Campus Survival 101

By on August 20, 2014

Whether you are a new student or a veteran college attendee, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about UAB’s campus. Between getting involved, having fun, and everybody’s favorite thing, studying, there are a few hidden gems to help you get around. Here’s your guide to campus and your introduction to all the things you really should not miss.

First, Let’s Eat

There are some good options for getting your fill and not spending too much of your cash for both on-campus and commuter students looking to grab a quick bite.  All campus dining locations allow you to use the money already placed on your OneCard through tuition. Meal plans are available to all students who want the extra dining option. Flex Dollars, a part of the meal plan option, and Dining Dollars are both declining balances that can be added to your OneCard and used at any location on campus. Students living on campus are actually required to purchase meal plans as a part of their tuition, and dining dollars are applied to all full-time students’ tuition, so it would be a shame to waste all that money.

Commons on the Green – This dining hall offers all you can eat meal options including pasta and the famous chicken on Thursday. The space offers a view of the green and great spot to study, or simply linger, in between classes.

WOW Café – A newer dinning option located across from Blount Hall is your best stop for when you need your fried chicken fix. A myriad of sauces and sides will fill you up and if you’re tired chicken you can also enjoy their salads, burgers, and wraps. The café has meal plan options and lets you use dining dollars, flex dollars, and blazer bucks.

Zime – Located in the Business & Engineering Complex (BEC), this is the perfect place for those of us who don’t have a lot of time to spend on a meal. Zime offers breakfast, freshly made sandwiches and wraps, and a host of other items so you can “grab and go.” Zime accepts meal plans, dining dollars, and blazer bucks.

If you want a little excitement in your life, don’t forget to check out the food trucks that stop by campus every day. They offer everything from fish to cheese smothered deliciousness. If you’re worried about time, you can also register with Tapingo and place your order before you leave your dorm room.

Workout at the Campus Recreation Center

Students get in the Rec Center free. This cannot be stressed enough.

If you’re looking to avoid the freshman 15, 20, or 40, this is where you want to be. The Rec Center offers top notch equipment and the assistance of certified employees. Registration with your OneCard takes about a second, then you’re free to work out and work up a sweat anytime you want.

The center has workout equipment on two floors, a pool for water lovers, a full indoor track, and competitive sports teams. So, you aren’t just limited to your usual workout. Rock climbing is a campus favorite at the Rec Center and you can try something new by joining one of the sports teams available. Kickball, anyone?

If you don’t mind spending a little extra money you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout with a personal trainer. The Campus Rec Center opens its doors early at 5a.m. Monday- Friday and doors are generally open until 9p.m. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay fit and have some fun, for free.

Study Time

There are nooks and crannies all over campus that provide perfect study space, but here are the main two locations you would be crazy not to know about.

Mervyn H. Sterne Library, or simply Sterne to those of us properly acquainted, is attached to the Humanities Building and is the resource for all your information needs. Some students probably think the Starbucks attached to the front is the best quality study spot, but you can also find quiet study space, study rooms for groups, and access to all the information you need to complete that paper. While the library can get crowded, especially during midterms and finals, it is still one of the best places to be to study or finish that group project that’s due in the next couple of hours.

Appointments with the University Writing Center come in handy when you are brainstorming or trying to develop that final draft. One of the best resources at Sterne are the librarians. Reference librarians are available for every topic under the sun, and they can help you with anything from research to simply understanding your topic. The best practice is to set your appointment with the University Writing Center or the Reference Librarians as soon as you know about your project, but they don’t mind if you ask them questions at any time.

Lister Hill Library is where you want to be if you want a little privacy with your studying. The library serves as the largest biomedical library in Alabama. It also houses one of the best places for studying on campus. If you’re interested in developing your creative and professional writing or understanding more history, the library also hosts several lectures and workshops during the year. Of course, if you need a break from the books, you can find food and solace at the library’s Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe. Like Sterne, hours at the Lister Hill Library vary depending on the campus schedule, but they can always be found online, or by calling the front desk.

There is always something to be involved with on campus; academic organizations, Greek life, and ministry are plentiful here, so if you want to get involved you can definitely find your niche. When you’re in between studying and planning your future, don’t forget to get involved, meet some new people, and discover something new.


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