Tag Archives: Shelby Black

The Dos and Don’ts to Ensure a Successful (and Non-Traumatic) Freshman Year

David L. Garcia and Shelby Black

Staff Writers


Lose your ID I cannot emphasize this enough. This ID is your first and most important companion here at USF. It holds your food money (a.k.a “flexi”), bus pass, and access to campus buildings and your dorm room. It. Is. Everything. If you do happen to lose it, you can purchase a new one on Lone Mountain (a.k.a Lomo), but that beautiful bus pass that gets you around the city is gone for good until next semester. Be sure to purchase an ID holder at the bookstore.

Leave your laundry in the machines It’s a hassle already having to do your laundry, but it’s an even bigger problem when there are no available washers or dryers due to finished loads that haven’t been taken out. Do you and your peers a favor, and don’t leave your laundry in the machines. Set a timer to let you know when you’re laundry is done to avoid angry residents and stolen clothes!

Be afraid to speak up Seriously, everyone is just as scared as you. Everyone is just as confused as you. Everyone assumes they aren’t going to make friends. You are going to make friends; you just need to say “hello.”

Call it San Fran Or Frisco In a few months, when you finally go home for Thanksgiving, some silly relative will call your new home by one of those nicknames. Just ignore them. This is your city now; know what to call it. Most of us call it SF. Simple, easy, and hard to misunderstand. The City is also common. The City by the Bay is good, but only if you need to be poetic for some reason.

Skip the welcome week activities Yes, it’s cheesy, and awkward, and no, you probably won’t make any long lasting friendships playing a silly icebreaker. Doesn’t matter. The silly games give you confidence, which is the key to having a successful freshman year.

Worry about keeping in touch with friends from high school You won’t lose everybody. It’s OK. Everyone’s busy with his or her own life. If you find yourself sitting in your dorm, wondering why an old friend hasn’t responded to your text, don’t sweat it. They’re probably out making some friends, which is what you could be doing!

Ignore your Dons email Any official school news is sent through email, and it’s the main form of communication between you and your professors. Be sure to check it daily, first thing in the morning. There’s nothing better than getting an email at 7:30 a.m.  saying that your eight o’clock class has been canceled. Good thing you checked your email.


Get a lay of the land As a freshman a lot of new things are being thrown in your face at once, so it would be a good idea to get accustomed to your surroundings. For example, consider trying to find your classrooms and check out the buildings before school starts; no one wants to be that kid who walks in twenty minutes late to class, especially on the first day.

Download a transit app If you’re new to San Francisco, figuring out the bus system will definitely be tricky at first. Luckily there are a handful of convenient (and free!) apps available to download that will help you get around the city. Three popular apps are Routsey, Transit and Muni Watch.

Do something with your roommate, especially if you’ve never met before Watch TV, study, eat dinner in the Café, hell, go to Lucky’s together because you both forgot to bring nail clippers. Whatever. Spend some time getting to know the stranger you’ve got to live with for the next nine months.

Call your parents, at least once a week, if not more They worry, and honestly, you miss them. C’mon. Admit it. Just a little. You do.

Join an on campus organization There’s dozens to choose from. Join anything that strikes your fancy. Most clubs LOVE having freshmen join (someone needs to be groomed for leading the group in a few years). It’s a great way to meet upperclassmen. And if you end up hating the club, just drop it. You’re not married to your decision.

Use your MUNI pass It wasn’t free; don’t waste any of that valuable, valuable tuition. Learn the bus routes, pick a place in the city you’ve never been, and go, even if just to say you’ve been there. The city’s a great place; MUNI will help you explore it. And be sure not to lose your ID, unless you want to have to sneak onto buses and run the risk of a giant fine.

Make the most of your freshman year Yes, cliche I know; but, freshman year is going to be the best year of your life, and the only time you can get away with mostly anything. It’s going to go by fast y’all, so make a ton of friends and some amazing (albeit slightly ridiculous) memories and capture everything on camera. 

Use all of your Flexi At the end of the year, your meal plan money will disappear, forever. Unless you want to buy a lifetime’s supply of Fritos and toilet paper, eat up! Or, your Flexi can be your ticket to making friends with upper classmen by treating them to meals.

Eminem Revisits His Roots in “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”

Whether you know Eminem as Marshall Mathers or Slim Shady, the Detroit rapper has blown fans and critics away again with the release of his eighth studio album “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.”

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Eminem began his rapping career when he released his debut album “Infinite” in 1996. Although it only sold 1,000 copies, Eminem was not deterred from releasing his second rapping attempt successfully in 1999. That year, he introduced his infamous alter ego Slim Shady with “The Slim Shady LP,” which officially put him on the music map.

Eminem has been labeled one of the best selling artists in the world. He is a member of the  Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list, and has won a total of 244 awards, including 13 Grammys and an Academy Award.

