While trekking through the Florida heat, trying relentlessly to make it to class without passing out from dehydration, I usually come face-to-face with a mobile student who's lost control of his or her skateboard.

As I watch the wobbly student about to crash right into me, the only thoughts that run through my mind are: "I hope I'm able to salvage my glasses in time," and "Why doesn't this person have enough speed control for both of our safety?"

Fortunately, I've only collided into a skateboarder once. He was regretful and apologetic, but as I searched for my beloved spectacles in front of the library, I wasn't as merciful. Yet, in my passive-aggressive manner, I murmured a simple, "That's OK. Just be more careful next time."

I understand that it takes practice to master a skill, especially one that takes an extreme measure of balance, such as long boarding and skateboarding.

But trying to hone your craft on the concrete pavements of a congested campus does not make for efficient practice, and it increases safety hazards for students.

If students aren't able to blatantly drive their cars through campus, there should be just as much concern for other modes of transportation.

I know comparing a 3,000-pound car to a 10-inch long board seems dramatic, but at UCF the odds of being wiped out by one of these rolling contraptions are much greater.

I'm not just being a critic, because I actually love maneuvering through my apartment complex on my friend's skateboard. I've fallen, scraped my knee and run into a pole all in the same day, while channeling my inner Tony Hawk. Naturally being unbalanced, I make sure that there are few people in the way of my clumsiness.

Usually with arms flailing and one leg dangling off the side of the skateboard, I almost always crash into something.

Knowing the threat that I am to myself, I wouldn't dare take my unskilled hobby onto campus. I would definitely be the girl crashing into an array of bustling students causing a chaotic scene.

Quite frankly, my glasses were too expensive to take the risk, and I would prefer to keep myself and my peers out of the Student Health Services clinic.

I applaud anyone who uses alternative ways to travel through UCF's city-sized campus.

I know many students are usually late to class after trying to find parking or waiting for a shuttle to get to campus.

But the most important thing should always be the consideration of other campus pedestrians.

So if your skateboarding or long boarding skills aren't quite pro-skateboarder ready, then you may want to consider holding off on waddling on your skateboard and hurtling yourself into someone else.

Meanwhile, maybe all of us amateur, unsteady skaters can advocate for a skate venue on campus where people who enjoy the hobby can skate among one another and work on their balance. That way, skaters all over campus will have mad skills in no time, and people like me won't have to worry about the possible demise of their glasses.

All will be copacetic for students.


Shanae Hardy is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email her at

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