Handy Facebook Pages

By Lily Villa

Social media can be a huge distraction to college students, but it can also be rather helpful, especially for those making a transition to a new school. The following are Facebook pages that I’ve found helpful in my time as a U of I student:

First up is “Free and For Sale at UIUC.” One thing that my roommate and I used this page for was to look for furniture or kitchen appliances and such prior to moving into our apartment. It’s a good idea to give this page a browse before heading to the store and buying things. The people on this page are students as well, and are likely to bargain with you on prices because they’re trying to get things off their hands. Additionally, many people sell their textbooks and other school supplies on this page, so you are likely to find something you may need. The list of things for sale is really endless, so I recommend that it be one of the first places you look.

Another useful page is “Easy Classes at U of I !!!!” (yes, 4 exclamation marks). This page gets very popular at the end of the semester, when everyone is starting to think about the next semester’s classes and putting a schedule together. I HIGHLY recommend you add this page, as it will give you real, first-hand feedback from students who have taken certain classes. Students are happy to share their experiences on different classes. If you’re skeptical about a class to register for, just ask, and surely someone who has taken it will give you their opinion. It’s important to give yourself a well-balanced schedule each semester by spreading out your load of challenging courses, and it’s useful to get other people’s outlooks on what the classes are actually like. Reading course descriptions is important, but it’s nothing like getting a real perspective from someone who took it.

The last page I’ll mention is “Champaign Closet Recycle.” This page is essentially a mall at your fingertips. This page is where you’d go if you were looking to add to your closet, or even clean it out. You’ll find shoes of all kinds, lightly-worn shirts and dresses, winter coats, Illini gear—you name it. Again, the prices are almost always negotiable, and you don’t have to go far to get your new apparel. Keep in mind you are buying from a stranger, so it is important that you do any exchanges safely by meeting in a public place, and even bringing a friend along if you can.

Hope these pages are as useful to you as they’ve been to me!

In It For the Long Run

By Sarah Bransley

Are you a runner or know someone that runs? Ever seen those super happy people covered in color or mud? Those are marathon runners and at UIUC we have all sorts of marathons you can take part in. From a Color Run to our Boston qualifying Illinois Marathon, there’s probably a run for you.

Now I haven’t run in a really long time (like since middle school) but I got to experience the Illinois Marathon first hand because my previous employer, Einstein Bros Bagels, is a sponsor of the race! I was at the starting line handing out bagel bites with cream cheese and coffee to both runners and those coming to cheer them on. The atmosphere at these events is all about good energy and happiness. Most runners just want to finish whatever race they’ve signed up for so there’s less competition and more comradery. I had many friends run in various races (5k, 10k, or the full) and they all finished! I’ve also had friends who were less distance-orientated run in the “fun” races like the Color Run. That’s basically a race where they throw colored paint/chalk at you as you reach certain check points. So much fun!

As a transfer student, sometimes we don’t know what the town we transfer to has to offer. That’s what this blog and TAG is for, to tell you guys what our school and town has to offer! If you are a runner, or just want to do something fun, grab some friends and sign up for a run this season! I’m sure you’ll have a blast. Maybe I’ll even see you there!

To Keep Balance, Keep Moving!

By Sarah Bransley

Bicycling is a great way to get around campus… most of the time. There’s a big controversy surrounding HOW people should bike on campus so if you’re new here it’s especially hard to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
Some of the tips to follow about bikes are concrete and hold no argument. Don’t ride in the street going the wrong way down a one-way. You’ll get a ticket if a cop sees you. Another is that you need a front light if you’re riding a night. It’s illegal otherwise.
Others tips are more common courtesy. Many students have a huge pet peeve about students who ride their bikes on sidewalks. Though it’s not illegal, there are specific bike lanes dedicated to bike use throughout campus. Now they aren’t as well maintained as the sidewalks and don’t go everywhere, so bicyclists may use sidewalks instead. Use your head and ride safely for both you and the others around you.
One particularly nasty spot to ride your bike on the sidewalk is on the Quad between classes. Just don’t. There’s far too many people and it can get quite dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous, pedestrians aren’t completely innocent. Most students who don’t ride bikes aren’t aware of the bike lanes and don’t look for bicyclists before walking across them. So if you’re riding your bike, be aware that students can and do walk right in front of you without warning. Is it your fault? No. Could you really hurt someone? Yes.
One last thought before I end my blog. Helmets. You will be riding your bike between pedestrians mostly, but also crossing streets and riding near cars. It’s up to you whether you want to protect that thing you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars to fill with knowledge. I would protect my investment over perfect hair. Actually I’d probably just pack some hair brushes and stuff to fix it…
So there you go! Some tips and ideas to think about if you will be riding a bike or walking on campus with those bikes. Try not to hate on each other so much guys. We’re all just trying to get to class so we can graduate.