In the midst of finals, it’s weird to think that this is my fifth quarter at DePaul. While studying at DePaul has certainly taught me a lot, there are still some things I wish I had known my freshman year.
1.) The DePaul Meal Plan: I really wish I had known more about the meal plan before starting at DePaul. While all freshman pretty much get this plan, it’s important that you budget your quarterly funds accordingly. While I ended up having a surplus of funds at the end of the year (funds don’t carry on from year to year,) some of my friends ended up having a shortage. I enjoyed my surplus of funds as I got to bulk buy some Starbucks Frappuccino bottles at the end of the quarter. I think I ended up getting slightly addicted because I drank one bottle every day for about a month...It was hard to cope when I ran out of them. DePaul’s meal plan is unique compared to other schools because there is no point system or buffet style option. Everything is accorded its own dollar value. This means that if you want to buy a sub and cup of soup and it says this will cost $6.80, then it actually costs $6.80.
2.) The Quarter System and the Long Winter Break: While the quarter system was at first hard to adjust to, as someone who came from semesters, I wouldn’t choose anything else. I like having three quarters for a multitude of reasons: it allows you to take more classes and professors, finals are easier because they only cover 10 weeks of content versus a standard 15 for semesters, and you get to enjoy the summer months a little bit longer than everyone else. While other schools get out in May when it’s too cold to enjoy the summer sun, DePaul gets out in June and doesn’t resume until the first week of September. However, the one thing that can be rough about the quarter system is the month and a half long break during the end of November and all of December. It might seem nice that you get a month and a half off from school, but if you live in the dorms your freshman year, they close for winter break and it’s mandatory that you move out for this period. I wish I had prepared for this break, because like many of my friends at DePaul, I was stuck back in the suburbs with nothing to do. My sister was at school, my parents were at work, and my DePaul friends were too scattered to hang out. I wish I had looked for a job or something to make some extra cash. However, this year’s break was a lot better! I stayed in my apartment and worked at my internship for a few weeks before going back to the suburbs to celebrate the holidays.
3.) Free Classes at the Ray: One of the reasons I love going to DePaul is because we have awesome free classes at the Ray Meyer Fitness Center. While I admit I haven’t been working on my fitness this quarter (to quote philosopher Fergie), last year when I was right on campus I took advantage of many free classes. They range from yoga to cycling to strength training. While some are easy and fun, others can get quite hard. I typically went to Wednesday morning cycling and Friday morning strength and conditioning. The Ray is really good about varying their fitness classes quarter to quarter, so if you can’t make a specific class one quarter, it will probably be offered at a different time the next quarter. Working out is a great stress reliever and it’s nice to know DePaul has people ready to yell at you to move. I didn’t discover these classes until a few weeks after my start at DePaul, so I wish I had known much sooner. I’ll miss these classes once I
So there you have it! DePaul has a lot to offer, so if you’re coming here next year I encourage you to explore the city and our campus as much as you can before classes start picking up. What are you most looking forward to at DePaul?