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Finding Your Way Around Campus

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A college campus can be a large, imposing thing for the uninitiated. Some of them can be scattered across cities or multiple towns, or be the size of a small town themselves. Knowing where you are going is important because you will have classes that you need to be on time for, meals that you need to eat, and possibly a place that you are living: all of them on campus.

First Things First

When you first get your schedule, get yourself a map of campus or find someone who knows that place really well, and go for a walk. Go to each building you have a class in and locate the classrooms themselves. This will give you an idea of how long it will actually take to get to class from wherever you are, including the time spent going up or down stairs or elevators.

If your campus is spread out over a city, you might need to get to know the bus or subway system before you'll feel comfortable getting from A to B. This means you'll need to get a schedule and a map for those, too. Again, having someone with you who knows the city to help out is invaluable.

Get Lost

Especially if your campus is a well-contained environment, it's a fun and useful idea to just wander around when you have the time. This will give you an idea of where buildings are in relation to each other, the general scope of your campus, and where people tend to hang out. The other advantage is that you may find places on your campus that, without having a class scheduled there, you would never have otherwise known about. There might be the perfect study, lunch-eating, or date spot for you, a place to play piano after hours, or a hot tub in the gym you never read about. It would certainly be worth it to find one of these places, all while getting to know your campus better and becoming more comfortable navigating yourself through it.

Those in the Know

If you are ever confused about where you are going as you are going there, you can always stop and ask someone on campus. There is really no need to be embarrassed: people asking for directions is par for the course at school. Any second-year student is already a seasoned pro at giving directions to people on campus. Incidentally, this is also a great icebreaker, and you might find yourself in conversation about what class you are going to, what your major is, etc.

It's a bit of trial-and-error, but finding your way around campus is not so bad. As long as you are reasonably prepared with a map and can muster the courage to ask a stranger for directions, you will be fine. Before you know it, you'll be the one telling confused freshmen where to go!

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on June 29, 2010

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