So you’re thinking about coming to the University of Central Florida? One of the largest universities in the U.S. in one of the biggest cities in Florida? Our 60,000+ students would love to see you there – if we maybe happen to run into you somewhere. Here are 10 Things You NEED to Know Before Coming to the University of Central Florida.
“Go Knights! Charge On!”
As silly as that sounds, you will hear it a lot – in encouragement speeches, sporting events (especially football and basketball games), random people in the bookstore picking out t-shirts – and you will hear it anywhere. Just learn it: when someone says “go knights!” you respond with “charge on!” It’s a big thing at football games. The broadcaster will say “go knights!” and the entire Knight-crowd will scream in unison “charge on!”
There is a club or organization for everyone.
If you can’t find it, you aren’t looking hard enough. There’s a lemon club that helps children with cancer, there’s a Star Wars club where people battle each other with light sabers in Memory Mall, a Rock Climbing club, and I’ve even heard of a Harry Potter club. UCF also offers a ton of Intramural Sports like the basics (soccer, flag football, baseball/softball, basketball) but there’s also ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, pickle ball, water polo, and many more.
Learn the main buildings/landmarks.
These buildings include: the Student Union, the Breezeway (it’s really called the John T. Washington Center but everyone refers to it as the Breezeway – it houses one of two bookstores, Chik-fil-a, Domino’s, a skate shop, UCF Card Services, among other shops), Classroom Building 1, Classroom Building 2, Business Administration 1, the Gym, and the parking garages if you’re driving. Chances are, if you’re still doing your GEP’s or your Gen Ed’s, you’ll have a lot of classes in CB1, CB2, or BA1, so it’s important to know where they are. The University of Central Florid is a big place.
Parking can be pretty tricky.
If you’re commuting, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to school, on top of enough time to find a spot. Sometimes there’ll be a spot that someone hasn’t discovered just yet and you’ll get lucky, but other times you’ll have to lap the garage/lot a few times before finding anything.
If you’re driving, learn where you can and can’t park.
Each parking area is labeled and different signs mean different things. For example “R” and “D” are for students and when you look on your UCF Printable Map that you will get from card services, these areas will be green. Most of the garages and some of the lots are for students, but be careful of the faculty/staff parking. Parking there – or anywhere else that you’re not permitted to be in – will most likely get you a ticket from UCF Parking Services.
Make sure you have a parking pass.
If you plan on driving, the pass is around $160 and is good for one whole year. You need this pass to park almost everywhere. If you think you can get away with not having one, you can’t. UCF Parking Services is exceptionally good at ticketing people who are violating the rules. If you’re thinking to yourself “well, what if my parents or my significant other comes to visit? What do they do with their cars?” don’t fret, there are pay stations in just about every parking lot and garage.
If you can’t drive or don’t have a car.
Don’t worry. UCF offers a free shuttle service to most off-campus housing, as well as shuttles that go around the school, and on scheduled days there are grocery shuttles. On top of the shuttle service, UCF has now partnered with the Lynx bus service so that UCF students can ride the bus for free with a UCF student ID.
University of Central Florida students get discounted tickets.
Several of the amusements parks and other sources of entertainment that are around the Orlando area offer student discounts. As a Knight, we get to enjoy discounted tickets to Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, and even Busch Gardens. We also get discounted tickets at AMC and Regal movie theaters, as well as to Kennedy Space Center and a local mini golf place, among others.
There is a plethora of resources that UCF provides.
This includes CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Service) which is for students who need to talk to someone/are going through stuff (because it’s college and sometimes life just happens) and CAPS even provides support dogs that students can pet and play with to calm down. Tutoring is also available for almost every course – SARC sessions are more one-on-one and SI Sessions are like group tutoring sessions – and if they aren’t available, professors hold office hours in which students are welcome to go see them to get help. These two services are just two of the several that UCF offers to its students.
UCF is one of the most diverse universities.
The University of Central Florida student body is one of the most welcoming that I have encountered in all my years of schooling. There are so many support systems and unique organizations here in this community, on and off campus. College is the time to find your niche and what better place to do it at than one of the largest universities in the U.S.?