Q and A: Students first week back on campus


GVL / Jonathan Lantiegne

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

With everything opening back up on campus, it can be very confusing to both incoming first-year students and the second-year students who didn’t get to experience on-campus life previously. So, in order to make things a little easier, here are some frequently asked questions about campus life, and some advice offered by fellow students. 

“How many buildings have cafeterias in them? Where are the best places to eat between classes?”

Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus has five buildings with cafeterias. Those are Kleiner, Kirkhof, Commons, The Blue Connection, and The Marketplace. Meanwhile, on the Pew campus, only the Cook-Devos Center has places to eat. As for the best places to eat in between classes, all of the campus dining locations allow you to get food pretty quickly, however, Kleiner and the Blue Connection give you the most options if you need to eat something quick. Also, if you’re looking for something to grab and go, visiting a P.O.D store is the quickest. Those can be found in Mackinaw, Kleiner, and The Blue Connection.

“Do you have to pay to print papers for essays?”

Students do have to pay to print on campus, however, it is only five cents a page and GVSU gives you $25 worth of free printing. Some buildings, such as Henry Hall, allow you to be able to print for free. Professors often prefer students to submit their papers online, either through Blackboard or email. So, you shouldn’t really have to pay out of pocket when printing.

“How do the campus buses work?”

The campus buses have stops all around campus, and even downtown and the off-campus apartments. Buses like the 37 and the 48 take you to the off-campus apartments and takes you directly to the downtown campus. If you ever want to know what time a bus is supposed to arrive at a specific stop, you can look online at www.gvsu.edu/bus, or you can download the MyStop app that gives you real-time updates on any bus route that you want, or you can call the 20/20 desk and they will be able to help.

“How to find out what major is best for your interests? how do you switch your major?”

Deciding on a major is different for everyone,” said Cole Hoffman, a fourth-year student at GVSU. “There is no one set way to figure out what you want to do. It’s a big choice but it doesn’t define what you are going to do in life. It gives you a direction but doesn’t ultimately make you who you are so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Talking with your advisor is one of the best things you can do when deciding on a major and minor. I switched majors four times and my advisors helped me every time. If you have a direction you want to go but don’t know what to major or minor in, your advisor can help with that along with a lot of other things.”

“What are the job opportunities on campus?”

There are plenty of job opportunities on campus: campus dining, the office of student life, and a bunch of other departments hire students to work for them. The best way to look for jobs on campus is by using Handshake, which is a website that all places on campus hire from. Throughout the year many on-campus facilities hire GVSU students, which makes finding the right job easier. These jobs also are more willing to work around a student’s schedule.

“How do you find clubs to join?”

The best way to find clubs to join is by going to events, such as Campus Life Night or events put on by the groups that you have an interest in. You can also visit the Office of Student Life, and they will be able to help you find clubs that fit your interests. There are hundreds of clubs to join, so you will definitely find one that matches your interests.

“Is it normal to interact with your classmates outside of class, or is it more usual to make friends through extracurricular activities?”

It is pretty common to talk with others that are in your class or classes outside of class,” Hoffman said. “Most people will try to start a group chat on Snapchat or via text and help each other out in the class. I would say it is more common to make friends via extra-curricular activities because you are more likely to have things in common with them. Club sports is where I’ve met most of my long-term friends. You want to find the few right friends and keep them. You don’t have to know everybody. Go to campus life night and find a club(s) or extracurricular activities that interest you. It is one of the best things you can do during your college career.”

The first week living on campus and attending classes can feel overwhelming. However, there are plenty of resources to be able to help students get answers to their questions. For help students can call the 2020 desk at (616)-331-2020. They will be able to assist you in any question that you may have or set you on course to getting the answers you need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because it will help make adjusting to campus life easier.