Congratulations! You are officially a UCF Knight! Welcome to After the Knighting. This is an exclusive page that only a Peter Pan’s Wishes student has access to. Here you will find insider tips and secrets on everything UCF such as how to get free stuff to secret places on campus, UCF traditions and isms, where to find the best programs/socials on campus and how to be successful academically!
UCF is the best school in the nation. Here’s why:
- We are home to Spirit Splash, the nation’s number one college tradition
- If you love accents, UCF is the school for you because we have a huge international population and a huge out of state population
- If you love taking pictures or just relaxing in general, there is a plethora of on campus relaxation spots such as the reflection pond or the honors garden
- There are three Subways on campus, and the Subway in the student union is one of America’s highest grossing Subways in the nation
- The UCF College of Business is one of the largest college of businesses in the world
- UCF Engineers helped design the black strap that securely holds people on roller coasters at Disney’s Space Mountain ride and a bunch of other rides
- We are home to the nation’s largest student film festival
- We attract thousands of companies from around the nation and the world
- Walt Disney World and Universal Studios is just 45 minutes away
- The beach is just 45 minutes away
- We give out free Universal Studios tickets for an event called Universal Knights
- We have plenty of free concerts from artists such as LMFAO, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg/Lion, Luke Bryan, Meek Mill, Tyga, Kendrick Lamar, Steve Aoki, Angelah Johnson, Seth Meyers and more!
- Victoria’s Secret is throwing UCF a huge party in the fall
- Our professors are well known in their field. For example, my marketing professor is the Vice President of Marketing for NBC Universal
- UCF is home to one of the best on campus housing in the nation. We do not have communal bathrooms. Some communities have weekly housekeeping. There is wifi all over the residence halls.
- Once a week, the square in front of Student Union is transformed into a farmer’s market. Vendors will be selling fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables and even other items such as antiques and clothes.
- During the winter time, the front UCF Arena is transformed into a winter wonderland, called Light Up UCF. Every night, the front of the arena is lit up and there is a light show. There’s also an ice skating rink and rides!
Three letters: S.G.A. SGA stands for student government association and the only thing you have to remember right now is that they have a budget of somewhere around $17 million. 17 MILLION DOLLARS. What are they going to do with all the money? Give it back to us! The entire student union is run by SGA. The people that you working in the union are students, so there are a lot of employment opportunities for students!
- Don’t ever buy scantrons. Go to the second floor of the student union in the Student Government Association room and get one free scantron per day with a UCF ID. (location may change)
- Don’t ever pay for black and white printing. At the first floor of the student union behind the stairs at Knights Hall, there is the SGA Printing Lab and you are entitled to free printing. (location may change)
- If you are always out around on campus, chances are you will get a free t-shirt. Every time there is a major event on campus (spirit splash, SGA elections, games, late knights, etc.) people will be handing out free shirts and stuff. If you get involved on a lot of campus clubs and organizations, you may also get a free t shirt!
- If you live on campus, attend your floor socials or meetings. Your RA’s will always have free food in those events!
- There are free consultations at the health center such as if you get sick or want them to look at something.
- If you walk into the health center, there are free condoms throughout the first floor.
- This isn’t free but not a lot of people know this. If you go to the spot at the breezeway to get something done, ask about the “ceiling cat” and you may get a %15 discount.
- If you’re lucky and have RA’s that love to bake or make things, they will door knock every once in a while with cookies and baked goods! My personal favorite to make my residents are truffles:
Congratulations on choosing the best college in the nation! UCF is smack dab in the center of Florida, where the beach is 45 minutes east of campus and the happiest place of earth, Disney World, is only 45 minutes west of campus. But aside from that, there’s also a few events that you should know about:
Spirit Splash and Homecoming Week
UCF is home to the nation’s number one college tradition: Spirit Splash. During homecoming week, thousands of UCF students surround the reflection pond and jump in. It is a crazy and fun experience that you do not want to miss! Homecoming Week is filled with Concert Knight (last year was Snoop Dogg/Lion), Comedy Knight (we’ve had Jim Gaffigan and Angelah Johnson in the past), Skit Knight and Movie Knight.
