Think you have what it takes to survive, Eckerd freshmen? You may think your research about the campus will cut it, but you might want to call in some back-up.
Check out these 10 tips Eckerd freshmen need to survive their first year of collegiate independence.
1. Don’t Count on the Yellow Bikes
Students tend to rely on Eckerd’s yellow bike system when they snooze their alarm for an hour and now will be late to class. Unfortunately, the supply of yellow bikes doesn’t meet the demand of the students. Simple economics. So, aim to leave for class a few minutes earlier or scrape up the few pennies you have and buy a longboard or bike so you always have a reliable method of getting to class quickly.
2. Beware of the Fire Ants
Being barefoot comes naturally as a student at Eckerd due to the nearby beach and relaxed environment, but you better watch your step. Fire ants, or “spicy boys” as many Eckerdians call them, often hide specifically amongst the grassy fields like Alumni Grove or the dirt parking lot by Kappa. Keep an eye out in these areas in order to prevent those nasty bites all over your feet.
3. Take Your Swim Test During Autumn Term
Eckerd’s waterfront offers a wide variety of activities that are free for students. Anyone can rent a kayak, paddleboard, tent, fishing pole or go on a wakeboarding trip. Want to get certified in windsurfing? Head over to the waterfront. However, word to the wise, make sure to get your swim test done during Autumn term when they offer it at the waterfront, otherwise you have to go all the way to the pool for testing.
4. Get to Know Your Neighbors and Community
Everyone at Eckerd looks to get an education, but also to have a fun time; make sure you get to know and respect your fellow Eckerdians. If your neighbors start practicing their Irish jig upstairs and you’re trying to study, knock on their door and ask them to keep it down instead of calling your RA or campus security (known by Eckerd students as “campo”). Eckerd bases their community off of love and respect, and this keeps campus a fun and safe space for everyone.
5. Complete Your College Program Series (CPS) Events ASAP
You have way more free time your freshman year than you will have in the years to come. Use this time wisely and get your CPS events out of the way while you can. If you don’t finish them by the end of sophomore year, you have to register for classes after the freshman—in other words, you might not get the classes you want. Procrastinate your paper, not your CPS events.
6. Watch Out for Barnacles
By the time you graduate, you or a friend will most likely have some nasty scars on your feet due to a barnacle. The base of the pier hides away behind hundreds of barnacles, so if you decide to jump off, watch where you put your feet if you plan on climbing back up. Otherwise, just swim around the long way to the sea wall. So basically, just keep swimming.
7. Enjoy Eckerd’s Palm Hammocks
Eckerd’s natural area on campus, commonly referred to as the palm hammocks, has many beautiful plant and animal species for you to observe and appreciate. Try to take the time out of your hectic day to try to find the Tree of Life or the Sky Hammocks—two of the most recognizable landmarks in the palm hammocks. If you’re lucky, you might see a coyote, owl or even an otter. Make sure to go in during the day time though, it gets spooky at night.
8. Stifle Your Appetite Before and After Class
Considering the cafeteria offers a big enough capacity for the Eckerdians, this tip doesn’t apply to that location. Stuff your face as often as you want in there. However, this tip very much applies to the pub and Starbucks. Do not, under any circumstances, go to the pub or Starbucks directly before or after class unless you want to spend an hour waiting for your food.
9. Begin Working on Your Writing Portfolio Before Junior Year
In order to check out your writing skills, Eckerd requires all students to submit a writing portfolio by the middle of spring semester during their junior year. Junior year ends up being a really busy year for students, so your best bet would be to start out early by going to the portfolio information sessions held in the Writing Center as well as keep track of your writing assignments. Save yourself the future stress.
10. Don’t Get a Pet Without Thinking About the Long Term
One of the best things about Eckerd? Students can have pets on campus. Many freshmen jump on such an amazing opportunity; they hastily begin adopting dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks—you name it. Come December, time to go home for the holidays, most freshmen pet owners frantically search for someone to watch their pet during the break, but cannot find anyone. Sadly, many have to find new homes for their soon-to-be homeless pets.