Sunday, December 4, 2016

10 Top Tips for College Freshmen at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ)

So you’ve been accepted as a college freshman to The College of New Jersey, decided to go, & now have no clue what life will be like or even what meal plan to choose. Have no fear; these hot TCNJ tips are here to assuage all your worries. You’ll look & feel like a returning soph in no time if you keep the following in mind:

1. When given your meal plan options, choose the one with the highest amount of points. You’ll be surprised how many times you find yourself eating in places other than Eickhoff, simultaneously the main cafeteria & the only place where the pre-paid Carte Blanche part of your meal plan works. Other eat-y places on campus that only accept points include: The Rat, T/W (Travers-Wolfe), the Student Center, the 1855 Room (a slightly fancy restaurant), & anything you buy from the Convenience Store (the C-Store). You don’t want to run out of points too long before the end of the semester, otherwise you can’t eat in these places with friends or conveniently & quickly before class without paying out of pocket, which sucks.

2. Walk up the stairs in the New Library (yep, that’s its name – creative, huh?) instead of taking the elevators. It’s healthier for you, and sometimes the elevators take forever. If you have to go to the 5th floor, though, it’s your call. Remember: America has the highest per capita obesity in the world!!! (Does it? I might’ve just made that up. But it definitely has a problem. So Heed My Words of Wisdom or Get Treacherously Fat).

3. Speaking of elevators, the ones in Travers & Wolfe (where you’ll be living if you’re not one of the minority who get placed in Cromwell) can sometimes take a while too, considering they’re servicing ten floors. Of course you have the option of taking the stairs then, too, but if you live above floor five, it can be a hassle. Leave plenty of time when making plans or trying to get to a class for slow elevators. The last thing you need is to be late to class because . It’s considered common courtesy to walk if it’s within your power & you live on the first three or four floors (actual level dependent upon your personal discretion). Also, watch out for certain substances on elevator floors on the weekends.Certain party-hard people think any enclosed space is a bathroom.

4. You know the shpiel about never walking alone on campus at night, & so do I, but honestly, just between you & me, sometimes there’s no getting around it. Most areas of the TCNJ campus are well-lit and open at night, but in the event that you have to take a side-path or there’s just no one around, carry your dorm key between the third & fourth fingers of your dominant hand. This way it’s pretty much hidden from you, & you have the advantage of being able to PUNCTURE/wound a would-be attacker quickly.

5. Bored during the week & on the weekends without a car? Public transportation is the way to go – find an updated schedule for the 601 bus at the Help desk in the Student Center, & plan a trip to Philadelphia or New York. The bus comes right to The College of New Jersey & takes you all the way to the Trenton Train Station, at which point you can take a train or the Light Rail system to Philadelphia. If you take a train to New York, be prepared to pay approximately $20 roundtrip. There’s also a Loop bus (for students at The College to ride for free!, as well as servicing only them), that changes the days & times it runs (or at least has so far fairly frequently). Check the TCNJ website or the Help desk for information about its current schedule and route. It takes you pretty much everywhere you need to go, on weekends & certain weekdays – Halo (amazing ice cream), the mall, movies, convenience stores, shops, etc.

6. Dorm room lonely? Missing the family pet? Get one at Precious Pets, just a few miles down the road from TCNJ. Just make sure you have the right kind of cage, your roommate is accepting of the deal, & you have the time & energy to take care of it properly & clean its cage whenever you need to. Smell is a big factor if you don’t. I bought a guinea pig freshman year, but had to give it away soph year due to allergies. My friend at school has a hedgehog. I know quite a few people who have fish & hamsters.

7. The Rat (an intimate restaurant-type place in the Student Center) often has shows, live music, & other events going on at night. Some of them are 21+ (the Rat serves beer). Check out the stuff you can, & also pay attention to the What’s Going On At TCNJ weekly emails to find out about more shows you can go to during the day – maybe even sign up to play yourself. PS: If you eat at the Rat between classes, make sure to leave plenty of time – at least an hour. Sometimes service can be fairly slow if a lot of people are there at the same time.

8. If you’re housed in one of the top floors of Travers/Wolfe, BRING FANS, & lots of them. There’s no air conditioning, & heat rises. In fact, wherever you’re housed, bring a fan or two. You won’t regret it. Also, bring duct tape. Sometimes the rubber around the pull-out sections of the windows in T/W (usually used to describe the cafeteria in the basement between the two, but also sometimes the two buildings themselves, for convenience) doesn’t keep out all of the howling wind. Easy solution: just duct tape the areas that are colder than the rest or letting the wind in. Instant way to make your room warm & cozy (or at least warmer & cozier than before) in the dead of winter. There’s also heating that you control (duh).

9. In the warmer months, go study or chat with friends on the benches around the lake. (Look on a map to find it if you’re unsure – it’s to the left of the main entrance, & behind ABE). Bring towels if you want, & spread out on the grass to have a scenic picnic. Another hotspot are the huge stretches of grass in front of Travers & Wolfe – everyone camps out there with towels & blankets in summer to relax/study/tan/play guitar/what have you. It pretty much becomes a moderately sized grass beach.

10. Finally, you’ll receive a date and time to bring your stuff up to your room depending on what floor you’re on. This is so the elevators aren’t choked with people. Get there a bit before your scheduled time, since elevator lines can be long, & you don’t want to have to wait forever just to get the heavy stuff up there. Bring all your stuff up, hang up the posters, kiss the ‘rents goodbye, & go have fun!

Labels: 10 Top Tips for College Freshmen at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ)

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