I think it does’t matter where you go, the university environment is always the same. Despite the stresses and challenges of classes there is a always an atmosphere of open mindedness and discussion that is rarely achieved in other areas of society. As my humanities professor taught us on one of the first days of class, the word university comes from the latin universitas, and later universitatis, meaning a dialogue with the universe. I thought that was incredible and even more so the fact that I had never realized that the word university is so close to the word universe. I thought it was neat to think of this academic experience as a dialogue or rather a discussion with the universe as we try to better understand our surroundings with our own limited capabilities.
Life as a UPR student, in many aspects, is very similar to life as a student of any other institution. However, here are five pointers to keep in mind in order to navigate the campus successfully.
- There is limited parking. Luckily for me, I do not depend on this resource as I carpool as much as possible however, for the regular car owner, parking tends to be a struggle. I have friend that arrives on campus at 7:00am everyday no matter what schedule they has just to ensure a safe parking space.
- The weather can be unpredictable. In the town where I am living, Mayagüez, it can be completely sunny at 3:10pm and then suddenly become incredibly cloudy and stormy by 3:15pm. It rains almost every afternoon which means having an umbrella is must while walking on campus.
- There are $0.77 toasts at the cafeteria. I know this because the other day I was really hungry and I had woken up late so I’d skipped breakfast to get to class on time. My first class on Mondays and Wednesdays is at 7:30am and its a three hour long class. Because the class is so long we get a small break in the middle and I at this point I was just going to resort to buying a snack off of a vending machine until I had lunch later but then I thought I would stop by the cafeteria for a moment and that is when I stubbled upon one of the best things I have ever discovered: $0.77 toasts, including the tax. These toasts are made on Puerto Rican bread which is a large and soft loaf prepared with lots of butter and warmed on the grill. Needless to say, I am going to be the new regular at the cafeteria anytime I get slightly hungry, waving my student loans goodbye, one $0.77 cent toast at a time. Also, this has probably been my anecdote of the week as I have been telling everyone about my incredible discovery.
- Novels and other books are available at the library! This is probably true all Universities. I included here because for somer reason I always jump straight to thinking I have to buy a particular book required for class instead of checking if the library has it in order to save a few $$s. It is also good to join the UPRM Books facebook page where students can post the books they are in need of and others answer if they have them. It also works backwards so if you have books you no longer use you can put them up for sale there and someone that needs them may take them off your hands.
- Best Places to study: library (for quite study), student center (for group studying), center (for outdoor studying if its not too hot), computing center (for maximum focus and free printing), courtyard in front of the mathematics building (for outdoor studying in the shade and best wifi connection), and biology lobby (if you want to study while hanging out with the resident kitty:)).
That is all for today!:)