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The Best-Kept Secrets of UAB

When you go to college, there are dozens of people designed to be your mentors. You are given orientation leaders, RAs, and advisors. Each and every one is set out to make sure you have the “best college experience ever.” They tell you the hours of the dining hall, which classes you need to take, and that finding balance is the key to happiness.

As helpful as this information is, this isn’t the only advice co-eds want to hear. Every college has secrets, and we are not talking about teachers having affairs with students or underground blackjack games; we are talking about the things you randomly stumble upon.

It is 2012: We are all constantly connected to our iPhones, tablets, and laptops. Everyone knows that Apple batteries only last so long. Thankfully, there are outlets everywhere you look. You know those nice lecture halls in Heritage? There are outlets in every chair so you do not have to worry about your computer dying while you’re Facebooking, er, well, taking notes in class.

And the library? Yeah, they’re everywhere. Power strips in group chairs, under tables, everywhere, except the third floor. If your iPad dies on the third floor, you might be stuck doing things the prehistoric way with a pencil and paper.

Forget your phone charger? There is a phone charging station in the lobby of the HUC right behind the help desk.

If you’re a breakfast person, go to the HUC café. During my freshman year, a friend casually asked me to breakfast and suggested the HUC. I had no idea that the HUC even served breakfast, and as it turns out most people were just as clueless.

Granted, most people don’t have the time to eat breakfast this early (before 10 AM), but if you can make it work, it is most definitely worth it. This isn’t the plastic you get at the Commons—this is like having Momma’s cooking on a Monday morning.

Also, there’s an herb garden on the second floor of the HUC. Who knew? Students helped plant this community garden so that your on-campus dining experience could be more flavorful. How cool is that?

Unfortunately, though, we are not just here to eat delicious food or charge our iPhones; we are here for our education. Going to the library may not be the most glamorous thing to do but staying in school is what enables us to do all the fun activities.

Study rooms at the library are an underappreciated commodity. Renting an individual study room for three hours is the best way to actually be able to focus on your work without any distractions. When you are by yourself, you will not remember to go to Starbucks eight times, get distracted by all your sorority sisters, or find the need to hide from the ex’s.

Though those RAs and advisors do the best they can, the most important things you need to know about college are the things no one can tell you. They are the things that you wonder about, try for, and still somehow fail. Relationships, classes, and even time juggling cannot be figured out until you have lived them yourselves. So take our tips, and give us some of yours because everyone knows the best advice comes from a friend.

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