Most rising college freshmen have a tidy checklist of things to-do before the school year starts. Build the perfect class schedule. Go dorm shopping. Buy textbooks. Still, there is one major to-do missing from every college freshmen's list: Learn the school lingo. Like every university, Nova Southeastern has a unique collection of lingo. To avoid looking or sounding like the quintessentially confused freshman, here are seven must-know phrases for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) students. 

1. The UC 

Officially known as the Don Taft University Center, the UC is an abbreviation of the already abbreviated title for the University Center. The UC acts as the hub of NSU. Every student's basic needs are fulfilled with a trip to the UC. There is the 24-hour Starbucks in the food court, the RecPlex which houses exercise equipment and fitness classes and a mini bookstore decked with NSU spirit wear. The UC also hosts several events for clubs and organizations throughout the school year and it is the perfect location for collecting free goodies. 

2. S.E.A. Board 

I remember after my freshmen orientation, I was so excited to share with my dad about a group of students and advisors who plan fun events for Nova students. I told him, "There's literally an organization whose job it is to plan fun activities all year long!"

Later I found out the organization behind my excitement. NSU's Student Events and Activities Board (S.E.A. Board) is responsible for hosting NSU's traditional events like Homecoming and Sharkapalooza and looking for new ways to keep students engaged outside of the classroom. For students interested in planning, marketing, communications or a combination of any of the three, S.E.A. Board is the perfect organization to get involved in as a volunteer or board member. Even for students who decide not to join S.E.A. Board, it still pays to attend their events or at least learn the acronym to avoid confusion (S.E.A. board, not surfboard).

3. SOuRCe Office


No, my keyboard did not have a return to the 2000s. The SOuRCe Office adopts that style as an abbreviation of Student Organization Resource Center. It took me a while to pick up on that one, so I feel it is only fair to impart my nugget of knowledge to others. Besides the quirky title, the SOuRCe Office is basically the capital of student organizations. Stop by here to start a new club or attend to business within an existing club. 


Pronounced like slice but spelled like an alternative music group, SLCE is yet another 

Yet another abbreviation. The office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) coordinates many community service opportunities and helps students build leadership skills. Although the SLCE office is located in the same building (Rosenthal) as the SOuRCe Office, they are two different organizations with their own set of weekly email alerts. SLCE is great for students looking to get involved in the community. It also serves as a great resource for students clubs and organizations looking to make an impact.

5. SharkLink


It's not an abbreviation, not a location on campus and not an organization. SharkLink is an online portal for all academic and financial matters. A trip to the SharkLink site saves time from visiting the Horvitz building with menial questions. SharkLink provides class schedules, financial aid awards and job listings. However, SharkLink is most popular during class registration time when students overload the server to sign up for their preferred classes. Pro-tip: Learn the name and bookmark the site on your laptop. 

6. Course Wizard


The name, Course Wizard, describes its function fairly well. Course Wizard is a magical place online where students can browse available classes. For students looking to build the ideal class schedule, the website lists days, times and the professor for each class. Most importantly, Course Wizard provides the crucial CRN (Course Reference Number) needed to register for classes on SharkLink. 

7. Fins Up!

Arguably the most important phrase on NSU's campus is "Fins Up." This call evokes school spirit and there is only one appropriate response. In a triangular, fin-like motion, you join your two hands over your head and smile for the inevitable photo opportunity. "Fins Up" also acts as the perfect sign off to any email correspondence with university faculty or student organization members. 

Build the perfect class schedule. Go dorm shopping. Buy textbooks. Learn the school lingo. With over a month left before school starts, there is plenty of time to check off all the back-to-school to-dos. Just make sure you find time to learn all the important lingo so you are not stuck looking like a shark out of water. 

Lead Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons