Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

Keeping busy in between

For some students, school days are busy enough with work and classes, but others who have plenty of downtime between lectures aren’t busy enough.

Below are some tips to help pass the time when there isn’t anything to do.

Doing homework

This may sound crazy, but studies show that completing homework may directly result in getting a good grade.

You’re probably thinking: “But if I do homework, who will harass the religious advocates by Cooper Hall or play hacky-sack on the lawn? Who will make fart noises on the iPhone?” Trust me, someone will.

Just do your homework for the day. Time between classes is the perfect opportunity to find a quiet spot on campus – like the Marshall Student Center (MSC) computer lab or any of the tutoring centers – to write an essay or two away from home distractions.

Joe Polito

The library

Students waiting for class in Cooper Hall or another nearby building can always visit the school library. Anyone with a laptop can access free wireless, while the computer lab on the first floor is open to others.

The second floor contains the library’s collection of periodicals, magazines and newspapers for readers seeking a Village Voice issue or the latest Time.

The less-populated corners of each floor are perfect for students cramming for a test between classes.

And to top it off, grab a coffee at Starbucks, take a seat on the couch and enjoy that book you picked up.

Jimmy Geurts


Sometimes people just need to relax. That requires peace and quiet.

There are several ponds, trees and even Botanical Gardens on campus with peaceful scenery. The USF Botanical Gardens are a hidden treasure with a lot of open space and a meditation gazebo, not to mention personal vegetable gardens and carnivorous plants.

Some of the other ponds and trees on campus are close to academic buildings and are great for studying, sleeping or eating a picnic lunch while listening to music.

For students less attached to the outdoors, USF also has a Serenity Room for prayer and meditation for students of any religion in the MSC.

Issa Luckett

Riding the Bull Runner

The Bull Runner is a convenient and free air-conditioned ride for USF students with a valid ID.

USF is one of the top 10 largest universities in the United States by enrollment, and with such a wide array of students, the Bull Runner is an ideal place to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Another time-killing feature of the Bull Runner is the “D” route, which takes its passengers to the University Square Mall and a short walk away from other shopping centers and eateries on Fowler Avenue. Students can shop or even catch a movie between classes and not lose a good parking spot.

Tyler Shepard

Outdoor fitness

College can be stressful. With plenty of assignments and part-time job demands, alleviating some of the school-year strain can be tough.

Getting outside and enjoying some fresh air is the best option, and USF provides opportunities on campus for it.

On the southeast side of campus, the University has outdoor tennis and basketball courts, as well as a soccer field. Taking advantage of the nice weather for an outdoor activity can help students meet new people and increase their school performance.

A study by the Oregon Health and Science University in 2003 revealed that exercise increases blood vessel flow in the brain, which increases mental awareness.

USF also provides an intramural sports program to utilize these facilities. Contact Intramurals Coordinator Jason Werle to get involved at

Kerry Klecic

Track Twitter

Stay in the loop and get a Twitter account to keep up-to-date on what’s going on around the University. With just 140 characters of text, this social network is designed for people on the move.

Twitter is a great place to send quick information throughout the day, as well as a perfect source for up-to-the-minute news, sports and weather.

With privacy options, users can also monitor who follows their “tweets.” Creating an account takes less than a minute, and users can immediately follow friends and even celebrities.

Many USF departments own Twitter accounts, including USF Athletics, the USF Libraries and the Marshall Student Center. Check it out at

Nick Trobiano

Going to the gym

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week for adults, according to

The USF Recreation Center, located near the Sun Dome, is a great place to break a sweat and relieve the stresses of college without leaving campus or paying a pricey membership fee.

The Center offers a variety of fitness classes to fit students’ schedules. During the week, the earliest class begins at 6:30 a.m. and the latest is at 8:15 p.m. The typical length of a class is one hour.

Group fitness classes include cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates and dance. They range in ability levels from beginner to advanced.

The more popular classes are “limited access,” so arrive up to 30 minutes early and stop by the front desk to reserve a spot.

Whether the goal is to lose weight, bulk up or find a personal chi, there is a class for everyone.

More information and classes can be found at the Campus Recreation Web site

Shana Johnson

Visit professors’ office hours

Some students might feel intimidated to stop by a professor’s office because it might feel like heading to see a principal.

However, college professors are often willing – and wanting – to discuss class difficulties with students who have questions, concerns or just want some extra guidance.

If you’re looking for something to do, stop by a professor’s office – as long as he or she doesn’t have another

Issa Luckett

iPhone apps

Technology gives students the ability to find endless entertainment in one small handheld device: the iPhone.

The Apple commercials proclaim “There’s an app for that,” and it proves true when it comes to fighting boredom between classes.

You can play classic games like solitaire, chess and blackjack or more unique games such as Bejeweled, Bloons and Alien Splat.

Brush up on knowledge with trivia applications or conquer the sports world with World Cup Ping Pong and Madden NFL 10.

For old Oregon Trail fans, there is an iPhone adaptation. In the palm of your hand, you can hunt bison and trade with natives – just try to avoid typhoid fever during your class break.

Shana Johnson