Paige Cross
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Do you ever find yourself wishing life on campus was a little bit easier? Introducing: Cal Poly Lifehacks. These tips won’t get you to the front of the 10 a.m. Starbucks line or out of paying parking tickets, but they’ll definitely help with the everyday struggle.

Parking Hacks

According to the Cal Poly Parking Enforcement website, those white SUVs roam campus from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Can you hear the loopholes ringing?

No parking police on Saturdays or Sundays
This means you can park almost anywhere on campus without worrying about finding a little yellow envelope on your windshield when you return to your car.

Any general, staff, residential or metered spot that isn’t a red zone, yellow zone, 24-hour zone or a disabled parking space is fair game from Friday at 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. Monday morning — no parking pass needed.

General pass perks
If you have a general parking pass, you can park in staff or sponsored guest spots after 5 p.m. on any day of the week. You’re basically a V.I.P.

Meter money hack
If you find yourself needing to park in a metered spot outside of the library but don’t have any quarters, don’t stress.

The copy machine by the door of the 24-hour room will turn a dollar bill into four quarters right before your eyes, art and design senior Jared Moore said.

Bathroom Hack


According to a few people, the bowling alley bathrooms are the place to be because no one knows about them.

Additionally, the bowling alley bathroom, the upstairs Julian A. McPhee University Union bathroom and the Recreation Center bathrooms are elegant enough for 2-ply toilet paper, if that’s your style.

Coffee Hacks

Prevent drink spillage
Walking around campus after grabbing a hot drink at Starbucks? Make sure the mouth of your lid is a few degrees from the seam of the cup. This will prevent your boiling-lava-hot coffee from spilling all over you and your beautiful outfit.

Get more buzz for your buck
If you take your coffee with half and half or milk, order a small size coffee (such as a tall at Starbucks), but ask that it’s put in a bigger cup. Top off the coffee with half and half or milk, and boom, more beverage for less money.

Hidden coffee spot
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to face the line at Starbucks, Tacos To-Go Express near the Robert E. Kennedy Library sells coffee and donuts.

Food Hacks

Sandwich Factory freedom
If the sandwich options on the Sandwich Factory order form aren’t your style, feel free to add or subtract anything from the description. You can even change the kind of bread. Usually, the employees are cool about it if you’re nice to them.

Upgrade your study snacks
If you’re a Cup Noodles lover, go to Julian’s Patisserie in the library and ask for a small cup of hot water. Add the water to your own Cup Noodles (which you can buy at Campus Market). It’s just enough water and it’s hot enough to cook your noodles perfectly.

Beat the Chick-fil-A rush
If you want Chick-fil-A from The Avenue but don’t want to wait for your favorite items to be cooked, go near the bottom of the hour rather than on the hour to avoid the crowds.

Village Market delivery
Village Market will deliver anything from their grocery or gourmet deli menu to your on-campus office or residence hall for free. This service runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, as long as your order is $15 or more.

Library made gourmet
Menu Club, a food delivery service in San Luis Obispo, will deliver food from 149 San Luis Obispo restaurants to almost anywhere on campus, including the library.

For a small fee, you can make the finals week pain a little less severe with your favorites from Natural Cafe, Fattoush, Big Sky Cafe and more.

Yogurt Creations rewards
There’s a rewards program at the Yogurt Creations on campus, electrical engineering freshman Jessica Bombardier Shaw said.

“Every $50 you spend, you get $5 free,” she said. “Also, whenever they have a lot of quarts in the freezer, they make them 50 percent off.”

Study Hack


To access years’ worth of student-made flashcards for a ton of Cal Poly courses, simply type “Cal Poly SLO” or your course name into the search bar on Quizlet. There’s an entire community of Cal Poly students who share their Quizlet flashcards with the world.

Key Hack

If you find yourself losing your residence hall or house key every day, but don’t want to limit yourself to a lanyard or keychain, putting your key on a hair tie is a great solution.

Untie the knot on the hair tie, attach the key and retie the knot. You can keep it on your wrist or tie it to your school bag.

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