UCF’s newest program is Knight Camp, which is the premier extended orientation program. You get the opportunity to come to college a few days early to meet fellow incoming knights and make instant friends. We will be doing behind the scenes tours of the athletics, a fun volunteer activity which benefits starving children, learn and experience UCF traditions, and be sorted into a house (that’s right, it’s practically like Hogwarts). And if any of the above didn’t interest you, you should still sign up because yours truly is the student director for Knight Camp 2014 🙂
Pegasus Palooza is the official welcome week of UCF in the fall, with a string of events and parties to get everyone pumped for the new academic year. Events include Comedy Knight (this year it’s Keenan Thompson from Keenan and Kel, SNL and Good Burger), Knight Rave, Concert Knight (last year is was Andy Grammer and Outasight, this year’s artist is TBA), Movie Knight (we showed the Hunger Games last year) and more! Everything is optional, EXCEPT convocation. Convocation is the official academic welcome event of UCF for the entire incoming Class of 2017. This is mandatory and if you don’t show up, you will have to make it up.
Ain’t nobody got time for those expensive Universal tickets? No worries! Universal Knights is a yearly tradition where one day at the end of spring, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures shuts down for the general public and lets UCF students in for free!
Once a month, CAB (campus activities board), puts on an event at Friday nights. Each Late Knights has a specific theme from aquatic to zombies to superheroes. There’s lots of free food, shirts, and booths/stations. Some events have lazer tag booths, bouncy houses, dance booths, pinterest making stations and other cool areas!
Victoria’s Secret Pink Party 2013
Thanks to our awesome UCF tweeps and instagrammers, we successfully won Victoria’s Secret pink collegiate challenge with the most used hashtag (#UCFPINKPARTY). I personally went on a tweeting spree with that name tag during the contest. And because we won, VS is throwing UCF one of the nation’s biggest parties in the fall with the angels, free underwear, a concert and more. Get excited!
Disney/Universal Studios Tickets
If you go to knights hall in the student union, just show your UCF ID and you can get discounted Disney/Universal Tickets! Definitely better than spending full price for tickets. And if you’re really smart, sign up for morning classes, so that in the afternoon, you can hop on the shuttle and go to Disney or Universal! Oh the struggles of being a college student at UCF!
LINK (learning and interacting with new knights), and that is a way for incoming freshmen to get involved, be social and acclimated to UCF throughout the year. It is not mandatory, but it is a fun way to really have an enhanced first year experience! There’s lots of events, socials and programs that sponsor LINK. If you attend a LINK sponsored event, you will receive link loots, and the more loots you have, the better! At the end of each semester, there will be an auction where you can spend your loot points to get cool prizes such as a tv!
UCF has a tradition called the Knightmare. It’s basically what it sounds like. We create a nightmare for our opponents everytime we have a home game by showing up to the games in black or gold/yellow. We have an amazing lineup this year because we are joining the American Athletics Conference starting fall 2013. In order to go to a sporting event here, just bring your UCF ID, no need to purchase tickets! Starting August 1, UCF Athletics will be starting Knightmare Rewards (www.knightmarerewards.com) , which is a cool loyalty system that they have created for UCF Knights who attend games. The more games you attend the more points you’ll get and with that awesome incentives!
In my personal experience, getting involved in various clubs and organizations throughout campus has made my college experience memorable. I have met my lifelong friends and have gained so many skills and experiences that I can take with me after college. I am currently involved in my hospitality honors fraternity, Student Outreach Services Rosen, the International Student Association as well as a founding father of a social fraternity. I right now work for Undergraduate Admissions as a UCF Ambassador, Housing and Residence Life as a Resident Assistance and Office of First Year Experience as an Orientation Leader.
