Student Life and American Football

In Tally, not a day goes by without any sort of activity going on, whether it is on campus or off campus. A couple of weeks ago there was a “Homecoming Week”, which is a week of different events that take place on campus and they are completely free of charge to FSU students. This week starts off with a concert in which popular artists perform for over 5,000 members of the FSU community. Ludacris performed in the last concert! The rest of the week is packed with events including the FSU circus, performances by comedians, and finally, it ends with the most anticipated event, an FSU football game! Football games are extremely enjoyable to watch even if you have not the slightest idea about American Football. The stadium is always full for every home game and the atmosphere is sensational. The FSU fans are very proud and their chants don’t stop throughout the entire match. You are forced to feel the excitement of the game even if you don’t really understand it! These football games are played every Sunday and it would be a great experience to go to these games. Tickets are cheap and available online and it’s really not much of a hassle to purchase them.

Aside from Homecoming Week and football games, there are so many other activities going on. Every Wednesday there is this “Market Wednesday” at the so called “Oglesby Union”. On Wednesdays basically, the union is full of booths where you can buy stuff, from clothing to DVDs and there are also activities that you can participate in with the chance of getting prizes. This union provides various student services and opportunities to get involved. Off-campus activities can either be hosted by the student activities center, located at the union, or by other organizations; most of the time there are fliers at the bus stops or people giving them out to let you know about these activities. In the union there is also the main cafeteria, Crenshaw Lanes, which is a bowling and billiards place, Friday Night Activities that happen every Friday, and much more. You can see these events and more detail about the union by clicking here.

The Askew Student Life Center is a center in which there are a number of things for students to do. In this center is there is a cinema that plays popular new and old movies, free of charge to FSU students. It is an actual cinema in the literal sense, huge screen, stadium seating, surround sound system, etc. Also in the ASLC is the Cyber Café and Lounge. There are many computers for online gaming or surfing, board games, TVs, and it is a great hangout place for between classes, before tests to meet with friends and do some last-minute studying, or to just spend time with friends. There is also a “Reel Coffee” that serves a variety of beverages and baked goods. Finally, there are meeting rooms which you can reserve for group meetings or events. For more detailed information on the cinema, lounge or meeting rooms of the ASCL, click here to go to the ASLC home page. The amount of things available to FSU students is unbelievable and the great thing about it is that so much of it is free!

The Bobby E. Leach Center and Sports

The Leach Center is more than just FSU’s gym. It is definitely one of the best gyms I have ever been to, and probably is the best. First of all, let me talk about the machines available. It has so many different machines that can work out every muscle in your body. You will rarely have to wait in order to use a machine that someone else is using, because there are at least 2 of each machine, and there are many similar machines that work out the same muscles. They have fitness machines, free-weight machines, and cardio-vascular machines.

Apart from the machines, there is an indoor track on the third floor that overlooks the swimming pool. The swimming pool has 16 lanes, diving boards, and nets for pool basketball. There is also an open area for which you can reserve goals for pool handball. In the pool area, there are 2 steam rooms, a sauna, and 2 hot tubs, a small one and a large one. The pool offers swimming classes and Open Water scuba diving classes, as well as a 100 mile club. This is a club where basically, you must swim 100 miles over the course of the year. Locker rooms are big enough to never be even close to full. Over 600 lockers are spread out among the 4 locker rooms; men’s general, men faculty/staff, women’s general, women faculty and staff. Lockers can be rented for free at the front desk. Towels are not free to rent but are cheap.

For all of you athletes out there, the leach center has a number of courts, for various sports. It has 6 racquetball/squash courts, 3 regulation-sized basketball courts in which 2 are available for pick-up basketball and shoot arounds, and 1 is designated for volleyball, badminton, and table-tennis, 2 multipurpose courts for volleyball or badminton, and just outside the leach center are several tennis courts. Those courts are available anytime the gym is open. Most of these sports have clubs that you either have to tryout to join or you can just go and play. That depends on the sport. That being said, if you do not make the team of the sport you tried out for, intramurals and tournaments are held throughout the year for the different sports and pick-up matches are also easy to set up. Soccer is one sport that I have not mentioned yet. There are plenty of opportunities to play soccer. There is a club that you have to try out for, intramurals, fields free to play at around campus. There is no need to worry about finding an opportunity to play any sport. It is really easy. Of course there are so many more sports clubs that you can join such as hockey, baseball, bowling, surfing, equestrian and more.

