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A few weeks ago, I fell in love with a pen. An Avery eGel Retractable pen to be exact. I have no idea how I became in possession of it but I am ever so grateful. Note taking in class and for homework became enjoyable because the pen writes so smoothly, does not bleed at all and the ink’s color is so rich. Now, I’ve never been one to be excited about buying writing utensils except the time in middle school when I HAD to have Paper Mate erasable pens. My family keeps a bag of free pens we’ve accumulated over the years and that has been my school supply source. It’s only natural that in my last year as a college student I become OBSESSED with a pen. I first checked out Target when I was doing other shopping errands and ended up buying a pack of gel pens from another brand that seemed comparable. Boy was that a disappointment – the pen bled so much my test paper looked like it was about to suffer from an oil spill. Then I checked out Office Max and to my surprise they did not have it either. They said I could have an order sent to the store but it was only sold in dozens. I loved the pen but did not want to make that kind of commitment yet. I searched online but did not want to fork over money for shipping. To my delight, a girl in my class last week asked what kind of pen I was using. I gladly let her try it out and right after she said that she would be down to split an online bulk order. Right after class I wanted to check one more place before resorting to buying online – the campus bookstore.
I looked and tried out their other gel pens but was not satisfied. I noticed there were lots of other pens dispersed throughout the store so I decided to go to the customer service desk to have them do a search. The girl who helped me said they did not have any in store and that Avery is more of a paper company. (That’s why the pens so hard to find!) She was very empathetic and nice and introduced me the bookstore’s catalog.
The Bookstore can special order all sorts of things – even medical supplies for the MedCenter.
I found it amusing there was a Breakroom section.
She found my pen! They also have it available in blue.
So I decided to order 5 more black pens and 2 blue pens to try. What’s awesome about special ordering at the bookstore is you don’t have to pay for shipping. Special orders take around 2-3 business days to arrive.
They called me yesterday to say my order was in and I picked them up today after class. I was super happy because my original pen ran out of ink on Sunday – such perfect timing!
The blue is beautiful and I thought I’d doodle on my order form for you to take a look. I feel a little silly sharing this with you all but it’s the little things in life – right? Definitely check out the store catalog if you don’t find what you’re looking for in the bookstore. Do you have any favorite school supplies? Any purchases from our bookstore that you absolutely love? Let me know in the comments – I would love to try out other writing tools.
We are now concluding Week 3 of Winter Quarter. Though it’s only January – now is the time to be thinking about your housing situation for next school year. Whether you are moving out of the dorms or deciding to live with new friends,this guide should help jump start your search.
Questions for deciding who to live with:
- How many people do I want to live with?
- Are they clean?
- Are they dating or in a relationship? Are you?
- What is your comfort level with having guests stay overnight?
- Do you want a friend or just someone to share a living space with?
- Do they like to play loud music?
- Do they want a TV with cable?
- Will you keep everything in the fridge separate? Share and split grocery bills? Toiletries?
- How often would you be OK with throwing parties? Or having people over in general?
Questions for picking a place to live:
- What is my rent budget?
- What type of lease is it? (Majority are 1 year leases)
- Do I want to share a room or have my own? Bathroom?
- House? Apartment? Townhouse? Co-op?
- How close is it to campus? To restaurants? To grocery stores?
- Which bus lines come by? How often?
- Will I or my roommate have a car?
- Is there parking spaces? Is there a fee?
- Laundry? Internet? Other amenities?
Learning from my friend’s living situations I discovered my preferences. I knew that I wanted my own room. I like staying up late and talking on the phone in bed until I fall asleep and wouldn’t want to bother anyone. I like my space. I wanted to live with just one other person. My friends who lived in threes or more would have issues especially with food and cleaning. There would always be some confusion of who’s dirty dishes were laying about or who’s turn it was to take out the trash or who finished the last of their orange juice. Living with just one other person makes things simpler. I wanted a two bedroom 1 bath apartment like my friends Sharon and Kristen had. I knew their total rent was about $1300/month. I found one for under $1000! Very spacious. It’s also right by downtown, a 15 min walk to campus, 10 min bike ride and bus lines to the MU and Silo.
I actually met my roommate Melanie through Craigslist because the girl I originally signed my lease with got into Cal and decided to go there instead. It worked out perfectly. We both have the same interests and aesthetics and the same expectations in a living situation. Furnishing and decorating the apartment was fun. We share internet with our neighbors. We decided against a TV since we watch all our favorite shows online anyways and at our own convenience. We keep food separate but also cook and share with each other. This year I don’t see her as much now that she has a boyfriend but we still make time to hang out during the week.
After you figure out exactly what you want you can start comparing your top choices with each other. Set up appointments to visit in person. I remember freshman year around this time, I only went on the Tandemonium tour and let my friends take the lead in deciding housing. It’s really important to ask yourself these questions before signing a lease.
The site where I found my apartment and also found the most useful was the ASUCD Community Housing Listing. Popular options are Craigslist, Uloop, Marketplace and of course UC Davis Student Housing. I would DavisWiki apartments for reviews.
Did you see the new sustainable student housing they’re building for next fall? Ramble Apartments:
Looks pretty cool. I’m sure with the price to match as well. Anyways, good luck on your search! If you have any advice to add on about picking places to live and people to live with – sound off in the comments!
