The other day I was just standing in the library, and it hit me that this is my life. The elevator dinging at midnight, lugging bags of groceries up the hill, rolling out of bed fifteen minutes before class and, somehow, making it on time.
I live on campus now. It’s different from how I started out, as a commuter who would study in Starbucks all day and have nightmares about someone drawing a mustache on me as I napped in the lounge. It’s been…. quite the adjustment.
Here are ten (tried and true) things that helped me adjust to campus life. Whether you’re living on campus now, or considering it, I hope they help!
- Save on transportation. Check out the free SGA loop bus Fridays and Saturdays for your shopping. (It’s down by St. Ann’s.) Also, it’s kind of an underground thing, but did you know that you can get a slight discount on buses when you show your Duquesne ID? It’s worth a try, but have your $2.50 ready just in case. Last, check out what your dorm has available. My dorm (Brottier) has huge billboards where students can sign up to carpool together to get their supplies. It’s free.
- Get outta your room!!! Study at the library, Starbucks, etc. When you have your room, it’s pretty easy to retreat there after classes for a nap and wonder why you’re inexplicably lonely. College is very much about the people you meet here. Give us a chance, you won’t regret it. We are also far wittier than your wallpaper!
- DON’T do your laundry on the weekends/ when everyone’s doing it. Especially at your bigger resident halls, traffic can get pretty congested. Ever pulling a late-nighter on a Monday night? Put your laundry in then! Trust me, there are a lot of free washing machines. If your schedule is a little more normal, I also have it on good authority that Wednesday afternoons work as well.
- Get in your Zs however you can. Speaking of schedules, we all know that midterms, finals and papers can throw your beauty sleep off. Even if you can’t work it to get a good nights sleep, take power-naps with your alarm. Einstein swore by these. Refuel, your brain will thank you!
- Talk to your roommate. Even if you and your roommate get along, this stuff isn’t magic. Divide tasks so you each know who’s responsible for what and follow through. Talk to your roomie about what’s on your mind, and understand that they are going to need some alone time, too. You’re both different. Try and learn their pet peeves and reactions about as much as yours.
- Know thy neighbors. Attend those floor activities in your dorm for more than just the free food. If you know the people who live beside you, I’ll be way easier to ask them to turn down their music one day that you really have to study. 😛
- FREE FOOD FREE FOOD FREE FOOD
You’re a poor college student. Take advantage of this when you can! The Union is a hub for this. There’s free PB&J Wednesdays down by the Commuter lounge, and events and food down at the Nitespot at 9 pm. Also, there is often food at University events and those for different majors. With a side-dish of knowledge, how is this not a good thing?
- Have a bag prepped for fire alarms. Nothing is more annoying than being roused from your work by an inhuman, high-pitched noise. Have a bag ready that you can dash and go with, with your necessary supplies. Water, a snack, paper, headphones and an mp3, last minute makeup, a flash drive, that one assignment that you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t? Know what things you need with you for an hour or so. Have them ready.
- Remember that elevators are more like snails than millennium falcons. By that? I mean they are slow. 5 or 10 minutes before class times, they are going to be packed and stop on every floor. Especially ifyouliveonthenighteenthfloorlikeme. Ahem! Resolve to leave for class 20 minutes early and avoid the elevator rush.
- Know one phone number by heart. If you’re living on campus, it’s almost expected that you’re going to go out with friends and have fun. That said, be smart about it. I know we’re in a technological age where our contacts are synced perfectly to our phones, but remember those can fail. Memorize the number of someone you trust. That way you can dial it from a phone booth or a stranger’s phone in case your phone runs out of battery/gets lost/get smashed horribly (for non-alcoholic reasons, of course).
So, questions, corrections, praise? 😛 What has helped /you/ live on campus? What do you wish you had known, starting out?
~Laura “#campusswag” Lowe