Living on a large campus is an incredible experience, but something I was worried about is how I was gonna get from class to class on time. Especially if a class is far, it can be stressful to figure out how you are going to get there on time. Luckily, there are many means of transportation built onto campus that will help you never be late for a class.
Depending on what dorm you stay in, the bus system may become your best friend. The buses are probably the most daunting way to get around at first because there are so many different lines and times to remember. However, if used correctly, the bus system can pretty much get you anywhere you would need or want to go. There are bus stops by nearly every campus building and even buses that will take you off campus to many helpful places like Walmart or Target.
A good crutch to use before you know the bus lines is your phone. The app store has many apps that list all of the UIUC bus lines, stops, and even have trip planners. Two of the apps I used when I was learning the lines were UIUC Bus and Illini Bus. Both apps are excellent, so it really just comes down to personal preference. You can also use the basic maps app on your phone to find transit directions for where you need to go.
Even though I have only been on campus for one semester, VeoRides have saved me so many times. VeoRides are bikes that you can rent for a short amount of time. You can find them pretty much all over the place, and they are very cheap for the service they provide. I would have shown up late to classes several times if it weren’t for these beautiful blue bikes.
The best part about VeoRides is that it takes all the annoyance of having your own bike on campus away. You don’t have to worry about locking it, wear and tear, or a permanent place to keep it where you live. You just find one, pick it up, and go. I’m a big fan, and I’m glad the campus chose to let a service like VeoRide operate in the area.
I know this seems self-explanatory, but even with walking to class there are some tips and tricks you can still learn. In a pinch, sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and walk to class, even if it’s really far. In the summer, it can be good exercise and fun to walk around the campus and look at everything on your way to class. In winter, believe me, you want to get to class as fast as possible.
When it gets cold is when walking to class gets tough. A good coat, hat, and gloves are an excellent investment, as they will come in handy nearly every day. You don’t want to get caught out in super cold weather with only a sweatshirt on. As for the trip, make sure you plan out your route before you leave. Strategic walking can get you to class quicker and warmer. Something I like to do to stay warm is cut through buildings. Especially when making your way across the quad, you can cover a lot of ground and warm up at the same time.
All in all, I love living on a big campus. There’s a lot to see and a lot to do, and while feeling super big, it doesn’t feel too spread out either. With all the different ways to get around, nothing on campus or around Campustown feels inaccessible at all.