Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Romanticizing your life allows you to live your life to the fullest. It encourages people to pay attention to the simple things in their daily lives and those momentous experiences that we anticipate. It’s about living life in the present moment and being appreciative and grateful of the seemingly unimportant places and tasks. Romanticizing is all about stopping to smell the roses and finding the beauty in the simplest things. As a student at the University of Florida, stress about academics can sometimes blur my focus. I can easily find myself forgetting about all of the many aspects of the school that I love so much. This is what has made me fall in love with the University of Florida:

1. Tailgates

There is nothing quite like the overwhelming school spirit and sense of pride felt on Saturdays in the fall. Everywhere you look, people are dressed in orange and blue. Girls are dressed in stylish, trending outfits eager to take their next Instagram photo and usually found making their way over to the place to be, Fraternity Row. There is loud music, food and you’re surrounded by a bunch of Gators. What more could you ask for?

2. Watching the Gators Win in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

The stadium is always filled with over 85,000 excited fans. People scream the chants and sway with their flashlights on while singing “We Are the Boys from Old Florida” after the third quarter. Orange and blue fireworks are set off after each time the players score. The feeling after winning a football game in the stadium is electric. Gamedays may revolve around the talented Gators football team and everyone’s excitement about the big game, but they also revolve around making lifelong memories with your best friends.

3. Gator Growl

Each year, homecoming week includes a performance from a famous artist in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center called Gator Growl. It is the largest student-run pep rally in the entire country according to Gator Growl which means that it is always fun, largely attended and well-prepared. The performance includes music, comedy, famous alumni, Gator athletes and Gator musicians. Flo Rida, Gunna, Ty Dolla $ign, Snoop Dogg, Daya, Wacka Flocka Flame, Foster the People, Ludacris, T.I. and Neon Trees are just a few of the many talented past Gator Growl performers. Listening to an incredible performance on campus is one of the coolest experiences one can have as a student.

4. The Century Tower 

Already, the Century Tower, located in the heart of campus, is an iconic campus landmark that plays music every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. according to Light AZ. After sunset, the Century Tower is equally impressive as it glows a different color. The colors reflect holidays, school pride, campus events and more. It is a pretty sight that students can easily take for granted.

5. The “Chomp”

How could any other school have a cooler tradition when UF has the Gator “chomp?” The “chomp” is done by putting your right arm over your left arm and closing them together. The “chomp” is done at sports games and whenever Gators please and is a quintessential demonstration of Gator spirit. 

6. Coffee Overload

There is never a coffee shortage on the UF campus. With six Starbucks locations and Opus Coffee, students can always satisfy their caffeine cravings. This is the perfect treat to have while walking around campus, studying for hours in the library or after a challenging exam.

7. Gymnastics Meets

Sitting in the full Stephen C. O’Connell Center during the spring watching talented athletes flip and compete is such an amazing experience. The gymnasts are so impressive and accomplished. They consistently win and are a threat to other teams nationally. After a gymnast has a perfect performance, the auditorium gets super loud and cheers while the judges present their scores hoping for a 10. The energy is so high, and the school comes together as a community.

8. Late Night Walks to Insomnia Cookies

Sugar is always a great way to treat yourself after hours of studying, especially when it is in the form of a warm cookie. Insomnia Cookies’ desserts are heavenly and cooked to perfection. The salted caramel, funfetti and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup inspired cookies are must-tries. 

9. Standard Chick-Fil-A

I don’t know what it is, but there is something so addictive about what they put in Chick-Fil-A chicken. Whether you go to eat the tasty chicken minis for breakfast or go for lunch or dinner, the Standard Chick-Fil-A always provides customers with speedy service and delicious food.

10. Shopping at the Bookstore

After going on countless college tours, the University of Florida’s bookstore has always had a superior selection. It is full of hundreds of products for any person and any occasion. From technology and textbooks to trendy clothing, the bookstore is truly your one-stop shop for anything Gator-themed imaginable. 

