This is not a knock on Buzzfeed or Sami Main (seriously, this isn’t one of those “if a person tells you ‘they don’t normally do this type of thing,’ they do it all the time” qualifiers). She’s a Gator; I’m a Gator – we live under the same umbrella. But her “19 Reasons Why It’s Great To Be A Florida Gator” piece got me thinking that there must be some better reasons than having a Chipotle across from campus.
Beyond UF, the below list is about Gainesville. You lived there for at least four years; you matured there; you will forever be a part of the ever-changing community. G’ville without UF is Ocala; UF without G’ville is some soulless school like that one out west. When you claim UF you’re claiming the Ville.
With that in mind, I would advise you view this as complementary. Instead of 19 reasons, you now have 38. Consider this the Anthony Bourdain to Main’s Rick Steves. Without further ado, here are even more reasons why it’s great to be a Florida Gator.
1. Screw Chipotle; Burrito Bros. lives across the street from campus
Why anyone would ever go to Chipotle over BB is beyond me. Burrito Bros. is a Gainesville institution; there are no franchises; and they don’t ship anymore. Enjoy BB now; save the Chipotle for your lunch break in three years while grinding out an internship in Tampa or Atlanta or wherever else in the world doesn’t have that magnificent red sauce.
2. Bats are fun, but live gators are better
The bat house is a great date night move, but other schools (UT Austin, for example) have similar things. Nothing says UF like walking out of a dorm room and seeing a four-foot gator chilling by the Graham Oasis, just 30 steps away.
Yep, I said it. We don’t give up on clothing easily. Your pants get gnarly, cut ‘em into jorts. Do other schools laugh? Yes. But we’re not the douches wearing 3-piece suits to a football game, or waving pom-pons, or barking in people’s faces, or marveling over indoor plumbing. I’ll take jorts every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
5. Lake Wauburg
Anyone can study for Spring midterms/finals in the library. Pros kick it at Wauburg. Who knows, maybe you have some beers hidden in a cooler or some Captain in that coke bottle. I don’t know.
6. Gator Stompin’
It’s a right of passage.
7. Every time a virgin graduates Century Tower loses a brick
8. Rodney Mullen
9. Great music scene
Hot Water Music, Less Than Jake, Against Me!, Stephen Stills, Bo Diddly jammed around town before passing, Don Felder, and some dude named Tom Petty are all tangentially related to G’ville and/or UF.
10. Springs in spring time
Ichetucknee Springs, Ginnie Springs, the free drop-in next to Ginnie Springs that Ginnie Springs despises. There’s nothing better than that first gathering at Publix on 34th for the first float of the season.
11. Florida Museum of Natural History
Get your mind right and walk through the Butterfly Rainforest. You’re welcome.
12. Five Star and Italian Gator (aka pizza by the slice)
Satchels is awesome, and Leonardos garlic butter will add 5 pounds just thinking about it. But 5 Star and Italian Gator are iconic. One is perfect for when you’re boozing at home and have munchies at 3 in the morning. The other is a staple when leaving the Midtown bars.
13. Awesome athletics program
This could feed a post on its own, but it must be mentioned. Face it, it’s more fun to talk shit about sports than academics.
14. The Swamp
This is not athletics. This is a shrine. There is no more apropos nickname in sports than that of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Walking out on a sticky September night, chanting “It’s Great. To Be. A Florida Gator.” with 80,000 strong is magic.
15. There are massive pool parties
There are only a million apartment complexes near campus and, come springtime, they all entice you to sign leases by hosting big, drunken orgies by the pool.
16. UF is the flagship school in the state
What’s the one thing all Florida and Florida State students have in common: we all got into FSU.
17. Bars right across the street from campus
Salty Dog, Grog, Balls, Copper Monkey, Swamp – great for
2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 on a Friday.
18. 34th Street graffiti wall
19. Go Gators