Guide to Campus Campus Hacks Art

College is hard enough with challenging classes or with being in a new town embarking on the next part of life without parental guidance. The Daily Nebraskan is here to help new students navigate their way through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with secret tips and tricks. By following these hacks, new students will be able to create more exciting memories during the UNL educational journey.

Meal plan hacks 

For those wanting a change from the dining halls, consider choosing a meal plan with Dining Dollars. These can be used in any dining center or at restaurants in the Nebraska Unions, like Starbucks and Subway. Make sure to have the mobile ordering app downloaded to use Dining Dollars in the Union. If your dining plan doesn’t automatically come with Dining Dollars, they can be added to any meal plan for an extra cost. 

Instead of using a meal swipe in a dining center, spend up to $8 in one of Herbie’s Markets or at Husker Heroes. Just remember to let the cashier know about using your dining plan and have your NCard ready to scan. Then, take the food to the dorms and enjoy dinner, all while having the freedom to study or watch Netflix in comfort. 

How to make friends

Keeping one’s dorm room door open during the first few weeks of school is a surefire way to meet anyone passing by. Even a simple “hi” as someone walks past can be the start of a lifelong friendship. If someone doesn’t want to leave the door open, use the whiteboard on it to ask a question that fellow residents can write answers to. 

Floor resident assistants will host several events throughout the year. From studying sessions to pumpkin painting, they’ll have activities everyone can enjoy. These events are a great way to meet any neighbors, as well as people who may live across the hall. Keep an eye out for these events, and try to make an appearance to meet people and show appreciation for your R.A.

Every dorm hall has study rooms scattered around, and these can aid in meeting people. You can strike up a light conversation with a fellow study room user about what class they are working on, and in doing so, make a new friend. Just make sure they aren’t intensely studying for an early morning exam, otherwise, that new friendship may be off to a rocky start. 

Attend events

Colleges are notorious for free things. Whether it’s food or another Husker T-shirt, students should take advantage of as many opportunities for free items. One popular event students may want to consider attending is the Big Red Welcome Street Festival, which usually occurs in August. This festival is filled with club promotions, free vendor products and raffles. All UNL students are invited to attend the free event. 

Must-have apps

Besides the obvious Canvas app, students should also consider downloading the Nebraska app for quick access to campus necessities. After opening up the Nebraska app, a map will display the campus highlighting each building, parking option, shuttles, bike racks and printers. By searching or filtering your options down, students can select a location for the app to automatically open the phone’s maps leading to that specific building. Not only does this app function as a campus map, students can also view their class schedule, upcoming events and notifications from the university. There’s also a section displaying recent news regarding campus and a spot to self-report incidents. Students can schedule tests in the exam commons or reserve study rooms throughout campus all in the nifty application.

It can be difficult to put away phones and focus solely on schoolwork. Downloading Pocket Points can be a student's secret to success. Simply opening up the app and turning the phone off can quickly earn points to use for future discounts. This app works well on campus, but can also be used at other locations by setting study time goals. Points can then be redeemed for special discounts on pizza, coffee or clothing from both local businesses and stores across the country.

NCard need-to-knows

NCards grant access to many events and places on campus. As a general rule of thumb, one should keep their NCard on them wherever they go. One never knows when it could come in handy, like when needing to get into a residence hall or when taking an exam in the Digital Learning Center. Your NCard will also hold any sport season passes you buy, so it’s important to have it when attending sporting events.

Attempt to memorize the NUID that is located on the NCard because it can be used to log into MyRED in case one forgets their MyUNL username. It is also useful to put that NUID at the end of emails to your professors to help them identify each student, especially if it’s the first time a student is emailing them or if the professor teaches a big lecture class.