Like every campus, SJSU students have certain tell-tale habits that make them different from the rest. With a considerable size campus located in the heart of downtown, there are a lot of things that the majority of the student population can understand and relate to. Here are some of them:
1. The Never-Ending Construction
Whether you’re Class of 2003, 2011, 2015, or 2019, you’re well aware of the constant construction and renovations happening on-campus. From the MLK Library to the Student Wellness Center to the new Student Union and then to Campus Village 2, SJSU students have been well-acquainted with the sounds of bulldozers and trucks backing up. Sometimes, when you’re walking to class, you can feel the beautiful dirt and debris blowing into your face as you pass the construction sites. If you live on campus and forget to set an alarm, then don’t worry, you’ll definitely wake up at 8 o’clock sharp from the sound of a jackhammer drilling away. Every time a new phase of construction starts, get ready to adjust your typical route to your classes, again. For what it’s worth, the campus does turn out looking better and better each time.
(Picture by Raymond Baltazar)
2. Trying to actually get into the classes you need
If you are an SJSU student and you’ve never struggled to enroll in classes, then wow, you are definitely lucky. There is nothing more anxious than waiting for your enrollment date-and the complete feeling of your stomach dropping when you’re given a late date. Oh, you found an open section? Too bad it conflicts with your other classes. Found the perfect time slot? Too bad the teacher has bad reviews. Fits perfectly and has a good teacher? Oops, you don’t meet the prereqs. Finally found the perfect fit? Well great, you made it to the waitlist! Of course, sitting in class on the first two weeks nagging your teacher for an add code is practically a rite of passage for SJSU students. We’re all well in tune with our poker face when we put on that fake understanding smile when the professor says that all the seats have filled up.
3. Finding (And Failing to Find) Parking
The never-ending struggle of anyone with a car on campus: trying to find parking. I can’t begin to count how many people I’ve seen walk into class late and talk about how there’s never any parking on campus. SJSU has three parking garages and they are all usually filled up by the morning. If you’re not an early riser or you have classes later on in the day, like most of the normal student population, then you probably opt for the risky but sometimes rewarding benefits of parking on the street and praying no one tows away or otherwise breaks into your car. Can’t find parking? Well, guess it’s time for a well-deserved day off school.
4. Dodging your way through skateboarders, scooters, bikers, and those pesky golf carts
The moment you walk on to campus, you will have to pay attention to your immediate surroundings or risk getting hit. The pedestrian traffic on campus is absolutely wild. You have skateboarders obnoxiously weaving in and out of the crowd, people on their scooters trying to go faster and faster only to trip on the curb, and bikers scaring the life out of you when they come out of some obscure pathway and zoom past you. And of course, there is the ever present sound of the bells ringing from the orange golf carts and the white security carts coming behind you, forcing you to move out of the way. But don’t move too fast, or you risk someone coming the opposite way on a bike crashing into you.
5. La Vic’s
La Vic’s Orange Sauce. ‘Nuff said.
6. Buying food from VM because it’s the only place nearby and open late at night
Nothing’s worse than when it’s midnight and you have the munchies but there’s absolutely no food to eat in your dorm. Even more worse, nothing nearby is open. But a beacon of hope is there: the Village Market. If you go to SJSU and you haven’t tried VM Pizza yet, then you are definitely missing out. And honestly, their milkshakes are pretty bomb too. While VM isn’t always cheap, it is definitely the most convenient of all stores, on and off campus. On top of that, above all, they are safe. You won’t meet any strange characters hanging outside the store the way you would with the 7-Eleven across the street, although if you go late at night, you’ll probably see a lot of disgruntled college students standing in their pajamas. Bonus: if you go on the weekends, you’ll see a lot of students trying to blend in while inconspicuously holding copious amounts of Gatorade, cranberry juice, orange juice, and a lot of chips and candy.
7. “Ho Bags” in the morning
You haven’t officially been initiated into the SJSU student population until you’ve spent at least one morning waiting outside in the cold for those absolutely amazing bagels. Though the line may be long, the Vietnamese ladies that work there are lightning fast, and by the time you’ve finished paying, your order is ready!
8. The Deserted Campus on the weekends
Although SJSU has a thriving Greek community that’s always turnt on the weekends, the school is an absolute ghost town in the day time. On Saturdays, one could stroll through campus from the dorms all the way to Tower Lawn without seeing a single soul. You will see a lot of cute elderly couples taking walks though as well as loads of people walking their dogs.
9. You absolutely dread The Clipboard People
Whether it’s people on campus trying to get you to sign up for their latest cause or it’s the “Amnesty International” people with the yellow vests off campus, someone will come at you with a clipboard at some point during your SJSU academic career. These people are usually persistent, even if you tell them you’re running late for class or you’re about to miss your bus. You don’t want to be mean and completely ignore them but you also really don’t have the time or the patience to deal with them-like, ever.
10. And last, but certainly not least….the squirrels