After releasing his album “Recovery” in 2010, Eminem stayed under the radar until he tweeted in 2013 that he would be releasing his latest album this fall. Since the announcement, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year. However, it is unlike what most fans have come to expect from the rapper. Instead of taking on his alter ego Slim Shady again, Eminem revisits the material from the first “Marshall Mathers LP,” referencing many of his old songs. The album includes 16 tracks and collaborations with well-known artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, and Fun’s lead singer Nate Ruess.

The album begins with “Bad Guy,” a continuation of his critically acclaimed “Stan.” It follows the new antagonist Matthew, the little brother of the departed, crazed fan Stan. The narrator is Matthew, who plans to avenge his fallen brother by blaming Eminem for his death. The song has eerie similarities between the old and new, and even contains direct references from the first song that will make your jaw drop.

Another song that will soon top the charts is “Love Game,” which is a collaboration between Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. This jam has the witty, upbeat tempo that so many of Eminem’s songs incorporate, along with some obligatory crude humor. Both rappers come together and it is obvious that they are simply just having fun, which makes the song more enjoyable.

Finally, “Headlights,” featuring Nate Ruess, is possibly the most emotional and thought-provoking song on the album. The song has a slow and intense beat, but it is the lyrics that will stop you in your tracks. “Headlights” is Eminem’s apology song to his mother Debbie Mathers. He openly apologizes for his old song “Cleaning Out the Closet,” a very vicious diss track aimed at her, and states that he “cringes when it comes on the radio.” He uses this opportunity to ask for forgiveness, admitting that she did not deserve his constant abuse. The song will bring tears to your eyes. The lyrics are heart-wrenching, and when listening to it, you feel this new connection unfold.

“The Marshall Mathers LP 2” was released on November 5, and it has since stayed at #1 on iTunes top albums. The album is the perfect way to finally put Eminem’s old self to rest.

“Nothing Was The Same” Shows a Different Drake

Whether you know him as “Wheelchair Jimmy” or “Drizzy Drake,” this Toronto born rapper has certainly made a name for himself around the world. Though he first came to fame as Jimmy Brooks on the popular Canadian show “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” he quickly changed his image once he signed onto Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money Entertainment.

Drake’s career took off after putting out his first EP titled “So Far Gone” in 2009. Since then he has released two albums, “Thank Me Later” and “Take Care,”both receiving rave reviews. His third studio album, “Nothing Was The Same,” was set to release on Sept. 24 but was leaked early on Sept. 16. Though this may have been bad news for Drake, it was good news for us music lovers as this album certainly does not disappoint.

The album features 15 songs, ranging from slow and melodic to fast and catchy, including his hit singles “Started From The Bottom,” “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and “All Me.” There are many collaborations on the album featuring big name artists like Jay-Z and 2 Chainz. Though Drake was initially known as a soft-hearted rapper, he certainly proved himself a formidable player in the rap game with his hard hitting track “The Language.” This track is quick and upbeat with clever rhymes and a catchy chorus that discusses his career as a rapper. However, at heart, Drake is a hopeless romantic and he fully showcases this in his songs “Furthest Thing” and “From Time.” Both songs are low tempo beats discussing various stages of relationships, however “From Time” sets itself apart from other songs by featuring singer Jhene Aiko, as her light voice sings chilling hooks on the track. Also, Drake pairs with rap legend Jay-Z on the longest song on the album, “Pound Cake”. The combination of both these rappers on one song makes this an instant classic, as the raps are quick and the rhythm is easy to vibe to.

In any album, some songs are better than others, but I can personally say that I thoroughly enjoy every song on this album. Drake has certainly outdone himself; his rapping and singing combined with his smart and thoughtful lyrics makes this an addictive addition to your music collection.


KUSF Rock ‘N’ Swap Strikes a Chord

Early morning on Sunday, September 8th, numerous vans rolled onto USF campus for 30th annual KUSF Rock ‘N’ Swap. The first KUSF “Sock” ‘N’ Swap was held off campus in 1983 at the Kabuki Theatre, when it was solely used for event purposes. Now held in McLaren Hall, KUSF has teamed up with local and nonlocal vendors to put together one of the largest music fairs in the city. This year, buyers came as far as from Japan to look at the collection, and vendors from San Diego even made an appearance.

Ann Averill, a junior and KUSF DJ, encourages students to come and check out what the event has to offer.  She said, “you’re going to be really surprised on how big it is. It’s almost like going to Comic-Con. It’s huge and it brings in a whole lot of people. It’s bigger than what you would imagine.”

Admission is free to students. Music enthusiasts can find discounted records, DVDs, posters, and tapes from every genre and musician. Doors opened at 7am and music lovers began filing in to get their hands on the rare merchandise found at this swap. Miranda Morris, coordinator of KUSF events, describes Rock ‘N’ Swap as an event where adults and students can come together with a common interest. She said, “this event definitely brings a music culture to campus in all sorts of varieties; whether its musicians, vendors, or collectors.”