Services at the Leach center are top-notch. They have many different group exercise classes for fitness, cardio, and mind & body exercises. There are also free nutrition classes, body composition analysis, massage therapy, etc. Finally, there is smoothie stand that sells nutritious shakes and smoothies and some protein bars. Exercise and sports should be regular things in the weekly schedule of a student at university. For more information on the Leach center or any of the sports, click here.

3rd post: Almost Thanksgiving….

This has been my most hectic weekend ever. A calculus exam, a chemistry exam, a psychology quiz, a conference with my English professor, mastering chemistry homework, a bonus assignment, a final draft for a research paper and a proposal for another English project! Ugh craziest week ever and it’s still not over! Thanksgiving break is such a tease…so close but still so many hours away…so much that has to be done to attain it!

Did I mention that I had to schedule a much needed haircut and an eid dinner in between that too? Tip for incoming desi’s at FSU: be really nice to the aunties and they always will remember you whenever they have a party in their house!!And that’s not just it, they also pack up a lot of food (yummy traditional desi spicy food!) for you to take back home!

I finished editing my spring schedule this week too finally. Here at FSU registration for classes is according to credit hours previously received. So that means that Honors and seniors go first, then juniors then sophomores and then finally the freshman. If you come in with no previous college credit, well, the classes fill up pretty quickly but there are always other ways ,apart for waiting for a whole semester, to get into a class you really want to get into!

Florida State has policy about first day attendance. Attendance on the first days of classes is mandatory and if someone doesn’t show up or didn’t wake up in the morning BAM! Instantly dropped from class. This means that if someone else doesn’t have the class and they just show up in the morning the instructor would enroll that person into the class in place of the person dropped!

But it’s always best to be prepared and alternate courses should be looked into. To make registration a tear-free/ tantrum- frees process its best to always keep a check on what classes are open or would be open by the time registration opens. I love Rate my professor, mostly because it is the only website I know, but also because it covers a lot of FSU professors who are rated by previous students…it’s an excellent way to weed out the mean-ies.

Always keep a campus map in your hands when registering!!!You don’t want to end up running all over campus trying to get to your next class in 5 minutes! Another tip I found helpful when signing up was my going to meet my advisor. I don’t know about other advisors but my pre engineering advisor s really cool and has never let anyone miss a single deadline. I’ve been to see him twice this semester already and have emailed and called him multiple times. FSU has a really cool advising structure, there is advising first which is for general advising stuff, then there are advisors specific to majors, they also have success coaches and student centers!  So there is a lot of material available!

Signing off!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Post 2: What’s rocking Tally?

I finally turned 18 last week!!!!It’s a miracle, I thought this day would never come but it did and I’m finally classified as an adult now. My life has more meaning, I get to sign contracts, get a permanent residency form, I get to vote, I can drive a car without a co-person, take part in psychology experiments to complete the extra credit requirements needed for passing the class (which is kind of redundant btw) go to club downunder and I can get married without my parents’ permission… As much as I love my country I don’t agree  with the fact that I can’t get an i.d or drive there until I’m 18.

So my last week was very very chill, mostly because we had a holiday right in the middle of the week and that holiday was on Thursday i.e. the day following my birthday 😛 I got to stay out late. I ended up going to a really awesome Thai restaurant called Bahn Thai and I ate straight Thai (spicy food is the best “pick me up” ever!) Then I went to a sheesha place called Aladdin’s which is cool but I still recommend the one near our campus to everyone… it’s the best place to do homework cause it’s so quiet, the manager is super friendly (he gave me a free cake piece on my birthday) and they have amazing tea…. And then I went clubbing; for the first time in my life. Let me tell you clubbing is like nothing any one can imagine and the movies don’t give an accurate picture it is….. (Drum roll)…. boring because no one is actually “dancing”-if you all get my flow. I went with my ‘desi’ friends and we ended up Indian-o-fying all the songs, which was the fun part.

This weekend we had a football game versus Clemson and we won. I love the FSU spirit and how the whole city is practically immersed into the game.

I followed the game through the internet and when Dustin Hopkins made the 55 yard field goal, which gave FSU a 16-13, win at the last minute, the resounding cheer could be heard all the way from the Doak Campbell stadium over onto College Avenue which I was passing by at that time!!! Way to go Seminoles!

BTW EID MUBARAK to all! Technically being so far from home you can’t really feel the whole festive spirit. I spent the whole of eid day hopping from one class to the next but a party can only be as merry as you make it so in order to revive the festivities my friends gathered at my friend Fatima’s house and we made food….okay! I just ate the food but I did volunteer to DJ for them. I played really sappy cheesy Pakistani and Indian songs all night which put everyone in a good mood so I can easily say I was the life of the party.

We also have Majestic Asia going on right now. It is a weeklong event in which different Asian student organizations come together and celebrate the Asian heritage!! Till now we have had a Parol workshop(Parol’s are those 3D stars hung up during Christmas time )hosted by the Filipino Student Association, Diwali Dhamaka by the Indian student association and Royal Flush by the Chinese Language and Culture Association and more events from today till Sunday !!!!

Today is also Marketplace Wednesday! It is basically a combo of ‘tables’ set up in the union courtyard by student organizations, street vendors and students who sell and advertise things or projects! The whole atmosphere is amazing and my roommate just bought an amazing sea green dress for $5 so it’s also extremely cheap…an excellent place for poor students like me.

First Post:

I hate flying… I am absolutely terrified of heights and even though I gripped the edges of my seat with all my strength nothing reduced the panic that I felt. Do I also need to add that I’m claustrophobic? Sitting in a plane for a 16 ½ hour stretch with closed corners, no sleep and crying babies does wonders for my nerves! I was so glad when the plane finally landed in Houston.

The guy sitting next to me was an Indian student and he told me that this is where my troubles would actually begin and he started telling me stories of his Pakistani friends who had been previously detained for hours at immigrations. Surprisingly the guy behind the counter was really lenient and he didn’t ask me anything at all he cleared me immediately! My Indian friend got whisked off for interrogation by the immigrations officials however.

America? Where do I begin? The vast number of open stretches of land all around me or the people who smile at you even if they’ve never met you?

Tallahassee is a completely different story. Even from the plane all I could see were trees. The airport is kind of small which could be an inconvenience sometimes.  I’ll keep going on and on in my blog about trees and how green it is but that’s mostly because I come from Karachi where trees and greenery is scarce. Anyway, through most of my drive to the campus there were arched trees all over the roads and (truth be told my friend Fatima who is a p.h.d student here took me through the more scenic roads of Tallahassee so that I’d like it more) I’ve been told that we have the best canopied roads.

The campus is mostly red brick buildings and is huge. The architecture is Victorian styled especially found in the buildings on the west side which is where I live in Cawthon Hall which btw is not haunted! It is one of the newly renovated ones and the rooms are really spacious and nice!

The fun part of being in an LLC is that you get instant friends of like 30 or more people who share if not your exact major but similar academic   interests. You also get at least one person who is in the same class as you and therefore someone to walk to class with, study with and takes notes from if you slack off from class . This is especially helpful if you sign up for 8am classes thinking that you’d be okay since you made it through high school. Well I hate to break it to you but it’s not high school anymore! And 8am classes are the worst!

Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to guide me and I signed up for 8am classes for all the days of the week and now I suffer alone in my misery especially when I have to roll out of my warm bed every morning and see my roommates sleeping comfortably in their beds :/

Well, I’m gonna sign off more next week…!! !

