There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, but if you have committed to Nova Southeastern University (NSU), you just joined an exclusive Sharks community. Besides the rigorous education, the surrounding NSU community is flowing with opportunities to have an exciting college experience. From one student who just completed her freshman year of college to another student gearing up to begin, here is the freshman year bucket list for NSU.
1. Customize a pizza at Blaze.
Location: 2135 S. University Dr. Davie, FL 33324
Blaze Pizza is number one on this list for a reason: the pizza is phenomenal. Before you even attend your first class, I suggest visiting Blaze Pizza for an affordable personal pizza. This casual dining spot is perfect for a variety of diets. There is soy cheese, gluten-free crust and an array of veggie toppings. However, if you want to grub out there are still plenty of meats to indulge in like pepperoni, sausage and bacon. The best feature of Blaze Pizza is the option to choose unlimited toppings for under $10. I often describe this spot as the "pizza version of Subway" and I promise it does not disappoint.
2. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Menchie's Frozen Yogurt.
Location: 4900 University Drive #103 Davie, FL 33328
While I'm on the topic of food, it is crucial I mention Menchie's Frozen Yogurt. Menchie's is perfect for a late night run and is similar to Blaze Pizza because you can customize your frozen yogurt toppings. There are also dairy free sorbets and healthy options for people on restricted diets. The Menchie's location on University Drive even offers a 15% discount for NSU students (with proof of a Shark card). Most importantly, this frozen yogurt spot is affordable on a college student budget and you'll likely spend less than $5 a cup.
3. Take a fitness class.
Location: NSU Rec Plex
After all the food I'm urging you to try, it's important to balance your lifestyle with fitness. Instead of weightlifting or jogging, a fitness class is a fun way to burn calories. There are dance classes with music styles ranging from Bollywood to Calypso. The funky beats make it easy to forget you're in the middle of a workout and since no one is a professional dancer, it's a safe space to learn new dance moves. There are also spin classes for cardio, yoga classes for flexibility and Pilates for an extra challenge. The fitness classes are offered throughout the day, making it feasible to fit them into a hectic college schedule. If you're still not convinced, keep in mind that the student services fee you pay in your tuition covers a gym membership so it benefits you (and your finances/ financial aid) to take a fitness class.
4. Hit the pool.
Location: NSU Rec Plex
It's not a surprise; it is hot in Florida. A great way to cool down is to hit the pool. For on-campus residents, the NSU Rec Plex is a quick walk away from the dorms making it a convenient spot to hang out and cool down. The Rec Plex pool is usually uncrowded during the week so take advantage of this spot to relax and unwind during a busy freshman year.
5. Or the beach.
Location: Ft. Lauderdale Beach
The perks of going to school in South Florida is being able to go the beach year-round. Take advantage of your South Florida living and hit up the beach, no reason required. The Shark Shuttle even provides transportation to the Ft. Lauderdale Beach on the weekends. Visit the beach for a chance to swim, exercise along the boardwalk or just pose and take pictures for Instagram.
6. Visit the collaborative study room.
Location: Alvin Sherman Library, third floor
Studying is an important part of success in college. I spent much of my first semester searching for study spots and one of my favorite locations for group study sessions is the Collaborative Study Room. The Collaborative Study Room has whiteboards, large tables and TV monitors perfect for group projects and intense cramming sessions. Fair warning: the Collaborative Study Room gets packed during midterms and finals week. However, during regular operating hours, the Collaborative Study Room is fairly empty and offers plenty of space to study. I suggest stopping by this spot before the end of freshman year. It just might become one of your favorite study spots, too.
7. Check out the MAC computers.
Location(s): Alvin Sherman Library & University Center, second floor
It took me entirely too long to discover the MAC labs. If you ever want to click around on a MAC computer for the fun of it or if you have laptop malfunctions, I highly suggest you check out the MAC labs on the first floor of the library or on the second floor of the University Center(UC). The MAC computer labs also make for a quiet study spot for independent learners. The MAC labs are more than just a collective of computers and include printers. Even if you own a Apple laptop, I still suggest visiting a MAC lab for your printing needs.
8. Go to a club meeting.
Location: NSU, on campus
College is more than just stuffing a schedule with 12 to 18 credit hours. Tap into your interests and go to a club meeting. Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and connect with like-minded people. Most clubs meet during the lunch hour when there are no classes scheduled and sometimes they provide a free lunch for attendees. Even if you ultimately decide not to join the club, it exposes you to new ideas and people.
Location: NSU, on campus
NSU is flowing with on-campus opportunities to give back to the community. The Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Office constantly sends email reminders about these volunteer opportunities which makes them hard to ignore. Rather than delete these emails and subvert your attention from community service opportunities, make it a priority to volunteer. The benefits of community service are apparent. Volunteering uplifts the community and offers an avenue for you to make social connections. Furthermore, the volunteering events at NSU are flat-out fun, especially when you're with a group of friends.
10. Go to a Miami Dolphins game.
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr, Miami Gardens, FL 33056
My biggest regret of freshman year is not attending a Miami Dolphins Game. My lame excuse was that I was too busy, but when NSU provides free tickets and transportation, I should have made it a priority. Upcoming freshmen, don't follow my lead on this one. Reserve a ticket for a Miami Dolphins Game, link up with friends and make it a point to attend a game. It's a great way to close out the weekend and visit the Hard Rock Stadium.
This bucket list only scratches the surface of to-dos for NSU students, but it is a starting place for NSU freshmen. Everything from eating pizza to swimming laps in the pool affords you the opportunity to get a fuller college experience. However, I challenge you to do more than check off these ten destinations. Explore South Florida and you might be amazed at the experiences you'll gain.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels