College of Arts and Sciences, USF
Freshman 2015

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Freshman Class Spotlight

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Heather

April 26, 2011
Picking the Right Dorm for You

Having trouble picking the dorm you want to live in? Don't worry, so did I. It is a pretty big decision; it will be your new “home” for about 10 months.

USF offers three different types of on campus housing: traditional-style living, suite-style living and apartment-style living. Each type of dorm has its own advantages and disadvantages.

I currently live in Poplar Hall, which is the new suite-style dorm on campus.

Traditional-style living are the types of dorms that are featured in most movies that deal with college life. You either have a single or double room (where you share with one other person) and a community bathroom down the hall. Many might be opposed of sharing the bathroom with the whole floor because it's not your own and a short walk away, but there are advantages as well. Instead of just having one toilet and shower to share with a few people (like in a Suite-Style or Apartment-Style), you share it with more people, so there are more toilets and showers. It would be very unlikely that all of the toilets and showers are being occupied at the same time. However, I have had the problem where I wanted to shower but someone was already in there and I had to wait. Sometimes it is not that bad because I can wait another 20 minutes to shower, but other times it is a problem when I have to be somewhere in less then an hour and I have to wait. If you are thinking of cleanliness, don't worry there is staff that cleans the community bathrooms all of the time. There are also smaller common areas on the floor with couches so you can get out of your room and hangout with friends.

Suite-style is the most popular style with 12 different buildings on campus. All of the suites area little bit different depending on the building, but this style of dorms has a common bathroom to share between all of the suite mates. Some suites consists of either four double or four single bedroom connected by a bathroom which has two toilets and two showers. Then there are other suites (like mine) that consist of two double bedrooms and one shared bathroom. For more information on each building and their particular style make sure to check out the Housing web page! (Also, that will allow you to see the building and a sketch of the dorm because each one is laid out a little bit differently.) Just like the traditional-style dorms, there are advantages and disadvantages to this one as well.

Living in Poplar had many advantages for me. Having your own bathroom is nice because it is so close, however there could be a conflict if someone needs to shower and someone is already in there because there is only one shower unlike the Traditional-Style dorms. In Juniper Poplar there is a dining hall so it is very close. Most dorms are within a short walking distance to a dining hall to eat. With suite-style dorms there is still plenty of opportunities to make friends and just not the people you share a suite with. In Poplar, floors are divided into groups called pods and there is a common area with furniture and a television. That area allows one to hangout with everyone on the floor and not be trapped in the room.

Apartment-style is the third style offered on campus and it is not recommended for freshmen to live in because it is somewhat isolated. With an apartment, everyone has their own room (unless Kosove where you can choose a double room) and a shared kitchen and living room area. The nice thing about apartments is that you have your own room and do not have to worry about a roommate and privacy. The downside to this is that some students will always lock themselves in their room and not interact with their roommates or other people in the building complex. Also, there is a full kitchen and freshmen are required to have a meal plan if they live on campus so it might not be used, even though you are paying extra money for it.

I hope this helps with advantages and disadvantages of each style of living when decided what type of dorm you want to live in next year. If you are able to, take a tour of the dorms while visiting campus to help make this important decision. Just remember where ever you end up (in case you do not get your top preference) try to make the best of it.

-Heather



March 31, 2011
ZAP LLC Photos




March 30, 2011
Living Learning Communities Part 2

Being a part of any of the LLCs would have so many advantages and opportunities for you if you chose to be a part of one. With USF being a huge state school with more than 45,000 people it might seem hard to make friends. Living in the dorms is a great way to make friends, but living in a special community will allow you to meet and make friends with people who have the same major and interests as you. With everyone being in the same or similar major, many will be in the same classes so forming study groups will be easy. It is also a great way to start getting involved in school and learning more about your major and career opportunities. By being a member of the ZAP LLC, our instructors gave us information on different clubs related toward our major that would be beneficial to join to network, get involved with school, and learn more about our degree…did I mention all of this looks great on a résumé for internships and jobs?

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Like all of the different requirements and areas of study each LLC has, all of them have their own special benefits. This is the first year of the ZAP LLC, so it just wasn’t a learning experience for us but also for our advisers. They have been great throughout the year with asking us what we want to get out of this and what we would like to do (within reason of course). Each LLC has advisers in charge of the program and for me my adviser, Katye Tuttle, who is one of the peo ple in charge of the LLC is also my academic adviser. Instead of just being a “U” number she knows me by name and more on a personal level by knowing some of my hobbies and future aspirations. I am able to meet with her without having to book a meeting weeks in advance because of the special program. We also have a special section of the University Experience (UE) class geared more toward our major, learning how to write résumés, and having guest speakers. We went on a company tour to ChappellRoberts and even had a meeting with the CEO Colleen Chappell herself! We had dinner with the Director of Mass Communications Fred Pearce and even the president of USF Judy Genshaft. Now, everyone cannot say they had a conversation with her or even met her while attending school.

