Welcome to Gainesville: some tips for newbies

We have many regular readers, but there are those newbies, or ones that could benefit from some local knowledge which we share at this time of year. This goes especially for students set adrift in this little town with a big ass college scene.

CLAP and STDs … no, not a sexual precautionary. Courts, Lanes, Avenues and Places run East-West. Streets Terraces and Drives run North-South.

You don’t need to be a sheep; explore the live music scene, skip all the dress-up-show-off recorded music places. Is getting all dressed up and waiting in line really your idea of fun?

Get a bike. You don’t need a deluxe piece, Gainesville is pretty flat. There are plenty of bike lanes, and the Hawthorne Rail Trail launches from Depot Park.And ugly bikes get stolen less; throw some stickers on that sucker.

For the sake of our struggling local businesses … SUPPORT THEM. There are a lot of hard-working local people who own bike shops, restaurants, bars, hair cutterys, etc.

Gainesville has added a lot of traffic circles, which are kinda dicey for pedestrians but very good for bikes and cars. If you are on a bike, you own the lane, move into it as you approach, and vehicles in the circle have right of way. Be wary but be assertive. And of course wear a helmet.

Register to vote; you are representing future generations of students. Get involved in your new community on city advisory boards or local organizations.

Explore who you want to be, do new things and get with different groups of people. Figure out how to manage your time by getting things done and having a blast, too.

Beware of predatory male behavior, exploiting others is never cool. Watch out for it, stand up to it, and learn how to be a friend and ally to those around you.

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