But don’t get overwhelmed and join everything at once. You have a few years ahead of you. So here’s a few places to try:
Interested in making a difference or having a say in what goes on at UCF? Try the Student Government Association (SGA) http://ucfsga.com
Interested in being in a club or organization for religion, politics or for funsies? The Office of Student Involvement has over 500 registered clubs/organizations that range from College Democrats, College Republics, Hillel UCF, Catholic Campus Ministries, the Quidditch team, I love chocolate club, the princess club, urban gaming club, I love nap time club, we may even have a twerk team! Check out all of our clubs and organizations here: http://osi.ucf.edu
That’s so frat! Interested in being a part of Greek life? Here at UCF we have academic fraternities such as Eta Sigma Delta (Hospitality) or Alpha Kappa Psi (Business), which focuses on professional networking of those specific majors. Then there’s the social fraternities and sororities. We have approximately 40 chapters here at UCF that range from Diversified Greek Council (DGC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Panhellenic Council (PNC). Check out UCF Greek Life here: http://fsl.sdes.ucf.edu
Because “new year, new me” is so overrated and basic. It’s the start of a new chapter for you and so give yourself a makeover. And what better way to do so by getting in shape! The Recreation and Wellness Center at the southeast corner of campus has something for everyone to do! Here are just a few things to do:
- Run at the many treadmills or ellipses at the cardio floor
- Play basketball at the courts on the first floor
- Join an intramural sport
- Swim at the olympic sized lap pool at the west end of the RWC or the leisure pool by Academic Village (Nike/Hercules/Neptune). They offer swimming lessons and scuba certification classes
- Challenge yourself to new heights by climbing the rock climbing tower
- Sign up for a class exercise such as zumba, pilates, yoga, washboard abs, hip hop cardio, etc
- Play racquetball at the first floor
- Build muscle at the weight floor on the first floor
- Get a personal trainer, dietician or masseuse for a small fee
- Get free fitness assessments in the fall
- Go to Lake Claire and rent a canoe or kayak
- Play beach volleyball by Lake Claire
Check out their website here: http://rwc.sdes.ucf.edu
And that’s go to the bathroom. Everyone does it. So where is the best place to go? Your favorite o-teamer did some undercover research and found the best places on campus to go when nature calls:
- The Teaching Academy
- Engineering Building
- Third floor of Student Union
- Mrs. Fields in Student Union
- Bathroom in between to Qdoba and Pegasus Ballroom, Student Union
- Fifth floor of library
- All Knight Study
- There is an alley next to the spot in the breezeway
The pegasus at the student union is one of UCF’s iconic landmarks. It is usually roped off because there is an superstition that if you step on the pegasus, you will NEVER EVER EVER graduate on time. If you go to Florida International University, they have a similar seal in their union and if step on it, you can walk backwards three times to reverse the curse. But here at UCF, if you step on it…dassit, you’re not graduating on time! Of course, this has not been proven true…but don’t risk it. So whatever you do, don’t walk on it, don’t twerk on it, don’t even instagram it! If you see the ropes are gone, you better part like the red sea!
I feel like this is just redundant and everyone says it, but you have to get and keep those grades up. As with most things, classes work in you get what you put into it. It’s very easy to fall into the procrastination habit. It’s ok to procrastinate once , as I do it sometimes…but procrastinating all semester is not good.
Here’s a major tip that puts things into perspective. From here on out, you get a fresh new slate on your GPA. But what that means is that your first semester is crucial because that is what you will start with. If you come in during the summer and choose two classes, make sure that they are rather easy…but not to the point where you slack off and don’t do anything at all. Let’s say in during your very first semester in college, you were goofing off, skipping classes and failing everything. You end up with a D and an F. You will now start with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Falling under a 2.0 puts you under academic probation. With that, you have to get a 2.0 semester GPA. Failure to get a 2.0 GPA in your next semester will automatically disqualify you from the university. You do not want to start your college off with a 2.0 GPA because you will have to work hard for it for your entire college career. So definitely try to get a high GPA your first semester here at UCF!
There are lots of resources to help you out. You just have to reach out for it. The first place you can go to is SARC (student academic resource center), they offer tutoring for a wide variety of challenging courses. SARC is located on the first floor of Howard Phillips Hall. If you have to write a research paper and you don’t know where to start, you can go online to the UCF library website and ask/text/chat with a librarian or you can even schedule an appointment with a consultant in your specific course field or major to help you find sources for your paper.
Your Student Handbook. This is a great tool to use your first year as it has a lot of cool information such as football game schedules, the UCF creed, your favorite O-Teamer’s information and a great planner/calendar.
