How can I get ready for back-to-school in the USF area?

Between finding the perfect place and moving to your new USF apartment, getting ready for school at the same time can seem like a challenge. However, a good, personalized plan and a few tips can help you get organized and feel confident for the start of your new school semester. Whether you're new to the area or just want to boost your efforts, use this guide to jump start your game plan and stay ahead.

Staying Focused in USF Apartments

One of the best ways to stay focused on your schoolwork is to keep a detailed schedule. Even if you're taking one or two classes a semester, it can be easy to fall off the wagon and get behind on your studying. One way of managing your workload is keeping a weekly planner that you can use to jot down important dates and notes as they pop up in your head. A small planner is easy to carry around and reference throughout the day. When you wake up in the morning, take a quick peek at your planner and think about your plans for the day. This can be a great way to balance your school and social life, making you much more aware of both your free time and school responsibilities. If you're not much of a pen and paper person, Google Drive is an excellent resource for organization that is accessible by phones, tablets and computers.

Visual reminders may also be helpful for important dates and tasks. For example, a cork or white board is a useful tool to hang in your room that can easily be rearranged and organized. Hang it somewhere that is easily visible when you leave or enter your room so you know you are frequently checking it.

Sharing an Apartment with Roommates

Many residents in USF apartments choose to share their space with roommates. Two or three bedroom apartments, as well as student apartments, are very common and popular among USF apartment residents. While roommates are an excellent way to save money, make friends and split chores, communal living can come with frequent distractions and temptations! If you have serious trouble studying or focusing on school, you may want to find roommates that are also students, especially those in the same college. Sharing a common goal can create a more motivating and supportive environment when you're cramming for exams or stressing over a certain subject. Regardless of the roommates you choose, it can be helpful to set some ground rules for quiet times, especially during the weekdays. If you know you're easily distracted by any noises outside your room, invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones or study somewhere quiet on campus, like the library. The USF Library, for example, has designated floors for different sound levels, including low talking/group study and quiet zones.

Commuting to School from USF Apartments

Your commuting options will depend on your location. If you're living on or very close to USF campus, the USF Bull Runner is one of the most popular and efficient ways of getting around campus. Anyone with a valid USFCard has fare free access to this bus system. The website has detailed information on routes, schedules and hours, which can be important information to bookmark for holidays and other special dates. You can even access a live bus map to check on the location of your bus. For a quick and simple bus commute, try looking for apartments on Fowler Avenue.

Riding a bike may be another option for those comfortable with commuting in bike lanes that are accessible throughout USF. Keep in mind that Florida summers can be hot and very sunny, so it is crucial that you take steps to protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated. Sunscreen, proper clothing and water are must-haves for riding your bike in Tampa. If you don't own a bike, Share-A-Bull Bikes are available across campus with several convenient drop off areas that should be close to most of your classes.

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