Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Wyatt Bible/The Collegian

Surviving and thriving: Tips for navigating your Fresno State journey

We at The Collegian were all once brand new Fresno State students experiencing university campus life for the first time. 

Whether it’s imposter syndrome, homesickness or adjusting to the rigor of schoolwork, the editorial staff knows ways to survive life as a Bulldog. In no particular order, here are ten tips to help you navigate your student journey.

Get a headstart before and on your first day.

Scout out your class locations ahead of time. This may be arriving to campus earlier or a day before to find where your classes are located, and estimate how long it takes to get there. 

Construction and impacted traffic in the parking lots will pose a huge obstacle to being timely during the first few weeks of instruction.


The University Library is your best friend.

The Library offers more than air conditioning and Starbucks. Apart from books and being a great place to study, it is a hub of student resources.

Individual or group study rooms can be booked for your convenience, tech is available for students to check out and free tutoring services are offered in the basement of the Library for every subject. 

Some students are also eligible to borrow a DiscoverE mobile device, like an iPad, and hotspots for the entirety of their enrollment if they are enrolled in DiscoverE courses. You must make an appointment to pick up your device. 


Mobile order your Starbucks.

The Starbucks on the second floor of the Library always has a long trail of people hanging out the door. Order your favorite Starbucks drink 10-15 minutes in advance via its mobile app to avoid the line. 

Alternatively, you can avoid the Library chaos altogether by getting your coffee at the Starbucks at Campus Pointe, or the one across the street from campus at 2635 E. Shaw Ave.


Use what you paid for!

So many “free” services are actually included in your tuition fees, so get your money’s worth! 

The Student Recreation Center offers fitness and recreation opportunities for students, all you need to do is scan your student ID card or tell the student receptionists your student ID number with an alternative form of identification, like a driver’s license. 

The Amendola Family Student Cupboard is a free food and hygiene pantry that offers enrolled students the opportunity to select between a variety of perishable and non-perishable food items to cook at home. 

Hygiene items are distributed on the first and third Wednesdays and Thursdays of each month. The Cupboard is located in Industrial Technology Room 144. 

The campus Clothing Closet is located in the University Student Union Room 306 as part of the Career Development Center and allows students to obtain three free pieces of professional clothing a year to help prepare for a professional environment.

Wellness services like mental health counseling, pharmacy, medical appointments and nutritional consultations are offered by the Student Health and Counseling Center.


Only carry the essentials.

Always carry a water bottle! Avoid paying for water bottles or using water fountains by bringing your own refillable bottle. There are multiple hydration stations located around campus. 

Also, only carry what you need: stuff to take notes with, a laptop or tablet, student ID, chargers and an extra pencil. Supplies vary between preference of digital or written notetaking.

If you forget or need a computer for homework, there are available computers in the Library and a computer lab on the first floor of the Peters Business Building in PB133/PB135. 


Take advantage of playing the student card.

A lot of local businesses and large corporations offer the notorious “student discount.” For example, here are some of the deals offered by businesses at Campus Pointe:

  • Boba Pub: 20% entire order on Tuesdays with proof of student ID
  • Pieology: 10% discount on your order with proof of student ID
  • Maya Cinemas: $7.50 for a movie ticket with a medium popcorn every Thursday with a valid student ID
  • Mochinut: 15% off Korean Hotdogs (limit two per order) from 2-4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday with a valid Fresno State ID

There are also more ways to get discounts online. UNiDAYS is a good resource to verify your student ID, presenting you with almost every available student discount ranging from streaming services, food and drink, technology, fashion, beauty and retailers. 

In addition, by presenting your student ID on Fresno Area Express (FAX) buses, Fresno State students can ride for free.


Skip the lines. Download the “Fetch” app.

If you download the Mobile@FresnoState App, which is available for Apple and Android devices, click “Campus Life” and then select “Fetch” with the red dog bone. You will be redirected to download the app on your Apple or Google Play store.

The Fetch app allows you to mobile order food from The Bucket, Panda Express, Subway and Taco Bell, once it reopens.


Have money loaded on your Bulldog ID.

Your Bulldog Student ID card will be your golden ticket for a lot of things. It can also hold value by reloading a minimum of $5 through your Fresno State Student Account or the campus mobile app. 

The ID card money is more commonly used for using Pay for Print services in the Library or other locations around campus. 


Forget your charger? Rent one.

There are two options on days when you forget a charger: Tech Lending in the Library lends different types of power accessories and adapters, and the Information Center in the lower level of the USU offers portable laptop and phone charger power banks for rental. 

DiscoverE Hub also lends power cords in exchange for leaving your student ID until the borrowed item is returned. 


Pick your poison: park far, scoot or walk

Parking has always been an issue for commuters, and the campus construction only makes things more difficult.

On Friday, Aug. 18, University Communications announced to the campus community that vehicle access by the San Ramon Ave. closure, between Engineering West and Social Science buildings, will be closed, and P5 and P6 may not completely open until December.

Think ahead about your commute. If you park farther away from your destination, maybe invest in some type of wheels like a manual scooter, electric scooter or skateboard. 

If you park near the Save Mart Center and refuse to walk to class, there is a seven-passenger limited shuttle service available for students that has two stops: Save Mart Center P1 and Campus Drive Circle near the North Gym. 

The only other alternative is to accept your fate by parking anywhere and taking a long stroll to class.

This fall semester is a beginning and ending for many students. Make the most of your time at Fresno State by avoiding the rookie mistakes. 

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    BryanAug 21, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you!