When I wandered onto campus as a wide-eyed, innocent freshman, I was overwhelmed by its size. There were so many buildings, and they all looked the same, and they all had the same name. JFSB, JKB, JSB, JRCB, RB, HRCB, CB…is that really necessary? I spent a large amount of time poring over the campus directory and getting lost in the hallways of the JFSB and HFAC.
I need a Marauder’s Map to get around this place, I thought.
Over the next three years, I explored campus. I say explored, but what I really mean is that I learned how to live on campus. I figured out the shortcuts that would get me to class with minimal time spent outdoors. I found the best places to eat on campus, and the cheapest places to eat on campus. I developed strong preferences for which bathrooms were best to do my hair and make-up if I was running late, the best places to snatch a few minutes of sleep after my 8 a.m. class, the best places to catch up on my TV shows (or study, if I was in the mood). I developed my own personal BYU Marauder’s Map, and like the Weasley twins, now that I’m a senior and no longer have need of it, I am passing it on to you.
While every student has to find his or her own place on campus, I want to share the tips and tricks I’ve gathered during my years here. Think of them as life hacks, but specific to BYU. These are cougar hacks. Feel free to share your own ideas on Twitter, using the hashtag #cougarhacks. The most helpful or most interesting tips will be shared on here.
Vending Machines: A quick lunch
When I started school, I was a humanities major. I spent most of my time in the JFSB. The JFSB, I quickly learned, has the best vending machines on campus. You have your typical snack and drink machines, but you can also choose to purchase frozen food or fresh lunches. The vending machine closest to the entrance has full sandwiches and fruit. Prices run a little higher than the typical fare at a convenience store, but it’s a nice replacement lunch if you forget your own. There is also a microwave nearby.
Location: Basement of the JFSB, south hallway.
Another fantastic vending room is located in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower. The walls are lined with food and drink machines, and there are a couple of tables crammed in so you don’t have to stand while you’re feasting.
Location: SWKT, room 275, right by the southwest doors.
Not all vending machines are created equal
Nearly every building has vending machines, but they aren’t all of the same quality. The larger buildings, like the Tanner or the Wilk, have a snack room complete with tables, microwaves and sinks. Other buildings, like the Brimhall (the communications building, my current home base) or the Eyring Science Center have fewer options. The Brimhall does have frozen meals, which are a nice pick-me-up when I’m desperate for some sustenance, but I long for the days when I could get a turkey-cranberry sandwich right before class. I do consider myself lucky that the vending machines in my department’s building are so easy to find. You could die of starvation trying to find food in the HFAC.
Some buildings don’t have vending machines at all. Despite many promises from potential BYUSA candidates, the library remains vending machine-free, meaning that if you get hungry during marathon study sessions you either have to bring your own food or run to the Wilk. Not that it’s much of a hassle to bring your own snacks, but sometimes you forget and you just need a quick, cheap bite to keep up your strength!
And that, friends, is why vending machines matter. And why it’s so depressing when this happens:
How have you made the most of your time on campus? Tweet your best BYU survival tips using the hashtag #cougarhacks.