The good state of Florida has great sunshine, beaches, and, importantly, Disney World. There are plenty of activities that go around in this state whether for the best or worse. Its cities also contribute to the vast busyness of this state and one that can stick out in Gainesville, Florida.
Gainesville, Florida is a large city that houses one of the major universities of the state, the University of Florida, so you know there will be things going on within this town. Despite keeping one busy, some may not find everything in Gainesville, Florida as acceptable compared to the rest of the state. Let’s find out why and hope you will reconsider a move there.
1. University of Florida
What best way to start out this article than by talking about the elephant in the room: The University of Florida? This is indeed a college and therefore everything associated with any ordinary college town will most likely be true. Some aspects that come with college towns such as the constant influx of students and low pay rates for them will be addressed later.
As for the University itself, the first thing we will know is that it is the home of the Gatorade brand and that is really it. I personally cannot think of anything else that would make the University of Florida as popular as it is now. Regardless of reputation, we cannot deny that it will continue to sprout students of all ages for education and especially for college fun. Fun that is not settled with native residents there.
2. Young Population
The only reason native Gainesville residents stay is that they are students themselves or have other friends and family residing there as well. If you decide to live here without being a student or having other connections with friends and family, then it will be in vain, and you will not have an enjoyable time. Living in Gainesville, Florida means you are going to embrace the University of Florida’s culture.
The population that fulfills the most is those between the ages of 25 to 35. Again, most are students who are there for the college experience. If you are an older individual with no purpose in involving yourself in the activities, then you will be bored out of your mind and may be seen as stubborn. Also, not to mention, most University of Florida’s activities are limited to students only, so even if you want to involve yourself, if you’re not a student, good luck.
3. Constant Loud Noises
Because this is a college town, it is no surprise that noise will be the norm. It may not be loud, but the constant chatter and overall busyness of the city will exist from sunrise to sundown. Anyone who resides in a college town can vouch for this like me, coming from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
The never-ending strand of noises in the forms of chatter, cars, motorcycles, and events are present. It is extremely present when sporting events are involved and if we know anything about college sports, they gather a larger gathering that one may not be used to and will be overwhelmed with sounds at a higher intensity. Peace and quiet are not an option if you choose to live in Gainesville, Florida.
4. Sports Fanatics
As just mentioned, sports are a large part of any college town. Sports is one of the largest reasons anyone gathers for a matchup. Though the Florida Gators of the University of Florida aren’t as good as people think they are, they will still attract thousands of fans. Fans of the Gators or a fan of sports will frolic in large quantities. Again, this comes with the loudness of noise when you increase in size.
Sports fanatics in Florida, in general, can be seen as maniacs and overzealous in rooting for their team. When game days come around, you better have a plan for a getaway during that time since it can last up to a week. Better yet, do not live here if you hate sports, loud noises, and large crowds. Even the aftermath of such events leaves Gainesville, Florida in a state of mess and disorganization for a time, leaving it unappealing to the eyes.
5. Lack of Jobs for Everyone Else
The city of Gainesville Florida may have some good jobs, but the rest are less-than-optimal. For one, nearly all these jobs accompany the average college student, therefore resulting in menial and low-paying jobs. These jobs are essential to running a college town, but students agree that they would rather be doing something better with the job they have.
Even if these factors do not bother you and simply want a job, good luck finding one since most of these jobs may already be taken. There are a lot of students who want to work for their tuition and rentals so it will be a challenge to find a position that hasn’t been taken by one of these desperate students.
6. Traffic in Two Major Roads
Archer Road and University Avenue are two of the largest roads in Gainesville, Florida that are subjected to constant traffic congestion. Though you may be part of a small town, I would say it is worse for traffic. A smaller town means tighter corners and lanes throughout the city. Having the two previously mentioned main roads be the catalyst of major traffic is no surprise. If the streets and other roads are large enough, most people will use them.
Plus, these two roads can be seen as the main hub for in- and outcoming students and university faculty. The inner city may not produce as must traffic as Archer and University but will provide an annoyance just to avoid other cars and especially walking, biking, or scootering students.
7. Constant Influx of Students
Gainesville, Florida is only popular for one reason and that is the University of Florida. This school seems to be the main subject of this article since it influences everything in Gainesville significantly and it is impossible to talk about Gainesville without talking about the university. Perspective students everywhere come in and come out of the university during breaks or admissions.
Every semester there will always be a larger number of students coming in than coming out. Again, the Archer and University roads are the choice for travel to get from outside areas into the university boundaries. I don’t think anyone would ever get used to newcomers always coming in and not fully understanding the culture, therefore resulting in a constant wildfire of emotions and activity that gets too much, even for veteran students.
8. Hot Summers and No Winters
Taking a break from the university topics, let’s talk about the weather. Well, for one, if you want winter, then Florida is not the place for you as it only lasts from December to February and is not much in the first place. Most of the weather you will be receiving however is the heat and humidity. Average heat is at a high of 91-degree Fahrenheit with a low 74-degree Fahrenheit along with the humidity at around mid-70 humid.
Not too terrible humidity but will enhance the weather in some way. Never expect cold or snow to come often since Florida is just a sunny place year around. Rainfall may come from time to time making it wet and increasing humidity itself, but other than this, heat is the name of the game.
