1. Finding a table in Nau Hall Nau is one of my favorite buildings on Grounds. The big windows create an open, airy feeling, the views are beautiful and there’s a Starbucks that takes Plus Dollars. Unfortunately, it seems that every other University student also shares my sentiments. If you want a table next to the big windows, you basically have to stalk the area like a lion stalks his prey in the savanna. Or my cat with a toy mouse in the kitchen, whichever suits your stalking style. You have to be fast enough to keep an eye on the seats on all three levels and strike as soon as you see an open table. If you can get one on the first try, you deserve a spot in the hall of fame and your face in a Coca-Cola-sponsored advertisement, just like all the other athletes. 2. Braving the dumpling line Part of being a University student is eating dumps, but the necessary evil inherent in these delicious fried delicacies is the line of people you have to wait in to get some. Around lunchtime, people can be backed up all the way to the stairs of Minor Hall, and the sun is trying to melt everything into the ground, but you must remain brave! Start the line strong, finish the line strong. You will soon be rewarded with the taste of fried rice and dough and sweet, sweet Thai iced tea. 3. Figuring out the buses Somehow the TransLoc app never seems to predict the exact right time the bus will stop at your dorm. Check it once, and the bus is coming in 15 minutes. Check it in five, and the bus is coming now! It’s here! Why aren’t you running? Is this stop inbound or outbound? Why do the buses always wait six minutes at the Alderman Library stop? Although I have many questions and complaints about the UTS and its app, its shortcomings are nothing compared to those of the Charlottesville Area Transit bus service app. I do like that it combines UTS and CAT routes, but the live-tracking system is confusing and all the stops seem to be abbreviated. And that’s not to mention the aesthetic needs a bit of an upgrade too. If you can get where you need to go without constantly checking your phone, then I applaud you. 4. Streaking the Lawn Streaking the Lawn is inherently hard because it usually only happens when there’s a reasonable amount of alcohol in your body. The full stretch is also half a mile. Half. A. Mile. You may be scoffing at me right now but try running that naked and drunk. Not so easy now is it, Sober Reader? If you can make it from the Rotunda stairs, down to Homer and back without a scratch, you deserve a medal. Maybe only a medal made out of beer caps, but a medal nonetheless. 5. Taking an 8 a.m. If you end up with an 8 a.m. class, I’m so sorry. No one should have to be up that early for anything. Every day will be an inner battle of whether you really need to be in class that day or if you could just hit snooze one (eight) more time(s). But I believe in you. 6. Getting into UGuides I will admit I tried out for University Guides Service. I will also admit I was not accepted. Is anyone ever accepted? I feel like I’ve only met UGuide rejectees but never actual members. Do they even exist? If you are one of the few who get in each semester, I would like to congratulate you. They should give you a full ride just for making it in. You basically have as much training and act as much a University celebrity as athletes anyway. 7. Getting a drink at Bilt during Survivor Hour For those of you that have been to The Biltmore, you know the struggles of getting the bartender’s attention during the peak of Survivor Hour. By the time you even get your $2 rail, the hour is pretty much through. To master Survivor Hour, you have to train like the athletes. You have to earn your drink. To increase your chances of getting a spot at the bar, buy a football training dummy so you can practice shoving people out of the way. Practice your order for days before your trip to Bilt so you waste no time at the front of the line. Remember, there’s no crying in Survivor Hour and there is no ‘we’ in ‘drInk,’ just an ‘I’. 8. Finding good food in the dining halls When you first tour the University, the dining halls do a good job of tricking you into thinking the food is actually good. The desserts are fresh and the pizza is steaming and there are more options than you know what to do with. But as the under-salted meals go by, you start to realize the options repeat week by week and you’ve been eating the same thing for days. Although you will be weary and craving a home-cooked meal, your perseverance will eventually reward you when you finally find that one meal worthy of eating again. 9. Smelling good the first three weeks of school Backpack sweat is real, my friends. So is knee pit sweat, eyelid sweat and I-didn’t-even-know-my-body-could-produce-all-this sweat. If you thought you could stay fresh and lovely the first few weeks of school, think again. There is no escaping the funk. Use this time of year to discover the best paths to class that are within a reasonable range of A.C. This knowledge will come in handy later in the year when the cold hurts your face or rainstorms practically drown you. 10. Navigating the sidewalks During classes, the sidewalks are clear. The birds chirp, the sun shines and even the little squirrels seem cheery as you walk by. In between classes, children scream, sirens wail and a tornado forms in the distance. Trying to avoid being shoved off the sidewalk by the oncoming tide of students is like completing an obstacle course, and somehow you always end up behind a group that takes up the entire walkway no matter how hard you try. And if you do end up tripping in the traffic, it’s not how you fall but how you get back up.