Upperclassmen share their best-kept BYU secrets

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Getting lost in the Harris Fine Arts Center, anxiously standing in line at the Testing Center minutes before an exam closes and discovering the tunnel connecting the Smith Fieldhouse to the Richards Building; these and other experiences define a freshman’s right of passage.

Freshmen are sometimes expected to discover BYU on their own. Fortunately, however, some seniors are willing to divulge their secrets for incoming students.

The freshmen experience could boil down to sleep deprived zombies by day, party animals by night. Alanna Kruger, a senior from Brawley, Calif., loves wandering campus, especially the Harris Fine Arts Center.

“The HFAC is like Narnia because you go through one door and are in a completely different place,” Kruger said. “Most of the time, I go exploring and stumble upon cool places.”

All new students should beware of classes in the JFSB basement, Kruger said. Any student tied to texting or their Facebook profile will face withdrawals the moment they descend the stairs.

“It was the dark ages of my freshman year when I had Japanese class at 8 a.m. in the basement,” said Mehlanie Kayra, a senior from Irvine, Calif. “Eight in the morning is like death for a freshman and the bottom of the JFSB is the ultimate dead zone because there’s no Internet or cell service.”

Studying successfully requires a good study spot. Jake Brandenberg, a senior from Chantilly, Va., majoring in exercise science, said he has spent many hours on the fourth floor of the library.

“The Asian section is my perfect study area because there is electricity to plug in, it’s always a pleasant temperature and the noise level is minimal,” Brandenberg said.

Freshmen should look for areas to study like the library or the lounge in the Clyde Building.

Some seniors look back on their freshman year with regret because they did not realize the full value of Dining Plus. This meal plan works at a broad range of places besides the Cannon Center, BYU Creamery and Cougareat.

“I wish I had known as a freshman all the places I could use my meal plan like Jamba Juice, Legends Grille and MOA café, instead of the vending machines,” said Catherine Barrett, an accounting major from Mexico City.

Brandenberg also said his best advice for incoming students is to avoid class before 10 a.m., keep grades high and remember to have fun all four years.

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