If you are thinking the Living Learning Communities are geeky or all of the activities are educational base, well let me inform you they aren’t. Yes, college is about learning and LLC have the word “learn” in it, but there is also a lot of fun that goes on as well. You make friends on your floor and with your roommates no matter where you would live on campus. You still have free time to hang out with your friends, play sports, or do whatever you are interested in. Some of the activities my adviser planned for us were also more social such as going to a softball game together and spending the day team building while out on the ropes course.

The ZAP LLC tagline is “Learn Big Live Small” and that is exactly what goes on. My LLC has about 20 people in it taking up one pod in Poplar, while other LLCs take up multiple pods or floors in whatever dorm building they are in. Ones that have been around for a few years have sophomores or juniors who were previously in the LLC the year before to help the new students become adjusted to campus life in general and can also help give advice with what classes to take and with what professors. I will be a returning back to the ZAP LLC in the fall as a mentor and I know I will have more memories and learning opportunities like I had during the past year.

Please let me know if you any have questions on Living Learning Communities, especially the Zimmerman Advertising Program LLC (and if you are a part of it for next year!)

-Heather

 


March 29, 2011
Living Learning Communities Part 1

“Live and Learn” is a classic cliché that almost everyone has heard of and even used before.  However, when most people think of this particular phrase, they think of an experience that did not go as planned and has room for improvement, hence the learning. 

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USF brings a different meaning to that phrase in a more academic standpoint by creating communities where people live and learn together, also known as Living Learning Communities (LLCs). 

Incoming freshmen are now required to live on campus unless they get a waiver for certain reasons, so why not make the best of it?  Living on campus is full of learning opportunities, but LLCs are geared toward your interest of study. 

Currently there are 10 different LLCs, and they all deal with different majors or interests.  They are the Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP) LLC, Bulls Business Community (BBC), Engineering, Green, Honors, Nursing, ROTC, Transfer, Leadership and Wellness. 

To become part of an LLC, there is an application process.  For each LLC it might be a little bit different depending on what they are looking for in a potential member.  Some require certain GPA and standardize test scores, personal statements of why you want to be in one, and an interview to be accepted. 

I know the application might seem like a lot of work, but if this is something you are interested in I would definitely take the time and fill it out.  It never hurts to try and I can honestly say being part of the ZAP LLC was definitely one of the best choices I made so far in college.  If you are an out-of-state student applying for an LLC and there is an interview, I am sure they will not expect you to make a special trip down here just for that.  I am sure a phone call would work just as well.

To find out more information on each LLC and what each one offers, requirements to be accepted, and to download the application: http://www.housing.usf.edu/livinglearning.html

I'll share more with you tomorrow!

-Heather

 


March 22, 2011
The classroom is not the only setting for learning while in college. Dorms are a huge aspect of learning lifelong skills and are a huge transition from living at your parent’s house to own your own.

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Living on campus also helps in the transition from high school to college. With living on campus, it allows one to always be on campus, which makes it easier to find where everything is, get involved and meet people. For most students it is their first time living on their own; however one also needs to remember they are not alone. There are Resident Assistants (RA) and other staff members to help make your transition easier. With almost all of the students living on their own for the first time, many people can relate to your problems with transitioning (if there are any). Living in dorms also helps with one becoming more independent by living on their own (before they are completely are). 

I will be sharing more information on the different housing options, living-learning communities, what to bring that you might not think about, my own experiences and what I have learned from living on campus. 

-Heather

 


March 7, 2011
Hello! My name is Heather, and I am currently a freshman at the University of South Florida-Tampa. I am studying mass communications with a focus in print journalism in the College of Arts and Sciences and advertising offered by the College of Business (The College of Arts and Sciences also offers an advertising major, but it is slightly different). I live in the dorms on campus and part of the Zimmerman Advertising Living-Learning Community (ZAP LLC).

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I enjoy swimming, traveling, writing and just being active. Throughout my first year here, I have been getting involved more in school such as Student Government Street Team, Ad Club and becoming a writer for the Oracle, the school’s daily newspaper.

I chose USF not only because the school had the programs of studies I was interested in, but it also seemed like the right fit for me. I will be reflecting on my experiences here and will be giving advice to make your transition from high school into being a Bull as smooth as possible! Check back to read the new blog entries and feel free to ask any questions you might have.