9. Nothing to See Outside of Gainesville, FL
Living in Gainesville, Florida means you are a student or want to live in a small town. The former makes sense, and the latter is fine as well, but careful what you wish for. Living in Gainesville, Florida does mean you live in a small town, but that comes with consequences. One such consequence is the lack of nearby essential shopping places. You must travel a couple of miles just to find the nearest one.
A lot can be found within the city itself, but looking outside the city you mainly see woods and waterworks and nothing else. You are well secluded in Gainesville, Florida and if you need to travel anytime outside the city, you will be spending a bit of gas for other activities and outlets.
10. Segregation Remains a Problem
Though Florida is not considered part of the South, there is surprisingly lowkey segregation among individuals and groups. Gainesville, Florida houses Caucasians that are over half of the total population with African Americans leading behind with about 20% and Latinos/Hispanics at about 12% with the rest being below 10%.
No government ordinance is involved and seems like people choose to segregate themselves from like-minded people and still ethnicity most times. It isn’t a terrible issue for Gainesville but for those who are visiting Florida or anywhere near the south may be surprised to see that some degree of segregation exists which may make anyone foreign to this uncomfortable. Just the simple division among people can develop a sense of imbalance in the community and a lack of unity. Not too much of a state issue, just one that remains odd for some.
11. Better to Own a Car
Even though Gainesville, Florida is a small town, it is spread quite a bit and public transportation there is lacking options for optimal routes and destinations. Because of this, it is best to bring your own car. You may get to places with public transportation installed but not everywhere.
You may be saving more money when using your own car and being responsible for the gas. If you cannot afford a car or do not want one, then be creative and find a method to get to the places you would like to go without being too limited.
That can be from a friend or roommate, or get used to the current routes and destinations that the current public transportation system has in place. If you can, just buy a car as soon as possible for more freedom and accessibility.
12. Property Tax and Electric Bills
Currently, Alachua County is considered one of the most expensive counties for property tax rates and utility bills in the state of Florida. The current median for Florida’s property tax is about $1,773 per year with the value of the home being $182,400. With Alachua County, it is currently around the median price of $1,984. Out of 3,143 counties in the entire state, Alachua is ranked about 456th in its median property tax rates and does not seem to slow down.
What’s surprising about this is that it includes the home near the University of Florida which can and will influence the rental costs for the students. Overall, everyone will continue to gripe about the property tax rates, and having a reasonably filled wallet is the only way you may stay in Gainesville, Florida for a while.
13. Wannabe Rednecks
Just like many other states, some people just want to be redneck. In states that are not known for being a redneck majority state, some embrace the culture and the style and behavior of what a redneck could be. One significant attribute is the unnecessary modified pickup trucks that are seen as a redneck.
Apparently, Florida is one of the states that may have more wannabe rednecks than usual. I’m not a redneck myself but I do see many from Washington state who think they are and try to show off. You may be exposing yourself to a larger amount of these guys. If you don’t like that mindset from some people, keep away from this city for your own sake and sanity.
14. Too Small of a Town
Though Gainesville, Florida houses around 135,000 people, you still get the feeling you are in a small town, and this may irritate you. For a population that is over 100,000 people, you may expect a larger feel but here it is seen as being too small for some and they may feel like they are in a social-related claustrophobic environment. The lack of outside connection that isn’t part of the university seems impossible for those who are wanting to seek any form of socialization that is not related to the university itself.
Hate to say it, but the town is small enough to the point where everything is influenced and connected by the university one way or another. Other endeavors one may be seeking nearby are the ones outside the city completely.
15. Too Close to an Airport
The Gainesville Regional Airport is a convenient airport to arrive in if you are an incoming student at the University of Florida since it is barely distanced away. It’s quick and easy, but also loud and irritating for some. What I mean by this is that airports are constantly rotating between arrivals and departures.
Planes are always soaring above your head in Gainesville, Florida, and the noise and even just the presence of them may deter anyone from living in the city since it may be too close to an airport for some. Sure, it is convenient to go to and from, but doesn’t help that you will always be exposed to the daily hassles of hearing the airport in constant flux.
16. Rental Costs Are High
Returning to the general price of housing and rents, Gainesville, Florida is very high, mostly in the western part of the city where it is considered high-end while the southern area is affordable. Compared to the surrounding nearby cities from Gainesville, it is apparent that in that region, Gainesville offers more high-end prices for rent than the rest of these cities.
Most of these high-end rents are also away from the university, which is good for poor and broke college students, but for the rest, not so much. Again, jobs closer to the university tend to be poor in pay rate and frankly not worth it.
17. Florida’s Stigma
As for our last segment, we will discuss the stigma that comes with living in Florida. Once you state you’re living in and from Florida, any outside will give you the same stern look that you. With Florida, you are now associated with things like Disney World, rednecks, “Gun-ho”, and overall weirdness.
You may not be one yourself, but you will be labeled as such by those who do not know you and assumes much. Just like any labels, I don’t think anyone genuinely wants to be labeled negatively and since everyone can infer such labels differently, it creates more outrageous assumptions that go far beyond logic.
For example, I hear some people label Floridians as cigarette users as “bud eaters”, meaning those who smoke tend to eat the bud of their cigarettes. No reason as to why they are labeled this way but just the way it is. Avoid this city and state from being labeled.