Students can also interact and talk to the KUSF DJ’s who help manage the event. Morris hopes the Rock ‘N’ Swap will encourage other students to become more active with KUSF.

Rock ‘N’ Swap is held three times a year; the next one will take place in November. To get more information on the event or to be involved with KUSF, please visit their website at KUSF.org.

Best Coffee Shops Near USF

Need a boost  before class?  Give one of these student favorites a try.

    Is Starbucks just not cutting it anymore? Do you need a place to sit down and finish that paper you have been putting off for the past week? Or do you simply want to go out into the magical city of San Francisco and taste all of what it has to offer? Well, look no further! Here is the best coffee in SF: each location is an easy walk or bus ride from campus.

1. Cinderella Bakery and Café – 436 Balboa Street: 

This hidden delicacy is every sweet tooth’s dream. It is only a short walk down Turk Street or a quick ride on the 31. The bakery itself is of Russian origin, so the menu has traditional desserts and pastries in addition to eclectic Russian dishes you could enjoy for lunch or dinner. Among the classic coffee options of lattes, macchiatos, and espresso, Cinderella Bakery also offers Ritual Coffee, a strong drip coffee with a deliciously smokey taste. Originally introduced by the Ritual Coffee Roasters Company, the popular blend has mass produced its way into Cinderella Bakery, and definitely for the better. If you are a bit of a coffee snob (which I admit I am), Ritual Coffee will not disappoint; it has a strong, smooth taste that will easily get you through the day. If you’re not into strong coffee, I would recommend sampling one of the sweeter espresso options, possibly a vanilla latte. It is perfect for people looking for a caffeine boost which also pleases their sweet tooth. You can easily add a pastry or dessert along with your beverage to make it an even sweeter experience.

I recommend: 

Drip Ritual cdoffee with the apricot tart.


2. Coffee to the People – 1206 Masonic Avenue: 

Coffee to the People  is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, while also watching tourists walking around Haight Street. This coffee shop is spacious with plenty of seating ranging from booths to tables, to comfortable sofas. The beverage menu offers a wide variety of coffee plus smoothies, teas, and sweeter non caffeinated options. They brew fair trade and organic coffee, meaning each farmer in charge of the coffee beans will get an equal amount of profits made by the distribution of the coffee. Coffee to the People serves their own signature drinks – including a mint matcha mocha, which I highly recommend to coffee and chocolate lovers. Their espresso drinks already come with four espresso shots, so simply getting an average latte, iced or hot, will give you the perfect boost to get work done. Plus, there’s free wifi, so studying has never been more easy!

I recommend: 

Iced latte with a cranberry-orange loaf.


3. Flywheel Coffee Roasters – 672 Stanyan Street: 

This sophisticated coffee shop is great for getting some work done while enjoying a cup of coffee. Flywheel Coffee Roasters is a large, spacious coffee shop with plenty of seating inside and outside. The ambience definitely gives off a more serious work vibe, with lots of people swiftly typing on their computers to the calming, background indie music. Possibly the best aspect of this coffee shop is its diverse variety of drip coffee. Flywheel Coffee brews their own blends and sells them based on the month. They offer six drip coffee blends a month. You can see the different blends offered on their website, and each coffee has its own taste for each preference. My personal favorite of this month is the “Kenya KWA Matingi Co-Op” blend, which combines the sweetness of mangoes but also the sharp acidity of lemon. Every drip blend, such as the “Costa Rica Tarrazu” and the “Ethiopian Amaro Guayo,” originates from overseas. They each have their own unique taste. If the immense amount of drip coffee options doesn’t appeal to you, Flywheel also offers espresso options – including lattes, cappuccinos, and matcha. I recommend the cappuccino because it is delicious and has a strong kick.

I recommend: 

Cappuccino with the almond croissant.


4. Blue Danube Coffee House – 306 Clement Street:

On quiet Clement Street, there is a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop full of comfortable couches and studious hipsters. Blue Danube offers a large variety of drinks and food, making it easy for you to spend the whole day studying while also enjoying a nice cup of coffee and some delicious food. The menu has a large assortment of beverages, including Italian soda and hot tea. The most unique option on the menu would be the Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne pepper sprinkled on top. Their most popular item would be the macchiato, one of the espresso options. Another popular and delicious option is a white mocha. However, my personal favorite would be the Vietnamese drip coffee. It is smooth and rich, with a sweet aftertaste. Blue Danube also offers a mint mocha which is perfect for someone looking for a sweeter espresso. Be mindful: this is a cash-only place.

I recommend: 

Vietnamese drip and a double grilled cheese.