Students settle in for first day at USF - FOX 13 News

Students settle in for first day at USF

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's the first day of classes at USF for the new school year. Part of the first-day jitters at any school can be meeting all the new people.

It's a strange and fun new world for thousands of freshmen, but the school goes out of its way to make sure students keep their cool and get to their classes.

"It's the Week of Welcome, first day back for students here at USF, so we're here feeding them food, there's games going on," said Bob Herron as he dropped into ice-cold water in a dunking tank.

"We definitely want them to go to class," said Kathy Lopez, who is a peer advisor. "We definitely want them to get involved and get that full college experience, but class is the most important thing."

"I've got a map, because I keep getting lost," said LeeAnn Avila, a freshman from Kississimee. "And lemonade, because we got it for free!"

"I'm looking forward to good eating but not the freshman 15!," said Avila. "So after class I think I'll go to the gym."

"What attracted you to USF?," we asked an excited Wendy Jones, a freshman from Lakeland. "The community, definitely, it's an awesome huge community of awesome people."

"They offered me a lot of scholarships," said Briana Luis of Tampa. "And it's still really close to home, so I get to see my parents on the weekends and whenever I want to."

Parking is also a hot issue with students. USF President Judy Genshaft said the University has more spaces than downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg combined. But finding the ideal space every day just won't be realistic.

"Oh yeah, you have to fight for these spots. You won't get there in time," said Temiloluwa Kowobari, who is a freshmen at USF. "So you have to build time into your day every day just to get a space?," we asked him. "Oh yeah, I make sure I get to class like super early, to find any good parking spots," he said.

"Oh my God! Really? When you get in the parking lot's already full, no chance, so I park behind the library, even though all of my classes are in the middle," said Juan Gonzalez, who's a freshman from Colombia. "It's impossible to find parking if you don't get here early."

"I didn't realize so many people," said freshman Dylan Gonzalez of Tampa. "I got here, there was nobody next to me, but when time went by, people started lining up, people started fighting for parking spots and I'm just glad I got here early."

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