Kelly Alley

Howdy, and welcome back to a new semester here on good ol’ Rocky Top. Whoo!

For those returning, nothing on campus has really changed over the seemingly too short summer months. A few roads received a fresh coat of asphalt, and a few new crosswalks have popped up, but that’s pretty much the extent of anything major happening on campus. There are a couple of new dorms, and progress is speeding along on the new engineering complex, but that’s all trivial details.

For those just stepping foot on campus — heaven forbid, hopefully not on the seal — I’m about to offer some sage and thyme-ly advice. 

First of all, use the library. It’s not just there to lodge Starbucks for your early morning caffeine fix. Get to know the stacks and how to navigate them. Browse around and discover a new topic to learn about or snatch up an old but still usable edition of a required textbook.

Eating on campus can do some decent damage to your meal plan or savings account. Most retail restaurants around UTK give enough food for at least two servings. Saving that extra serving for lunch or dinner in the upcoming days gives your VolCard a much-needed break. Plus, it will give you a little extra time from not waiting in those painfully long lines. Looking at you, Student Union restaurants.

Take the T buses on campus! They’re free, and it’s the best way to get up to the Hill or over to the ag campus if you don’t have a bicycle, especially when it’s raining. If you do decide to take the bus, remember to let others get off before you hop on. It’s a small but necessary act of courtesy, as is thanking the bus driver.

Commuters, get to campus early if you can. Parking is easier to find, saving you both time and unnecessary headaches. Remember: don’t park in the compact car spaces unless you are a compact car, and make sure your permit is visible. 

Take care of yourself. If you happen to come down with a cold, stay hydrated. Remember to eat something between classes — fruit is an easy and healthy option here. Sleep is important, so don’t pull too many all-nighters or spend too much time partying. 

Finally, if you see my awkward lanky frame around campus, don’t be afraid to stop me to say a quick hello or to ask for directions. I’ve made my way around campus quite a bit these past few years, so I ought to know a few tips and shortcuts to get you where you need to go.

We’ll get back to travel-type columns in a couple of weeks, hitting some local but generally unrecognized small towns or neat hole-in-the-wall places.

Kelly Alley is a senior studying journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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