It’s finals -cue music. Remember to take short study breaks, keep a positive attitude, and try and get some sleep! Otherwise you’ll start hallucinating talking squirrels on campus like this guy.
(Bah-sorry the blog cuts it off. Click the image for full XKCD goodness.)
Let’s power through and do this!
Tips on choosing your schedule:
Stay on track: Make sure you are meeting your college department’s AND your major requirements. This is easiest to sort out with your advisors but if in a time crunch they can be looked up on their respective sites. If you are thinking of changing majors try and file the forms as soon as you’ve decided because you won’t be able to sign up for upper division classes until Pass 2.
Ask around: Look to peers to gauge which professor would be the best fit for you. Visit your major’s peer advisors. Send a blast on Facebook. Check out Rate My Professors. Just take everything you hear with a grain of salt because everyone learns differently. What may be someone’s hardest teacher could be your most inspiring and challenging one.
Final check: Double check you won’t be overloading yourself during finals. Sometimes you may have the perfect schedule but at the very end need to take three finals in one day. It can be done but just be cautious. There are also ways to to petition to take one of those finals on another date but it is best to avoid that process if you can. Pay attention to the Exam Code for your classes and compare them on page 29 of the guide.
Balance is key: Know your limits. For some 22 units is the norm. For others the minimum 13 units is enough when factoring in extra curricular activities and work. Be realistic when choosing that 8AM class if your earliest class usually starts in the afternoon – it is winter quarter after all.
Check Availability: Pay attention to courses only offered certain quarters. One of my classes I’m taking is only offered winter quarter so I made sure all my other classes could fit around that one.
Explore: Take advantage of Freshman Seminars and learn about the history of Japanese garden design, rocket science, and zombies – oh my! Enrolling in any of the introductory <insert major> 10 courses may lead to deciding to minor or even double major in another subject.
Sign up for a PE class. We all mean to go to the ARC more so what better way to work on your fitness than to commit to a class that’s already included in your tuition? You can finally learn how to bowl correctly, rock climb or self defend.
Plan B: Make sure to have back up classes to choose from. The Open Course List is your friend. You may have to wait for Pass 2 to sign up. If you are debating between two classes you’re interested in try and sign up for both – you can also drop one after you attend the first day.
I really like to have all my CRN’s entered in the boxes on SISWEB a minute before my pass time so I can just press the submit button on the dot. Don’t do this too early or SISWEB will have you log in again. Happy scheduling and please share any tips you may have!
My bike seat was loose – moving every time I got off. After a week of annoyance I finally decided to stop by The Bike Barn for help. They referenced me to The Bike Garage over at the parking lot next to the MU bus stop. Who knew there was a place on campus where you could learn how to repair your bike for free?
I looped around the parking lot mystified of its whereabouts and ended up asking a bus driver. I hope these photos will help you out!
Everyone was really nice and encouraging. It was sorta like a tutoring center but for do-it-yourself tuning up.
To check out a wrench to tighten the bolts on my seat I just traded my student ID.
I even learned how to pump air into my tires & more importantly when to stop. Now I happily ride my bike worry free. Check it out for all your bike repair needs.
On Wednesday May 5th, I “lost” my beloved Samsung Mythic cell phone which I only had for three months. “Lost” because I’m absolutely sure someone found it and decided to keep it for themselves since it was not in the place I last had it within an hour and a half timespan. My friends and family called and texted it multiple times and I backtracked and scoured my surroundings. Originally I left Young 198 at 11:35, bought a fowl chicken jalepeño bagel from the CoHo, took a bathroom break in South Hall, and arrived for my next class around 12 in Olson 106. It’s a very localized part of campus:
Anyways, I found out that calling my phone and hearing it ring didn’t mean that the SIM card was still in place in the phone . It made sense because it still rung on Friday and I doubt my battery would have lasted on its own for 2 days. I have another phone now but still deeply miss that phone especially for its tools – calculator, alarm clock and especially audio recording (reporter necessity for conducting interviews!). So I want to share with you where to go if you happen to lose something of your own:
Lost & Found
1) MU Games Area – downstairs located behind the air hockey tables is an office where they keep anything that is lost in the MU. You can fill out a lost item in a binder at the shoe check out desk.
2) Unitrans – in the basement of South Hall is Unitrans headquarters and anything that was lost in one of their buses ends up here.
3) Police Department – after a while everything from the MUGA lost and found that hasn’t been claimed ends up here and important things like cell phones from Unitrans are sent here too. The police department has a kick ass website where you can see a list of items that were turned in and organized by category (keys, cell phone, jewelry etc.). You can also easily report a lost item. It’s so convenient because you don’t have to constantly go to their building and check if anyone turned in your stuff. I even called them about a found item listed as “samsung att phone” for further description and they are really nice about helping you out. Found items are kept for 90 days and you need a valid identification and a proof of ownership to claim the item. Unclaimed items are eventually auctioned off.
Usually if you left it in a classroom someone leaves it up at the front. Ask around in the building you think you lost it. There are many little unofficial lost and founds everywhere. Call if it’s more efficient than asking in person. A bit more advice here. If you ever lose something on campus I hope you’ll feel more equipped to take action. It was a bit comforting to see the list of other cell phones that were lost and to know that I wasn’t alone. Good luck!