Ryan Chartrand

As a “conditionally admitted” student at Cal Poly, you’ve probably taken the Poly Reps tour. That nice little stroll around campus in the beautiful Central Coast weather is usually enough to convince any high school student that San Luis Obispo is the right place for them. Especially since it’s just far enough away from your parents.

While the Mustang Daily editors are still just as much in love with Cal Poly as they were after taking that very tour, we’ve learned a few things since then. So we’ve come up with a list of things that those cheerful Poly Reps don’t tell you, but oh, we will.

1. You’ll probably spend more on textbooks than food. El Corral Bookstore is notorious among students for its high textbook prices, but there are other options like Aida’s Book Exchange and screwthebookstores.com to help you out. Depending on the classes, students usually spend between $250 and $400 per quarter on books, though some may spend even more than that.

2. Take advantage of your Plu$ Dollars freshman year. The money does not roll over to the next year, so whatever is left over, you’ll never see again.

3. Studying abroad can be one of the best experiences of your life. You should take advantage of it and start planning earlier rather than later. Cal Poly is burdened with bureaucracy so figure out all your steps as soon as you know you want to go.

4. Don’t store alcohol in your dorm room. You think you can get away with it but you probably won’t. And if someone finds it, you will get kicked out. We’ve seen it happen. You’ve been warned.

5. Despite how big it looks, the Rec Center fills up ridiculously fast. Go early in the morning or late at night to make sure you get the machine(s) you want.

6. Your roommate could be either the best or worst person you meet in college. And you have no control over the matching whatsoever – so go with the flow. Be nice from the start and don’t be afraid to change your ways to make a better living environment for you both. You should also call them before school starts in September (you’ll find out their contact information over the summer).

7. If you haven’t applied for on-campus housing yet, DO IT NOW! Cal Poly has experienced a serious housing shortage for freshmen and many will have to live off campus this fall. While you can still have a great freshman experience living in Mustang Village or Stenner Glen, nothing beats the dorms.

8. Polyratings.com can turn your academic experience from torture to satisfying. It’s a Web site that allows students to rate their professors, so you should check out how yours are graded before taking a class.

9. If you’re going into an engineering major, you probably won’t graduate in four years. It can be done, but you’ll be lucky to get two hours of sleep per night.

10. If you’re in the College of Liberal Arts, you could probably graduate a quarter early as long as you stay on track and take a full course load. So if you start seriously dating an engineering major, you might want to think about staying in San Luis Obispo an extra year after you graduate…

11. Take advantage of your trips home. You can do laundry for free, your parents provide you with free food 24 hours a day and you don’t have to wear shower shoes. Oh, and you can be unconditionally loved by your parents. It’s a good feeling.

Editorials reflect the opinions of the Mustang Daily editorial staff.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *