How to get the most out of your time at UB

Summer break evokes different emotions. For some, it’s the uncertain feeling of ending a college career and entering the “real” world. For a larger portion of the student body, it’s a welcomed reprieve until it’s time to hit the books again in the fall. But this advice is for the aspiring, bright-eyed incoming students on campus for orientation to continue their academic careers at UB.

Entering your freshman year can be both daunting and exhilarating. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this transition. There are thousands of others just like you trying to find their way in college.

To make the most of your first year you might want to check out all there is to offer, especially in the first month of school.

If there’s an event in the Student Union, stop and check it out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. See what clubs there are at UB. Even if they mildly interest you, you never know what can come of it.

The Student Union is the hive of activity on North Campus. You can expect to see events and various setups hosted by student and school organizations as well as outside entities almost every day. There’s always something new. I have had to stop out of curiosity many times – the most noteworthy being when a battle bot arena was set up in the Student Union.

Most UB clubs have weekly meetings and you can find a club for just about anything. Interested in the Pastafarian religion? There’s a club for that. Or maybe you’d just prefer a quiet game of chess. There’s a club for that, too.

There’s a club for everyone, but if you find a niche that isn’t filled, you and your friends can always start your own.

If you’re into the arts, take a walk over to the Center for the Arts (CFA). There you can see the art projects and murals created by students. It’s an ever-changing experience always worth a walkthrough. The giant laser beam-eyed goose towering over North Campus always gets a chuckle out of me.

Aside from the parties hosted by clubs, the social Greek Life organizations start the new school year off with a weeklong bang open to all students. A majority of UB’s social Greek organizations are located just a short walk away from South Campus.

Fair warning: if you’re over 21 you might want to look for another crowd to surround yourself with. I’ve personally experienced many a wild night in Allentown.

Unlike student clubs, if you’re interested in joining one of these organizations they go through their own screening process and invite those they’re interested in for interviews. If you have no interest in joining, you can always just attend the open events.

As with life, college is all about balance.

For the times you need to hunker down and work on papers and projects, there are plenty of places to get the work done. On North Campus there is Lockwood Library, the Oscar Silverman Library (often just referred to as “Capen”), the Law Library located in O’Brian Hall and the Music Library located in Baird Hall.

You can also find the Health Sciences Library on South Campus and multiple study lounges in the Goodyear and Clement dorm buildings.

With so much to experience here at the UB, it can be mind-boggling to try to fit all of these activities into a schedule when you’re taking classes, and even more so if you work. I myself spent my waking hours during the weekdays working in some way, but the sense of accomplishment and completion made it worth it.

Thankfully, you’re here for four years and can spread out your experiences. To make the best of your time here, you’ll want to immerse yourself in UB’s culture and see all there is to offer.

Kenneth Kashif Thomas is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at