11. Studying in the Reitz Union

There is always something going on in the Reitz Union, and there are so many places to study. Every time I go, I find a new comfortable chair and quiet area to get some homework done. It is the perfect place on campus to get a snack, relax and knock out some work. 

12. Southwest Recreation Center

There is no better feeling than the post-workout rush. Even though Southwest is a little far away from central campus, it is always worth it to go and burn some calories. There are so many high-tech machines, and it is a large, clean space to have a nice workout. 

13. On-Campus Fresh Acai Bowls and Smoothies

Shake Smart is the place to go if you’re craving a healthy drink, snack or meal. Once you finish a workout at Southwest Recreation Center, don’t forget to treat yourself to an incredible acai bowl or a delicious smoothie. If you’re in the Reitz Union, remember to go to the ground level to purchase a healthy study treat. 

14. Famous Speakers

Thanks to the ACCENT Speakers Bureau, students can listen to famous people talk about their careers and give advice. This school year, students have had the opportunity to hear from Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito, Nickelodeon icon Josh Peck, business mogul and Shark Tank judge Barbara Corcoran, American sports television personality Stephen Smith and TikToker Josh Richards. Dave Portnoy, Lindsey Vonn, Howie Mandel and Guy Fieri are a few of the many talented individuals who have also been able to talk to us Gators. It is so great that the university invests in bringing talented individuals to campus.

15. Plaza of the Americas

On a nice, sunny day, Plaza of the Americas is full of students. Situated right in front of Library West and in the center of campus, it is an ideal location to go in between classes or chill. You can always find students swinging in hammocks, taking a break on a bench, studying or hanging out with friends in the grass, hosting a club meeting and people lining up for Krishna lunch.

16. Seven Libraries

With seven libraries, there is always a place for Gators to study, and it is fun to see which place best suits you and your study habits and needs. There’s Library West, Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Library, Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Borland Library, Health Science Center Libraries and the Education Library. Each spot offers unique seating options, and over time, every student finds his/her favorite. Personally, I love Library West’s second floor, because it is collaborative and I enjoy looking out of the huge windows overlooking Plaza of the Americas.

17. SNAP 

SNAP is the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol. It’s a free car service that can take any student around campus from 6:30 PM until 3:00 AM seven nights a week. The drivers are safe and work for the university, so you can feel comfortable being in the vehicle. This is super convenient when you feel unsafe walking home at night.

18. Newell Hall

Newell Hall is another study spot on campus. It is a newer, high-tech collaborative study space for students right across from the Hub. It also has a Sweet Berries, a restaurant with frozen custard, and is home to the Center for Undergraduate Research. There are four floors, so you can be sure to find a nice place.

19. Organizations

There is an organization for every hobby, interest and career path at the University of Florida. It is so beneficial to join an on-campus organization to meet other Gators and to get connected to other opportunities. On GatorConnect, students can search through the hundreds of organizations and find the ones that interest them. It is special to go to a university with so many extracurricular involvement options, so we should all push ourselves to get out there and get involved.

20. Top Five Public University

It can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed with schoolwork and struggling to adapt to an independent lifestyle while being far from home and family members Being a college student is tough and it can be easy to not give yourself enough credit for all of your efforts. Going to a top five public university is an insane accomplishment. UF is an “academic powerhouse in research, innovation, educational excellence, student outcomes and technology transfer” according to UF Warrington News. Remember to be proud of all of the work you put in to get accepted and all of the work you continue to do to succeed at a top university. 

Romanticizing aspects of the University of Florida has allowed me to become more grateful, appreciative and proud to go to such an incredible university. There is no better place that I could imagine spending the next three and a half years of my life. I hope this encourages you to think about what makes not only UF special to you, but also what makes some of the seemingly insignificant aspects of our daily routines special. 

Hey everyone! I am Neenah Brown, a second-year English major at the University of Florida. I am so excited to be able to pursue my passion for journalism on the Her Campus UFL team! In my free time, I like to work out, play tennis, shop, spend time with friends, go to the beach and eat at Chick-Fil-A. My writing is usually about shopping and clothing trends and college life as a Gator. After graduation, I plan on attending law school.