Textbooks. There are various places for you to purchase textbooks whether it be online or at a bookstore. I highly recommend you to purchase your textbooks at the UCF bookstore at the John T. Washington Center/Breezeway. They have a price match system, where they will beat book prices from other bookstores by $1 or more. I know books are expensive, so that’s why the UCF bookstore offers rentals or used books option aside from brand new books as well as electronic versions of some books. 11% of all proceeds goes back to UCF, which amounts to about $1 Million annually, and that helps bring down costs for us. The UCF bookstore also uses true financial aid that is offered to you such as the Textbook Purchase Program found in myUCF. Definitely check out the UCF bookstore for your books!
- Don’t take out more loans than what you actually need. Having all that extra cash for funsies may be great now, but it won’t be great when a huge debt is trailing behind you after college. Be smart with your finances!
- Take advantage of the free services at the health center. Consultations are free, unless something is taken out of you like X-rays or given to you like a prescription. Flu shots are usually free. And there are always condoms in the first floor of the health center. There’s also flavored ones too!
- Use the on campus UCF Bookstore to purchase textbooks. If you can, use rentals to save a lot of money. Usually, rentals are half the price of what you would have to pay if you bought a new book. And then, at the end of the semester, you have to return the book back, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of selling the books back. If you do purchase a book through the UCF bookstore and would like to sell it back for cash, sell it as soon as possible. If you can, sell your textbook at the first day of midterms/finals so that you can get the most money.
- Have a broken iPad, laptop, tablet or computer? You don’t even have to leave campus! At technology commons (the building to the left of the breezeway after you exit the student union), there is an on sight Apple and Windows store! Here you can check out the latest iPads, Macbooks, HP and Dell computers!
- Now is the time to be on point with your social media. Don’t have a twitter? Make one! Don’t have a Facebook? Make one! A lot of UCF events and clubs/organizations have promotions and deals that can only be found on twitter and/or Facebook. For example, during finals week, if you liked UCF Student Union on Facebook, you were eligible to spin a wheel and get cool prizes!
- Be careful with what you put on social media. Have responsible fun. If you are applying for a job, some employers will be searching through your Facebook or twitter and if they see some inappropriate or distasteful pictures or posts, you can kiss your application/job goodbye. Even if you are just a freshman and you are not looking for a job anytime soon or a professional career, save yourself the trouble later and avoid posting inappropriate things on Facebook. Or hide them so that only you and your close friends can see them!
- If for any reason you feel unsafe on campus during the night time, call the S.E.P.S number on the back of your UCF ID and security escorts in golf carts will be more than welcome to escort you back to where ever you need to go.
- Make responsible decisions and go with your gut instinct. Know that there are resources all over campus if you need help. If you feel unsafe, call SEPS or UCF PD (911). If you live on campus and you have any personal concerns or questions, your RA can help you out.
- And lastly, HAVE FUN. College will be the best years of your life, if you make it to be just that. But you have to know the difference between balancing fun and academics and just having fun all day everyday. Remember that you are a student first, and without good grades, you will not be having an enjoyable college experience anywhere. If you manage to balance good grades with being involved or making so many friends, you will love your college experience. Make a difference and take advantage of all the opportunities that we have here at UCF. If you are used to sitting in your room all day everyday, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and get involved with a club or organization that you like, or attend an event or go out with friends! And MAKE LOTS OF FRIENDS! We are the second largest campus in the nation…it is not hard to find someone that’s exactly like you! By learning how to be responsible and balance your life, you can make the most out of your college experience and truly be the best knight that you can be.
There is one last thing that I want you to do. If you have Facebook, click on the link below and join this group. You will now be part of the exclusive Peter Pan’s Wishes Facebook group where you can stay in touch. I will also be posting special events or cool promotions/deals throughout the year, so you don’t want to miss that! https://www.facebook.com/groups/peterpanswishes
If you ever need anything, there is a wide variety of options in which you can reach me. Feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook, but I cannot add students until after the last orientation. But in the meantime, you can reach me here:
Facebook: Peter Pan’s Wishes Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/peterpanswishes/
Twitter handle: @oteam13_peter
And if you ever want to share something awesome that’s happened to you at UCF or if you just want to give a shout out to your o-teamer, use the hashtag #peterpanswishes and you may be retweeted!