Become one with your schedule : Navigating campus
August 23, 2019
Let’s face it: The University is a pretty big campus. With 651 total buildings covering 9.9 square miles of land, getting lost as a new student comes off as nothing out of the ordinary.
Remember what G.I. Joe once said? Knowing is half the battle. Well, there are few worse feelings than the feeling of being absolutely lost on the first day of classes. Sure, maybe you’ve screenshot your schedule, and it’s set as your lock screen background. You might rely on Google Maps to get around, too. That’s all fine and dandy, but we have to dig deeper.
As a senior who was once absolutely lost on the first day of classes my freshman year: Understand where your classes are and how long it will take to get from class to class.
Let’s say on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you’ve got RHET 105: Writing and Research in the English Building from 10:00 – 10:50 a.m. Your next class, CS 125: Intro to Computer Science, starts at 11, and it’s at the Siebel Center. A quick Google Maps search tells us it would take 13 minutes, which some might say is still doable. And while you could probably make it in 10 if you powerwalked, we’ve still got a lot to consider. Construction, shortcuts and walking traffic (yes, this is a real thing here) all play into this. And don’t forget about weather! Rain’s always a fair chance here in central Illinois, but the second it snows, students will pack the buses like sardines in a can. It’ll more or less remain this way until we’re well into springtime.
You might find only walking won’t cut it for your schedule this semester. Having the extra time to work out alternatives is a huge relief. Would a bike be better to get around your first semester? Or can you make it by walking the shorter distances and learning the bus routes for the rest? It’s wholly important to flesh these out, or at least begin to, while you still have time.
Even better, try and explore the buildings themselves, if possible. Getting a mental image of everything, like what floor the class is on and what the room number is, does wonders. This is — and I cannot stress this enough — especially crucial if you have a class in the Armory. That building is a maze in of itself.
With the way schedules tend to work out, many students will have three or four classes back-to-back. While it’s important to be a good noodle and go to class, it’s equally as important to eat, relax or simply have time to do work in between classes. Managing downtime to take care of yourself should remain a top priority.
Taking the time to walk your schedule will be extremely useful, especially as an incoming freshman. Plus, it’s something you can do with your family and/or roommate on move-in day!
Get away from the dorms for a bit. They’re overrated, anyway. Might as well get some fresh air and explore campus. Your first-day-of-freshman-year self will thank you.