Intro

Intro:

Hey my name is Nastaren Abad and I’m an international student from Pakistan at FSU! I was born and raised in Pakistan and it’s my first time in the US, it’s also my first time away from home (I miss my dog a lot ) I also miss my mom’s cooking though I would never admit that to her on her face. Myself, I hate cooking…I don’t really hate cooking I can cook really decent meals I actually hate doing anything that requires effort. I have to be seriously motivated to start a new project in my life, and that’s how I got my cell phone…my dad promised to buy me a new one only if I got good grades but that’s another story.

Okay, so I did my o-levels and a-levels from Karachi. When I started college scooping my advisor gave me a list of schools in which you would get the best value for your money and FSU was mentioned in it, so I applied and got accepted. Then my dad found out that this was the cheapest place I had gotten admission into and well here I am!

Honestly I was very hesitant about coming here. I didn’t really know that much about it and I have almost no family in Florida but I love it here! (And I’m not just saying that because they’re going to pay me for writing all of this down!) I really actually feel like I belong here. There are about 40,000 students on campus and the campus has amazing diversity! It is so easy to find your social group and to form an identity for yourself. Frankly, everyone had freaked me out about coming here all the way from Pakistan but nobody really cares where you are from…

My roommates are super amazing and I made a whole range of friends just because I am in a Living Learning Community for Women in Math’s, Science and Engineering. My professors are also really helpful they give a lot of initiatives to get a good grade which is cool!

So after exactly 3 months and 2 days I can confidently say that I’ve settled down. Even though Tallahassee is really small compared to where I come from there is always something new going on both on campus and downtown. I am really excited about my spring term and future terms here and sharing my experiences with this blog!!!!

My blog: if you haven’t really gotten an idea yet, I’ll be blogging about…yes! About me! I have a huge ego in addition to my laziness and I will be rambling about myself all the time, my experiences as a Pakistani-FSU student and about all the cool things that I do..Places to be and stuff that’s happening in Tally most importantly in FSU. I’ll also try to answer any questions about getting here, the admission process and other equally important stuff! Happy Reading!

Campus

I must say I was very surprised when I visited the campus for the first time. It’s huuuuuge! I arrived at Tallahassee the day before the late orientation and so I did not have much time to familiarize myself with the campus and the result was that I missed most of my classes on the first day. However, it was easy to quickly find the quickest ways to each of my classes. Fortunately, three out of the four classes I was enrolled in were at the same building. There are also campus-buses that drive around campus and make it easy to make your way around campus. Click here for a virtual tour of the campus.

The size of the campus is not the only great thing about it. The atmosphere on campus is extremely tranquil and peaceful. It is as if you were in an enormous garden with buildings all over it. You can almost sit down and start working or studying almost anywhere. There are benches all around campus and you can just sit down and work for a bit in between classes. The atmosphere definitely helps you do that. Another thing; there are squirrels everywhere! They are such amazing creatures. Sometimes I find myself just staring at one climbing a tree or whatever for a while. Once I saw an eagle attack a squirrel! But the squirrel got away. The eagle was getting annoyed by the camera flashes so he flew away.

Food on campus is also pretty good. There is a good variety of food around campus. There is a cafeteria at the main hangout on campus which has few restaurants. It has Japanese and chicken and rice type cuisine, as well as Papa John’s and another frozen yogurt/smoothie parlor. There are a few hot dog stands that sell beef hotdogs and I must say, they are probably the best hotdogs I’ve had. Other than that, among the other cafeterias is one called “Suwannee’s”. It is an all you can eat buffet a wide variety of good food which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Finally, there is a Chilis on campus. Chilis is… Chilis. You just can’t go wrong choosing to eat there.

Another great thing about campus is the facilities that it provides such as the gymnasium, library, sports fields, etc. It would take a whole blog just to go over all the services, equipments, books, etc. the library and Gymnasium have at the students’ disposal. There are several libraries around campus, each focusing on a different set of areas of study; there is a medical library, an engineering library, etc. The main library though, Strozier Library is general. That’s all I’ll say about it and the gym for now. Anticipate the rest!

%d bloggers like this: