Sightseeing on a student budget: Gator edition

By Cecilia Luna

Often when we consider the costs of college, we keep things minimal. We calculate how much it will cost to live in a dorm, buy groceries, buy textbooks, and register for classes … but what about the cost of having fun? It’s unfair to think that just because most of our money is going towards school, we can’t spend just a little on leisure time. For those who like to keep things interesting, I have made a list of the best places to see on a student budget. Here at the University of Florida, there are many places to make memories without spending a penny. 

1. Lake Wauburg

Lake Wauburg 
Within just about a 10-minute drive from campus, Lake Wauburg is the place to go for nature buffs. All it takes is a Gator1 ID, and free admittance is allowed for you and four guests. Go for a paddle boat ride, rent a canoe, or try rock climbing (all at no cost)! 

2. GatorNights

Being a Gator really pays off on Friday nights. Always Friday, and always free, GatorNights is an event hosted every weekend, with a new theme each week. All you need is a Gator1 ID, and your friends can tag along, too! GatorNights offers activities ranging from arts and crafts to movie showings, and even live music. Some of my favorite concerts have all been for free here at the Reitz Union

3. Norman Hall graffiti tunnel

Norman Hall graffiti tunnel
Feeling rebellious? Here’s the site on campus to let everything out. For the simple cost of a bottle of spray paint, you can write or draw any message of your liking on the famous graffiti tunnel just outside of Norman Hall. (Trust me, it’s fun!) 

4. DNA bridge

DNA bridge in Gainesville, FL 
One of the more famous structures in Gainesville, the DNA bridge overlooking 13th street, just next to campus, is breathtaking at night. After dark, this bridge lights up with multi-colored LED displays that are open to the public. This is a must-see!

5. Hippodrome Theatre

Hippodrome Theatre 
Another perk of being a Gator: local student discounts. The Hippodrome Theatre, home to hundreds of different plays and shows occurring almost every night, is a great place to go for a more creative night out. Student tickets are just $15 for a great show!

6. Sunset Gazing

sunset at UF 
If everything mentioned takes just a little too much effort, try this last suggestion. There are many spots on campus that are open everyday during sunset, including stadiums or nature trails. (My favorite spots are on top of parking garages!) Find your way to the top of a building and catch a beautiful sight that can only be described by the photo below. Great for relieving stress, and always free.


About the author

Cecilia Luna, UF studentCecilia is Unigo's newest student blogger. She'll give us an inside look at a day in the life of a college student, sharing her journey with us every step of the way. She's a second year public relations major at the University of Florida. Her hometown is in south Florida, in the small town of Clewiston, and she's ready to make her mark. "Not only am I learning to adjust to a bigger city, but all of the adventures this big university brings along with it." You can follow her adventures right here on Unigo! Interested in becoming our next "day in the life" student writer? We are in the search for more contributors! Reach out to us on social media or in the comment section below, and we'll send you more info on how to get started.