College students spend approximately four years living in a petri dish. Everyone shares the same classes, the same gossip, the same illnesses. While living with others starts off great, little quirks can start to become irrevocable differences when you see the same people every day.
While it is impossible to please everyone, one way to combat these differences is by simply being a decent human being. By following these “commandments” given by UTampa students, you’ll be on your way to being a tolerable community member.
Clean up after yourself
The maids are not there to clean up your room, and the cafeteria workers are not there to pick up your dirty dishes. A quick way to annoy your roommates and the school staff is to act like a slob.
Make sure that you keep your mess in your area while you are in the residence halls. Also, in the cafeteria, place your dirty plates and utensils on the dish carousel when you finish your meal.
“When you finish eating, throw your stuff away,” said Jadira Scott, sophomore chemistry major. “Don’t be disrespectful.”
Don’t talk loudly in the library
No. No. Stop it. The library is silent. A student should be able to walk in and hear only their steps echoing throughout the building. Sure, that is an unrealistic goal to strive for, but even still, the students in the library are all there for a purpose – nursing majors study so they don’t get kicked out of the program, writing majors try their hardest to avoid passive voice, business majors do math… ugh.
Regardless of their reasons for going to the library, they go so that they can escape distractions. When people talk loudly or just make a lot of noise in the library, they ruin the studying vibes. Don’t ruin the studying vibes.
“[The library] is a place to study, you’re supposed to be focused and if people make noise it can distract you,” said Sika Zedia, student library assistant and finance graduate student. “If you want to talk, we have study rooms.”
Look Up From Your Phone
In a school the size of UT, chances are that you will run into people you recognize from classes, clubs or other extracurriculars on a daily basis. While striking up an entire conversation is not entirely necessary, especially if you’re in a rush, a little wave or smile or “what’s up?” does wonders.
“Our entire campus is so isolated,” said Marina Alfonso, junior biochemistry major. “You never know when you will brighten someone’s day [by saying hello].”
Who knows? You may even make a friend or two.
Stop Feeding the Squirrels
No, they are not your furry new buddies. No, they do not want to offer you unconditional love. Why? Because squirrels are not pets – they are rodents with fluffy tails and only want you for your Chick-fil-A.
“Don’t feed the squirrels because they might have rabies,” said Mike Vek, freshman political science major. “People don’t realize how serious rabies is.”
Get to Know People
With students from all 50 states and 137 countries, according to ut.edu, UT offers a wide array of personalities and cultural backgrounds.
“I feel like you can’t fit in at UT if you can’t respect people’s culture,” said Onyx Davis, sophomore pre-med biology major.
Sit down with someone you have not yet spoken to next time you go to the cafeteria – chances are that they’d enjoy the company too. Students love talking about their hometowns and backgrounds because, in most cases, they have never been away from home for a long stretch of time. Strike up a conversation and actually care about what they say.
Now, go out and spread this newfound knowledge. Flash a smile at a passerby, make your bed (for the sake of your roommate’s sanity), study silently in the library, get to know the people around you, and – never forget – stay away from those crazy squirrels.
Bianca Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org