Clare Sheedy | Staff Photographer
There’s nothing like a pandemic trapping us inside for over a year to make us cherish the amenities of an on-campus, in-person academic experience.
As a member of the only remaining class who has experienced a full year on campus, here is my definitive guide to making the most of your time here.
The best place to cry on campus is the Frick Fine Arts Atrium
The transition from high school to college is often one fraught with stress, anxiety and worry. For those afternoons when you’ve just failed your first exam, miss your parents or are fed up with eating the same stir fry from Market for two weeks straight, the Frick Fine Arts Atrium is your best friend. Rather than breaking down in front of your roommate — who is likely some stranger from “outside of Philly” that you met on Facebook — why not shed your tears surrounded by picturesque gardens, beautiful architecture and a sole studio arts student walking back from class? This building is often pretty empty, since it is set apart from the rest of campus by Schenley Plaza. And as a bonus, on your way back to your dorm you can stop by Asia Tea House to cry into some $4 sushi.
Bagels from Benedum or Posvar? Choose your fighter.
This may be the most controversial statement I’ve made to date in my time at The Pitt News. The Einstein Bros. Bagels in Benedum Hall is better than the one in Posvar Hall. Both take dining dollars, both serve a delicious plain toasted bagel with cream cheese and yet only one serves specialty coffee drinks to get you through the required collegiate algebra class that nearly took me out during my first year. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones that never has to set foot in Benedum Hall, I’d venture to say that the bagels and drinks are worth the trek up the hill.
Beware the buses
Picture this. You’re late to class. It’s a normal Thursday morning in Pittsburgh, which means the sky is the color of coal and it’s thunderstorming. You’re running down Fifth Avenue, dodging pigeons and Pathfinder tours. Suddenly, you see it. But it’s too late. A giant red bus is plummeting down what you formerly believed to be a one-way street, on course for a pothole filled to the brim with murky water and a single Five Guys receipt. Before you can leap out of the way, a tsunami of gray water crashes on the sidewalk. You cannot escape. I’ve spent many morning recitations wringing out my jeans in a Cathedral bathroom after being the victim of a Port Authority soaking. Beware of your surroundings.
Hillman naps are a thing
Finals week is a special breed of brutal. Hillman library fills up quickly and chaotically, bursting with sleep-deprived students running on dining hall coffee. Securing a table is a noble feat, not to mention the pride one feels being able to hang on to this prime real estate for the entire day.
For those mid-day slumps when giving up a table to make the cold, dark trek back to the dorm feels impossible, taking a 20-minute power nap in Hillman is not only acceptable, but I’d go as far as to say it is encouraged.
Don’t be afraid to leave Oakland
Don’t get me wrong, Oakland is great. I love the restaurants, green spaces and, of course, Miss Cathy. But my affinity for the Steel City increased exponentially once I worked up the courage to venture to another one of Pittsburgh’s 90 different neighborhoods. Shadyside and South Side are prime destinations for shopping and restaurants. Lawrenceville has everything from bowling to an old church where you can get pierogies and beer. Downtown has the best views of Pittsburgh’s beautiful stadiums in the North Shore and world-renowned theatres where you can use your Pitt ID to get discounted tickets to all kinds of live events. By far the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city is using your Pitt ID and the Transit app to get free, simple transportation to any neighborhood in Pittsburgh.
Julia writes primarily about sociopolitical issues, but also sometimes bagels. Write to Julia at [email protected].