Discover new friends

Every new student goes through the terrifying first days of college often feeling lost, confused and alone. This list is designed to eliminate at least feeling alone. Here’s an insider’s guide of the five best places on campus to meet people:

1. The Phyllis P. Marshall Center

This is the closest thing to a student union USF offers, and after the 2008 renovation, it will be the student union. Everything a new student could ever want is in this building and it is the best place to meet other new students. It offers four restaurants including Einstein Bagels, On Top of the Palms, The Tampa Room and Freshens Smoothies. The basement is home to a great game room and our radio station, WBUL. The information desk, a ticketmaster, a study area, Centre Gallery, Einstein Bagels and Freshens Smoothies are all on the main level. Campus Activities Board (CAB), student government and many other student organizations are located on the second level. Finally, On Top of the Palms offers more sophisticated dining and gives a great view of campus on the fourth floor. The Marshall Center is also attached to the bookstore and The Tampa Room, cafeteria-style dining with Montague’s Deli, Chick-fil-A, Bène Pizza and Pasta, Salad Garden and SUSHI. Many student activities are located in this building, including the University Lecture Series and the Basement Band Series.

2. Cooper Hall

On any given day, students outside Cooper Hall may see booths promoting different clubs and other student activities, ranting preachers, study groups sporadically placed on picnic tables or on the grass and any other number of interesting events. The combination of Subway and the changing of classes have made this a predominant hang out / study spot for many students.

3. Sporting events

This campus is not lacking in school spirit, so large flocks of students attend sporting events. With the transition to the Big East this year, USF fans are sure to be crazier than ever. The most popular sport, however, is not played on campus. The football team takes over Raymond James Stadium on weekends in the fall. USF has made it easier for students who live on campus to attend these games by supplying buses that take students to and from the games free of charge. This eliminates the hassle of parking and dealing with traffic.

4. Class

Since every student has to take many of the same general education requirements, many new students are in the same class together. Whatever problem you are having in a class, you are almost certainly not alone. Talk to people in the next seats and friendships soon spring up. When midterms and finals loom, ask if anyone is interested in forming a study group.

5. Starbucks

USF has two Starbucks on campus, one in the Library and one on the top floor of the bookstore, and both attract a lot of student attention. The Library Starbucks is the more popular of the two, with the line often going out of the store. Such cramped environments force buyers to get up close and personal with each other and conversations often result, leading to friendships.