Surviving Fall Quarter: Budgeting

Surviving Fall Quarter is a new series on Life at UCR, providing you with tips and tricks to master this new experience, or to brush up for the upcoming year!

tartan epidemic

Budgeting Survival Tip #1: Don’t work if you don’t have to

Working in college is great, and a lot of times, necessary. Those loans won’t pay themselves. If you have work study or find an off campus gig that really helps you stay afloat, that’s always a plus. (Check out the listings on the Career Center website!) But if you don’t have to work, don’t!

I know plenty of students who worked their first quarter at UCR and, although the money did help with the cost of books and supplies, they missed out on a lot of the fun getting to know people in the halls. A part-time job is a great help, but if you have the means to get you through until second quarter, enjoy your first college experience and spend time meeting new friends and adjusting to your classes.

Budget Your Dining Dollars


Source. Fun Fact: the blonde with the white headband in this photo is me (Delaynie)! #finallyfamous

I miss Dining Dollars! Students are allotted a certain amount of Dining Dollars per quarter depending on their chosen meal plan when living in the res halls. Dining Dollars can be used on campus at the Hub and at different food stops around UCR. Be careful, I warn you, because those precious Dining Dollars go fast! It’s best to budget them out each week so you won’t run out by week four! As a freshman, I had the cheapest meal plan and budgeted twenty Dining Dollars per week. Don’t forget to factor in Finals Week!

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Surviving Fall Quarter: Preparing for Class

Surviving Fall Quarter is a new series on Life at UCR, providing you with tips and tricks to master this new experience, or brush up for the upcoming year!

tartan epidemic

Transitioning from a 16-week semester system in high school or at community college to a 10-week quarter here at UCR can feel a little overwhelming. Classes start on time and pummel you with information until the very last minute, creating a different learning environment than you might be used to. But fear not, Highlanders. We have some success tips to ensure that you don’t fall behind or get distracted!

Bring Water

hydration station

Source. Hydration stations are located around campus, providing free filtered water.

You might not be used to the difference in class length at the college level yet, so make sure to bring water and quiet snacks for those three hour lectures. Even the average hour and a half lectures might be a bit long, so invest in a good water bottle and always eat something before entering the lecture hall. It’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. The last thing you want is to have your stomach answer a question for the whole class to hear. We’ve all been through that struggle.

More essentials after the break!

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Surviving Fall Quarter: Life in the Res Halls

Hey everyone! I’d like to introduce our new writer, Raven! She’s starting her Life at UCR posts off with an awesome new series, “Surviving Fall Quarter”. Keep an eye out for a new installment next Tuesday!

tartan epidemic

You’re living on campus at UCR your first year. