Explore, use transportation to conquer campus size

By Cassidy Brandt, Assistant Design Editor

When I first arrived on campus my freshman year, the size of the campus was incredibly daunting. Even as a junior, I’m still finding new pockets on campus I had no idea existed. Here are some ideas to help you find your way around campus like a pro.

Learn the bus routes

You’ve probably heard about how important the bus routes can be to your campus navigation success, and I’m here to tell you how true that is. There is a handful of apps that allow you to familiarize yourself with the bus stops and routes all around or even off campus. Some apps include Transit for CUMTD, Illini Bus, UIUC Bus, UIUC Transit, My Bus Helper: MTD and CU Transit.

Use the campus as your gym

While using the bus is incredibly helpful, you might miss the bus sometimes, or it might be full when you’re on your way to class. That’s why it’s imperative to know your way around on foot. Something that really helped me out when I was new to campus was running. Especially while it’s still nice and warm, use the campus as your gym! There are so many nice places to run so it can definitely help make the campus a little easier to navigate. During the first few weeks of school, I’d find myself thinking, “Oh, I remember this place! I saw it when I was running!” This definitely helped me map out the campus in my mind.

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Hop on a VeoRide

You’ve probably seen a lot of the teal bikes on campus. If you don’t have your own bike, these can be very helpful in a pinch. Get the VeoRide app on your phone, scan a bike’s QR code and go. This may require a sign-up your first time around, but once you have everything set up, the bikes are quick and easy to use. The regular bikes cost 50 cents per 15 minutes and the e-bikes are $1 to unlock, then 50¢ per 1 minute. While the e-bikes are pretty pricey, they can be helpful as a last resort when you need to be somewhere and you’ve missed your bus.

Explore with friends

A good way to get to know some new friends can be going out on a walk with them. Instead of driving or riding the bus to Green Street or the Main Quad, you could just walk and allow yourself to take in your surroundings, as well as get to know your new friends a little more. Some of my favorite moments of freshman year came from going on a walk with my new pals.

Check the map before you venture out

To avoid getting lost and being late to some of your first classes, a last resort can be checking the map on your phone or computer. This can allow you to get an aerial view of the campus to at least get a general idea of the location of your destination.

Join some RSOs on campus

What’s better than going out and getting to know the lay of the land? Having a reason to get to know the lay of the land! Check out a bunch of RSOs at Quad Day on August 25. If you sign up for a few RSOs, you’ll have an abundance of meetings and many more reasons to go out and discover new places.

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