Your ideal summer fantasy probably involves your toes being dipped in the ocean as you lay on some peaceful tropical island, holding a strawberry daiquiri with a little too much rum in it. You’re probably excited for that sun-kissed tan and those carefree days spent either relaxing at home or aimlessly exploring on vacation at some exotic location. You probably didn’t envision yourself staying in Gainesville and spending your precious vacation time studying or working, at least an hour away from any beach.
Although you may not have thought Gainesville was your ideal summer destination, you may change your mind after you realize why a college town in the summer is a blessing for your GPA, your resume and your sanity.
1. Internship opportunitiesHome of the Swamp, land of the resume-boosters. Though it may not seem like it, there are more interning options available in Gainesville during the summer than during the year due to the mass exodus of potential student interns in early May. Research positions need to be filled, secretary assistants need to be found and other various internships want UF students to put to work. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll get paid, but at the very least you’ll get another experience to help you in life and in your resume building.
2. Easy summer classesThis may not seem like a selling point to live in Gainesville this summer, but summer classes are not only helpful but also required. Because every student must fulfill a nine credit minimum for summer courses, why not embrace it and tackle manageable and low-stress courses such as Mans Food, Wildlife Issues or Human Sexuality? You’ll satisfy your summer credit requirement and you’ll (most likely) boost your GPA. It’s a win-win.
3. Empty gymsIt’s summer, so naturally you are trying to work on your body and make that bikini look like it was made for you. While trying to attain this body, you’ll be happily surprised to find the gyms relatively empty at all hours of the day. So yes, this means you can basically always get that one elliptical in the front that’s your favorite for spying on all the guys in muscle tanks. Also, no need to worry about getting your ugliest sweaty face on; there’s probably no one at the gym to watch it happen anyways.
4. Finding a table at Library WestI believe that the smallest feats are the greatest victories. This is one of them. You have spent all of Fall and Spring shamefully trudging through four floors of Library West not be able to find one table that wasn’t already occupied with someone attempting to study, someone sleeping or someone watching Netflix. Rejoice because during summer, you can have a table and an outlet, too. Of course, you’ll rarely need the library if you utilize tip No. 2 and take easy classes.
5. Cheap rent for great housingWith nearly every lease in Gainesville lasting 12 months, it seems like everybody and their mother is trying to sublease their place for the summer. This means locations that are normally too pricey to live in are available for summer without breaking your wallet. You can now live out your reckless dreams of living directly behind Balls Bookstore and being able to stumble home safely at night. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more low key, many of the posh apartments located on sorority row that would normally cost you over $600 can probably be yours for the summer for much less. If you’re extra lucky, they will come furnished, too!
6 Late-night foodChances are you probably don’t have a Gumby’s or Midnight Cookies in your hometown. You most likely also aren’t surrounded by a plethora of food places that are open and deliver until 2 a.m. There’s no need to say more.
7. Parties and pre-games every nightIf your hometown is anything like mine, the most exciting thing to do is drink a Bud Light at the beach. In Gainesville, from Summer A to the end of Summer B, you can be sure that every night something fun and free will be hosted by some lovely fraternity gentlemen, probably at some random off-campus house with a nickname that doesn’t make sense. What says good time better than Skol and Sam’s Cola?
8. Weekend getawaysJust because you’re living in Gainesville doesn’t mean you can’t have a summer adventure. We are conveniently located near some of the most beautiful places to explore, such as Devil’s Den, Ginnie Springs, Paynes Prairie and St. Augustine. You’re only two hours from Georgia and Disney World, so take advantage of your prime location. Rally up your friends and your coolers and make your way to some of these fabulously close locations you too often take for granted.
The weather is hot, the wind is breezy, and when you stay in Gainesville over summer, life is (yes, this rhymes) easy. Pack your bathing suits, crop tops, workout clothes and not much else because you won’t be needing all those other things like pants and books that may weigh you down. Gainesville may not be the tropical island you envisioned, but if you get a fruity enough drink, you can definitely pretend.