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10 Places Worth Checking Out on College Campuses

(Photo: anyaberkut / iStock / Thinkstock)

A new college student’s first days on campus are exciting times. Exploring new environments and meeting new people are integral parts of the college experience.

But in the midst of such commotion, students shouldn’t neglect to familiarize themselves with some important places on their college campuses.

Here are 10 campus spots that college students should visit as early as possible. You might not visit them every day, but having a familiarity with each will be valuable on the road from freshman to alum.

1. The bursar’s office.

Bursar’s offices issue tuition bills. While most schools use online accounts to manage payments, familiarizing yourself with the bursar’s office can be helpful. Students who mix loans with grants, scholarships and payment plans might visit the bursar’s office more often than those who pay tuition with a single check.

2. Career development.

Quality cover letters and resumes are invaluable to professionals of any age. It behooves college students with on-campus career development centers to check out these amazing resources, and take advantage of everything they offer.

3. Counseling center.

College can be stressful. Students should at least know where their counseling center is located, and how to use it, in the event they need someone to talk to.

4. The gym.

Weight gain is common enough among new college students that it has its own moniker – the freshman 15. Getting familiar with the equipment and programs available through the campus fitness center is one way to avoid putting on unnecessary pounds.

5. Health services.

It’s highly unlikely to go through fours year (or more) of college without getting sick. While some students battle their ailments with a self-prescribed mix of caffeine and over-the-counter remedies, wiser students know where the health services building is located, and what types of aid are available. Students who take regular prescriptions can often pick up their meds at this office, too.

6. Laundry rooms.

If you’re commuting or going home on weekends, finding the laundry room isn’t critical. If you’re living on campus, however, knowing where your residence hall laundry area is should be a priority. You’ll need it sooner rather than later.

7. The library.

Probably the most obvious entry on this list, just about every student visits his or her campus library to study or find research materials. Students should check out their campuses’ libraries to see what else is offered. It could be everything from study groups to cafes.

8. Museums.

Not all college campuses have a museum on or near campus, but students who are fortunate enough to attend a school that has one should enjoy it. The Northeast is rich with college museums like the Harvard Museum of Natural History, in Cambridge, Mass., the RISD Museum, in Providence, R.I., the Princeton University Art Museum, in Princeton, N.J., and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, in New Haven, Conn.

9. Public safety.

Any visit to the public safety office – especially your first – should be voluntary. Knowing where the office is located is helpful should you ever need a safe place. This is usually where you can find information about parking and transportation services.

10. Student union.

Sometimes known as student centers, student unions are focal points of many college campuses. They often house bookstores and coffee shops, and they’re usually meeting places for student-led groups and organizations.

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