When they say “once a Gator, always a Gator” they were definitely, in no way, lying. The things that make UF so memorable will haunt you until the end of time. Even if you don’t want those things to haunt you.
It has been two long years since my glorious four-year-run at the University of Florida came to an end. As I see the last group of friends I know graduating, I’m reminded of all the UF-like stuff that still happens to me.
1. Any time I see a reference, movie, or saying that is Indian in nature (i.e. the technical originators of the U.S.), my mind goes straight to Seminole. Now, I know of many other Indian tribes, such as Cherokee, Shawnee, Apache, Blackfeet, etc., but the only one I think is Seminole. Which leads to my second point…
2. See any shade of red and yellow together make me automatically gag. Seminole, garnet and gold, any arrow shape and I’ll say GROSS. Literally out loud, too; even if it has no FSU (my keyboard just gagged) relation, I just cannot stop myself. It is a permanent tic I now have thanks to my time at UF. So may I apologize to any random person I yell “gross” to #sorrynotsorry
3. I literally do not care when I see a gator IRL. We had to walk to class hand-in-hand with those modern-day dinosaurs from that pond behind Hume. Lake Alice gators, yeah seen them, been there, whatevs. Buzzfeed says “Florida just being Florida” with an alligator eating another alligator, yup that is pretty much old news here.
4. Any time I walk through a crowded area outdoors, I pull out my headphones and duck my head, waiting for flyers to be shoved under my nose and for some guy to shout about Jesus. Turlington will haunt your dreams. You think you have conquered it when you can walk through without getting a single flyer, but what you do not know is how you will forever be a Mean Girl walking through crowded areas after you graduate. I start panicking when I do not have my headphones and I am walking through the food court at the mall.
5. I forgot how “other” people clap. Why are both of their arms at 90-degree angles? Why do they not put their right over their left and clap with arms straight out? When I’m at a concert and people start clapping to the beat, I jab the person in front of me square in the back to chomp, I mean clap. It is quite a pain, but hey it’s life and that is how you do it if you are a Gator.
6. I am no longer a proper lady at sporting events. I will say whatever I need to to make sure the players AND, more importantly, the coaches can hear me. I will scream at the top of my lungs and shout at the opponents. I hear a whistle blow and I automatically start chanting, “Move back, you suck!” only to realize it was an icing call in the hockey game I am watching. No shame, they still gotta move back. #deuces
7. I am thoroughly confused with the people I see walking around outside of a campus. Where are all the athletes decked from head to toe in an ungodly coordination of orange and blue? Where are all the frat guys in their Chubbies and Sperry’s? Why do people in public all look…normal? I just need one athlete to walk by, so I know everything is okay in the world right now.
8. I hear a bell and start running. Literally, I just start sprinting in any direction. I am late again to class, right? Century Tower is calling to me all the way in Tampa, and I am late for something….wait I have nothing….or do I?
9. Any outside event I attend (i.e. the beach, a 5k, or walking to my car), I lather up in sunscreen and chug water for hydration like I was back in the Swamp for another deathly noon game. I maybe even get a little buzz going to make sure I survive the outdoor trip. Football Saturday’s are wired into my brain. There is no hope. After all this time, I will not faint from stupidity and sun.
10 – What is your #10? What’s one thing I missed that still happens to you, post-UF? Share with me!
Until next time, congrats to all the grads out there!