tobacco in a hookah and then dancing until the sun comes up. Not to mention attending college in the nation’s largest porn industry can make every night a Chip and Dale experience.
Most college students have to travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but I had my own parade adventure with Gasparilla. Another Ybor event, Gasparilla puts the Big Easy right in USF’s backyard, complete with floats, crowds and, of course, beads. I got the full experience, minus revealing any unmentionables for ten-cent necklaces.
I didn’t have to join a sorority at USF to learn the Greek alphabet; living in the Andros complex section of the dorms for two years taught me half of the letters. Just walking to class from the back of campus prepares any fraternity and sorority hopefuls for Greek quizzes.
USF’s mascot, the bull, even made my school spirit easier to express. Think about it: The word “bull” can be used creatively in countless cliches, for example: “IncrediBull,” “UnBullievable” and “The Bull’s eye.” And of course, when football referees make a bad call, USF fans can respond with the infamous, “Bull [expletive deleted].” Putting a curse word after “Golden Knights” or any other mascot just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
As excited as I am about going to UF, I wouldn’t trade my USF memories for anything. My college experience wouldn’t have been the same at any other school, especially because of all the time I spent in my second home, The Oracle’s newsroom. Let’s hope the Swamp is just as incredibull as the Bull Pen.