First year tips, tricks, and more!


The WeeklyEditorial Staff

To the incoming first-years: Welcome to Gustavus! Coming to college, especially in a new area, can be pretty stressful. That is why The Weekly staff would like to provide you with some tips, tricks, and cool spots that will help you as you navigate through your first year here at Gustavus. Beginning with tips- managing a college course load provides you with a lot more freedom with your schedule and how you tackle assignments, but that freedom also makes it really easy to forget assignments, feel burnt out, or get overwhelmed. Here are some tips that will help you manage your time and your courses without feeling overwhelmed. 


Firstly, when it comes to assignments, you might find it useful to print things out as it pertains to your classes. Things such as syllabi, course readings, and more, are all things you can print out and put on a bulletin board or your wall in order to have an “in your face” reminder to do your assignments before it is due! Don’t worry about printing too much, you will have far more than enough printing credits. Along with this, organization is a very key factor in keeping up with what you need to do. Everything from color coding, Google Calendar, spreadsheets, and more are all ways that you can stay organized and prepared for the school year.


There are some important tricks that are not academic related that can help increase your experience here at Gustavus, such as Caf tricks! The Caf, which is Gustavus’ dining hall, usually offers a variety of different dishes at any given time of the day. However, some stations close and open at certain times, and the secondary locations like the Steamery or the Courtyard Cafe close earlier than the Caf and are only open on specific days. This is why we here at The Weekly are going to provide you with some cool tricks about how to make the most out of your food, money, and trip to the Caf. One trick is that you’re able to make dishes on your own! Although it might not be up to normal standards, it sure beats a trip to the cities or Mankato for a craving. 


Take for example, you want chicken parmesan. You’d simply get pasta of your choice from the Pizzeria, head to the Grill for fried chicken on top, and then back to the Pizzeria for extra red sauce on top of your chicken parm. Another example, for a root beer float you’d head to the soda dispensers where there’s an ice cream machine next to it, and combine! Yogurt parfaits can be made with yogurt and fruit from the salad bar and granola from the cereal bar, and for iced coffee when the Steamery and Courtyard Cafe are closed, buy an iced coffee ahead of time with no ice, and refrigerate until ready to consume! There’s many other possibilities, but here are a few to get you started! It just takes a bit of creativity.


Next, here are some tips so you get out and don’t stay cooped up in your dorm too much. First, GO OUTSIDE WHILE YOU STILL CAN. Don’t walk, RUN to the Arb while it isn’t home to wind trying to bite your face off. The rose garden, the spot that looks a bit out of place to the left of the Interpretive Center, is a great place to cry. Especially at night so you can lay on a bench and look up at the stars between sobs- though do be careful, as there are no streetlights over there. Looking carefully, one can find many stick forts in the backwoods- great for a retreat into nature!


Another great outdoor location, at least while the weather permits, is the lawn outside of Beck and the International Center. Sitting at the lunch tables, sharing a meal with a friend or starting on some homework between classes can be some of your most blissful and well spent on Gustavus campus. Any way you face, you can be greeted with our small prairie, some of our most up-to-date buildings (which are just as lovely from the outside as they are from the inside), or our chapel. 


The lawn furniture that dwells behind the Jackson Campus Center and next to Lund are also a lovely place to spend a lunch or a studying session. I always find myself missing these spaces once the cold weather rolls around, so try to soak up your time at these spots while you can! Once they go away, you know that winter is just around the corner. When winter comes, a great place where you can still be surrounded by plants is the second floor of Olin. There’s even fun pillows you can use! Those are all the tips and tricks we can think of right now, but don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or advice if you need it! Welcome again to Gustavus!

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