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Worst-case scenario: What to do when things go wrong

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PROBLEM: You're locked out of your dorm, but you don't want to look lame asking for help.

SOLUTION: Don't be dumb, just ask.

If you get locked out of your dorm, better hope you have your ID card with you – at least if you're a UCF student. For some Rollins students, your R-Card is your key. UCF: Head down to the community office at your dorm to get help. If you have not just left your key inside your dorm, but actually lost it, report it to the community office as soon as possible. Rollins: Visit the facilities and services building, where you can report to campus security, request room entry or a locksmith and/or order a new R-Card.

In both cases, if the key is lost they will order a new lock core and set of keys, which they'll charge for, of course. However, you have no choice. Residence hall staff members are not allowed to open dorm rooms for students, whatever the case may be.

PROBLEM: You waited too long to pay your parking ticket, and campus police put a boot on your tire.

SOLUTION: Pay your ticket!

At UCF, you have 10 business days to either pay your parking citation or appeal it. After that, they can put a hold on your student account, add late fees to your citation or put the infamous boot on your tire to immobilize your car. If they do put a boot on your car, you better hope it isn't after 9 p.m. on a weekday, as they won't be able to release the boot until the next weekday. As for Rollins, they aren't quite as drastic, but they do charge you a $20 service charge for citations not paid within two weeks of their issue.

PROBLEM: You forgot your Scantron and the vending machines are all out.


Let's just be honest: At some point in your freshman year, you're going to be late for an exam. And maybe you're more than just late; maybe you're also unprepared and forgot to bring a Scantron sheet or blue (or green) book. No judgment; you've been busy studying, and after all, at UCF* there are Scantrons and test books available for purchase in vending machines. Except that when you arrive at the vending machine, it's completely empty. Your first response is going to be panic, but as long as you have your student ID, the SGA office in the Student Union will give you one free Scantron per day. So use that panic and run like you've never run before. You may just make it. (*Rollins students don't have to provide their own testing materials.)

PROBLEM: Your roommate left a mountain of dishes in the sink.

SOLUTION: Redecorate their room with the dirty dishes.

You'll likely be living with at least one random roommate during your freshman year, and while they might be someone you instantly connect with, it's more probable there'll be some kinks to work out. One of the worst of those is when your roommate leaves piles and piles of dishes in the sink. You should ask them to clean up after themselves, but if that doesn't work? In that case, make a power move and relocate all of the dirty dishes into their room. Sure, you could leave a passive-aggressive note, but more likely than not it'll be ignored. Won't it feel better – and be more memorable – to festoon their room with plates and silverware?

PROBLEM: You don't like any of your roommates.

SOLUTION: Find new friends!

Having random roommates is like spinning a roulette wheel – you really don't know what you'll end up with. And it's possible that you're not going to click with any of them. Perhaps they party way too much, or not enough, or care about Greek life too much (or not at all), or maybe they're just not fun to be around. Good news is, even though you live with them, you don't have to be their friend. The solution here is to start exploring, find new groups of people to associate with and get out of your comfort zone. You'll have new friends in no time.

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