Clara Barros/Staff Writer
When I moved to FIU from Brazil, there were a lot of things I didn’t know.
As an international student with no family close by, I’ve always been very dependent on resources available on campus. It took me a while to locate myself and find out when, where, and how I could have the things I needed.
After two years living at MMC, I believe now is my chance to offer freshmen what I had needed: a nice list of lifehacks for campus life — trust me, they’ll come in handy sooner or later. So here they go.
First of all: MMC is big. That sounds obvious, but you don’t really understand the dimension of 342 acres until you try to go to Owa Ehan and end up in the Nature Preserve. You’re bound to get lost.
For that reason, the FIU Mobile app is an absolute must-have. The app shows the campus map and tracks your real-time location, so it’s really useful to navigate the facilities — especially since you don’t understand any of the 79 building acronyms, anyway. (Yes. I counted them.)
The FIU Mobile app also shows you which cafés, restaurants, and services are open at any given time. That means you don’t need to walk all the way to PG5 – the end of the world, where earth meets the sky! – only to find out that Papa John’s is closed.
This brings me to food. MMC has a fairly reduced number of healthy food locations. Those are Fresh Food Company (where I eat every day), Almazar, Sergio’s, Pollo Tropical, and Salad Creations. Try to eat at these places – or cook, if you can. Your body will thank you.
Still, no matter how healthy you eat, here’s one truth: you’ll end up in Breezeway. Located under University Towers, this mini-market is basically a diabetes shop. From soft drinks to artificially colored candies, from thick-crust pizza to toxic-sweet cookies, Breezeway is our gateway to a heart attack.
Still, you’ll be incredibly thankful for it when you get hungry at 2 a.m. – it’s the only place open that late.
Are you too broke to eat? We got you.
MMC has a Food Pantry – one of the stuff I like the most. There, you’ll be able to get up to 10 free pounds of food per week – as long as you bring your Panther ID with you. This wonderful place is located in GC 319 – I know it because I volunteered there 20 times.
Other stuff you can get for free in GC are bluebooks and printing. They’re both available on the second floor — just bring your ID and your own paper.
Finally, here’s my last advice: take advantage of your surroundings. Go to the pool. Go to the gym — you’re paying for it. Explore the plaza across the street – aside from Publix, you’ll find nice places to hang out at when you’re tired of campus.
Have patience and don’t be afraid to ask. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it!
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Featured photo by Nicole Malanga.