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Heart of the USFSP campus.

Sunshine And Sailboats Aren’t The Only Things USFSP Has In Its Backyard

From day one the selling point for attending USFSP to me was location, location, location!

I still remember the first day I stepped foot on the USFSP campus. Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, I instantly realized how much the environment and atmosphere surrounding it added to its “tempting allure” if you will.

Being a lover of all things revolving around sunshine, palm trees and saltwater, the USFSP campus’s location overlooking the harbor, I knew it was a perfect fit.

The fact that I can do homework while watching sailboats and yachts come in and out of dock, study by the fountain with trellises covered in hibiscus flowers, or even have lunch underneath the shade of the palm trees scattered across the USFSP campus, makes me feel like the luckiest girl, or shall I say college student, there is sometimes.

How many other college students can say they have those same experiences on a daily basis? Slim to none I know of! Many are stuck at colleges that are overcrowded and overwhelmed by the urban life around them. Not to mention the fact that most likely they don’t experience the pristine 70-80 degree temperatures we do year round.

Close Those Books And Hit The Streets

Here on the USFSP campus, we are lucky enough to truly have the best of both worlds. We have the beautiful water views and serene landscape all while being situated adjacent to the bustling, but NOT overcrowded, urban life of Downtown St. Pete. Sure, we have great dining options and coffee shops on campus, such as The Campus Grind, The Reef, The Red Mango or The Tavern,  but we also have a plethora of options right at our feet. Literally.

Wander a few blocks this way and you’ll find a movie theater, shops, boutiques, and even the famous St. Petersburg Pier – which houses even more shopping and dining options! Then wander a few blocks that way and you’ll find a variety of bars and nightclubs that many USFSP students have made their local hangouts – ahem, students who are of age of course.

USFSP had me from hello.

There was no further investigation for me into other schools or hemming and hawing over minuscule details. The feeling of comfort, the warmth of the people, and the generally peaceful and positive atmosphere that envelops the USFSP campus really drove my decision home. My time here has been amazing so far and I have no regrets in my decision to come here. The quality of learning and student life is off the charts.

Walking to class when you are having a less than stellar day and having the sunshine on your face, smelling the salt air or watching the dolphins swimming in the bay, can really help put things in perspective.

Yeah, yeah so you’re looking for an “education not a vacation,” your parents may say. Well…Why can’t you have both? Sure there are many things to consider when choosing colleges, such as what and where are right for you … But the biggest thing I learned is to trust your instincts. They are there for a reason.  I did, and it has been an experience I will never forget.

T-shirt and money

Saving Money Tips for College Students

Many of us students seek more income or better ways to save money.

Some of us might have to wait until after we graduate with our bachelor’s to generate the kind of income we desire.

However, while we work towards our educational goals, there are a ton of ways we can save money on and off-campus. We can learn how to budget by keeping an eye on our spending.

As college students, many of us like to try new restaurants and hang out with friends at our favorite dining places.

It’s all fun and games until your debit card balance reads close to zero or wallet has only $2 in it until next payday. I’ve found that food costs take more money than I’d like out of my account.

Budget Plans

I lived in downtown St. Petersburg when I transferred to USF St. Petersburg in January 2012 so I frequently spent money on dining out and daily coffee purchases. Going out became a bad habit because I spent more money than I saved and didn’t have any kind of budget plan.

After I made the decision to stop blowing money, I developed a budget plan that worked for me and want to offer tips to you so that more money can be in your account while you experience college life at USFSP.

The biggest thing I’ve done that’s helped me save money is cooking at home.  And, it’s fun with a roommate.  My roommate and I split the grocery costs and plan our weekly meals out on Sundays.  Two out of the seven days, we generally eat leftovers.  This has saved me $300 monthly.  We share budget plan ideas also.

St. Petersburg offers a variety of dining options and there are many restaurants with lunch or dinner specials.  There are deals out there that will fit your budget plan.  When I dine out, which is hardly ever since I like watching my savings account grow, I go to a restaurant with inexpensively priced specials.

Bye, Bye Coffee and Hello, Coupons!

Cutting back on daily coffee purchases has helped save more money.  I make my own coffee from my kitchen and put it in a traveler’s mug and take it to work or school.  It tastes just the same as coffee purchased from a coffee chain.  The only difference is more money in my savings account and a great budget plan.

I take advantage of coupons from newspapers, grocery stores and online to help save money.  Groupon and www.valpak.com are two of my favorite websites where I have found coupons and good deals from leisure activities to automotive repairs. Shop around online and see which ones work best for you.  Budge, budget and save more money.

If you plan to live in a residence hall then you’re in luck with saving money on food costs because USFSP offers meal plans to meet your dining needs. Check out the meal plans offered.  But I still advise creating a budget plan for yourself.

At USFSP, we don’t always have to spend money to have fun on the weekends.  There are a lot of fun free things to do on and off campus.  I have a list of my favorite free activities on my Ipad. One of my favorite free off campus activities is to meditate at Northshore Park. You could make your own list once you’ve explored the campus and the city of St. Petersburg.