Graphic of student and a Cal Poly map. Credit: Olivia Frazier / Mustang News

The Hoof is a satire column created to find the humor in the daily life of Cal Poly students. If you’re looking for news, this is not it. If you’re looking for sports, this is kind of it, because we’re having a ball. Ha. Puns. 

Caroline Kelleher is an anthropology & geography freshman and Mustang News Satire Columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News. 

Future Mustangs! Or lil’ ponies, as we call them! Foals, even! 

I hope that you’re just as excited as you could possibly be to come to Cal Poly. When I committed last spring, one of the biggest selling points for me was the Learn by Doing philosophy. As a geography major, I really feel confident in saying that I exhibit this idea quite often. Just the other day, an older couple approached me and asked me for directions to the PAC. By telling them to walk down a road and turn left, I really showed them what a lil’ old geography student like me can (learn by) DO(ing). 

As my first year at Cal Poly comes to an end, and I relinquish the title of WOWie, I’ve decided (out of the kindness of my heart) to share with you my top 15 tips for a successful first year at Cal Poly. There’s a lot of things about living in SLO that are so important, so be sure to keep reading to learn how to make the most of your first year as a Mustang. 

1) Registration is super, super chill. Even though first-years have no priority – and times are divided by major – GE classes will never be filled up, especially for Area C! I’ve never had to wait on a 90 person waitlist for the last requirement I need. 

2) Room with someone from your high school. Even if you guys were mortal enemies back in the day, it’s so lovely to run into people from your old school (or other schools in your city!) all the time on campus – so why not make it even better by living with one of them?! 

3) You won’t need to think about getting a hotspot set up on your cell phone plan. Here, our Eduroam wifi works perfectly well all day, wherever you are – especially right before an 11:59pm deadline! You’ll never need to use your precious data plan to do homework! It’s called Eduroam for a reason – you can roam all over campus and never worry about your signal! 

4) If you want to go to the Farmer’s Market on Thursday Nights, don’t stress about being able to fit on the bus. I’ve never been turned away from one of the buses because they were at capacity – in fact, the buses are always super empty during Farmer’s! You’ll always be able to make it downtown in time. 

5) First-years use GrubHub to order and pay for meals at the majority of campus locations. The app is always speedy and accurately time to when you’ll get your food! I recommend ordering right before you go to pick up your food, no matter what time your app says it’s ready. There’s never a long line for any campus dining hall – especially if you want to order that sweet, sweet, sweet fire chicken from Noodles. 

6) Use the library, which you’ll definitely have access to for the entirety of your first year! Cal Poly would never close such an important space for students to learn and study in a peaceful atmosphere. That would be so silly. 

7) SLO might seem like it can be pretty rainy, but don’t fret! You’ll be nice and dry in your dorms – especially if you live in Sierra Madre or Yosemite, where the walls are super mold-proof! 

8) The Rec Center is a fantastic place to work out with friends or on your own! No matter what time of day you head over to the gym, you’ll always be able to find the equipment you need. If you’re interested in taking classes, it’s okay to show up right when the class starts – there’s always going to be a space for you. You’re also guaranteed to see your hookup from last quarter!

9) The washing machines are connected to a state-of-the-art app that will notify you whenever your laundry is done. These bad boys are so accurate, you’ll never have to sit around for an extra few minutes waiting for the machines to actually finish! Everyone is super respectful of your stuff, no one will ever move your laundry even though there are five more open washers. 

10) The turkeys on campus are incredibly friendly and an important part of our community. All turkeys have been domesticated and adjusted to life on our bustling campus. If you see one – especially if it’s puffed up or strutting – feel free to gently pet it! 

11) Interested in joining a few clubs? Sign up for the email list for all of the clubs you’re interested in at Club Fair! There’s no way at all they’ll forget to include you in any informational messages. You’ll have plenty of time to attend meetings for and participate in all the clubs you’ve signed up for. Not a single one will conflict with your class schedule. 

12) Just like high school, you cannot go back to your dorm between classes. That would be lazy, and cheating! If you have class at 8:10 a.m. and another class at 4:10 p.m., too bad – find a good spot outside and stay there. 

13) Early fall & late spring quarter might seem like they’ll be pretty warm, but don’t sweat – literally. The AC in all of the dorms works so well! You won’t need to risk shutting down the entire electrical grid with a few plug-in fans.

14) Looking to find friends or even love on campus? Don’t try to set up study dates or anything crazy like that. Download a dating app. The culture isn’t toxic at all – your self-esteem won’t be destroyed one bit by random people you meet online. 

15)  The dining hall food is consistently delicious and remarkably safe to eat. I can confidently say I’ve never had to fish out the plastic American Cheese slice separator from between the pieces of bread in my grilled cheese sandwich from Mingle. 

Now, I hope you keep these ideas in mind as you embark on your Mustang Way (personally, I’m allergic to horses, so I avoid the Mustang Way at all costs, but you can do it!) and your first year here.

Be proud of yourself for all you’ve accomplished to get to where you are today. But your college journey starts now… so take that rolling backpack in your hands and sprint to your classes! You’ll be so popular and just fine if you do this! 

I wish you all the best, dear future Mustangs.