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10 Campus Resources You Need To Know About

College can feel overwhelming and stressful, especially when college students aren’t fully equipped with the proper means to accomplish the busy demands of packed schedules. I often find myself wishing for more hours in the day as I juggle coursework, class time, extracurricular activities, friendships and food – you know the drill.

Due to our chaotic lifestyles, we seek ways to make our days go by more efficiently and sometimes we need a little help or a shortcut here and there to make life go a little more smoothly.

Thankfully, amid all the stress, there is a light at the end of the 25-35-hours-I-should-be-studying-per-week tunnel here at Cal Poly that can help ease the pain. Even though life is filled with more technology and opportunity than we can really conceptualize at times, we can use technology and our constantly mobile lifestyles to our advantage as well.

Even here at good ole’ Poly, there are many resources, tips and shortcuts that make life as a student much easier and can even save you when you find yourself wishing desperately for a printer or a hot meal on a particularly packed day.

These tips, resources, and helpful hints have gotten me through some emergency times at Cal Poly (note: I consider a need for Icees on a hot day a valid emergency). Next time you find yourself stressing over the little things, take a deep breath and try one of these on-campus resources to make your life a little easier:

10. RFC Co-Op Lunches

RFC, Real Food Collaborative, is a club full of innovative thinkers and local-minded foodies who strive to make campus a more ethical, sustainable and healthy place through a variety of ways. However, this club isn’t just any club – they operate a volunteer based, student-run food cooperative that sells outstanding gourmet lunches that feature meats and produce from Cal Poly’s own campus farms and other food production units. This club is great for lovers of all things gourmet and is a resource for delicious food that many people still haven’t quite discovered.

For more information on the updated hours of the lunch tent, check RFC Cal Poly out on Facebook or read more about the co-op on their website here.

9. Printing Stations

Forgot to print an assignment before class? Need to print One Direction posters for your collection? Didn’t remember that you had to bring your Poly Learn readings to class and only have 10 minutes before it starts? We’ve all been there (except maybe the One Direction part), and there is a surprising amount of places on campus that students can print using their Poly Cards.

Students can print using Campus Express dollars upstairs in the University Union, in the 24-hour Computer Lab of the library and in building 10 in the language labs. Additionally, students can use both Campus Express and other forms of payment at the Poly Print Lab (located in the 24-hour room). Pro Tip: Check out a laptop in the Poly Connect Lab to print if there’s a long line or you can’t find a free computer to print from; they are usually faster and you can sometimes avoid waiting in line!

8. Organic Farm On Campus

Did you know we have an organic farm on campus right here at Cal Poly? Not many schools can say such a wonderful thing about their alma mater. Take advantage of this fantastic resource by visiting the farm to purchase produce! The organic farm sells wholesale and retail produce as well as deliveries which can be ordered if $45 or more. For more specific information on location and hours of the farm, click here.

7. Cal Poly Rec Center Group Exercise Classes

As a college student, health should be a main priority and many of us are guilty of not taking the necessary time to recharge or release stress like we should be. In order to counteract this and to get a healthy start this new year, check out the great exercise classes taught in Cal Poly’s very own Rec Center. You don’t have to pay extra or even reserve a spot for the majority of the classes and there is a wide variety of classes for every skill level and athletic interest.

There’s also unique variety that you won’t find at many gyms, including various yoga classes such as Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and even Electro-Flow Yoga! Group exercise classes are a great way to stay motivated and burn a lot of calories, so they are great for people with busy schedules. You get more benefits for a shorter period of time spent working out, which means more free time for the important things in life (like Netflix marathons).

Believe me, once you graduate, you will regret not taking advantage of all those free workout classes you could have been enjoying for the past few years – grab a friend and check out a class that fits your workout interests and time schedule here.

6. Learning Pine Arboretum

If you need a break from the monotony of schoolwork, take a walk or spend a few hours reading in the on-campus arboretum. The Cal Poly Arboretum has a glorious assortment of plants, trees bushes, and unique fixtures to show off the beauty of nature; this hidden gem is often a spot for Bio classes to check out plants, but it’s worth checking out on your own time. Also, this particular arboretum is based upon different weather and geographical factors which gives it a unique and aesthetic look.

PSA: Sometimes there are stray cats hangin’ around!.Learn more here.

5. Campus Market & Village Market

Freshman – this one’s for you, but upperclassmen ought to take note as well.

Whenever I find myself without food on campus, I always gravitate toward one of these two locations due to the accessibility of packaged food, which is both reliable and convenient. Both of these on-campus markets also sell Cal Poly products, and it’s important to support local and student products to encourage a sustainable and local food community.

So instead of reaching for fast food or something processed, grab some fruit or the healthier premade choices in the pantry sections at these markets (thank me later).

4. Free. Pizza. Everywhere.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

Instead of walking around campus with your eyes perma-fixated on Tinder, start looking up and check out the many opportunities that you – yes, you – have here on this very campus for some FREE PIZZA. Many clubs offer free pizza at their meetings, many senior project or research groups offer pizza as incentive, and there are various pizza-filled events put on by on campus organizations and students.

Fight for your right to pizza and sign yourself up for a few info sessions, club meetings and research groups. Worse comes to worse – you learned something new or contributed to someone’s life positively AND you got free pizza! Now that’s what I call a compromise.

3. The Library

I’m going to tell you something that will truly, utterly blow your mind.

There are books in the library.

Now I know you thought all along that the library was for finals procrastination and suspicious behavior on the fifth floor, but lo and behold – books live there too! Many people don’t realize that through your My Cal Poly “Library” tab, you can access databases and search for books in Cal Poly’s library as well as order books from other libraries through Link+. Instead of searching for average sources from the web that are difficult to cite, check out some books the old fashioned way and ask the front desk for help.

While we’re speaking of the library, there is also a wonderful resource on the 4th floor by the elevators that holds the documentation and historical background of Cal Poly and other parts of the central coast; it’s called Special Collections. If you have a project about Cal Poly or want to get your hands on some primary sources, this is an excellent place to start. You get to wear white gloves and touch actual documents instead of just reading about them.

Part of the joy of learning is hands-on interaction with educational content, and this is a great way to take advantage of the privilege we have here to be in an institution of higher education. Fun Fact: They even have all the old Mustang Daily newspapers, which is really entertaining to check out. You can read about Cal Poly in the past and see what it might’ve been like to go here 50 (or more) years ago!

2. Health Center Pharmacy

The only thing worse than getting sick is paying for the medicine, doctors, and comforts to cure you. College kids also are tight on cash, but we shouldn’t sacrifice our health just to save a few dollars. Many people don’t know that the Health Center provides a lot of over-the-counter medicines, supplements and first aid essentials for a lot cheaper than drugstores and overpriced pharmacies.

This is a great place to go to cure your “dorm plague” of the week and stock up on gummy vitamins. You can even fill birth control prescriptions with an appointment for a lot cheaper than pharmacy prices as well. Stay healthy this year for cheaper and give it a shot!

1. And last, but certainly not least, Icees at Sandwich Factory

They’re at Campus Market too. Boom. Your day just got better already, didn’t it?

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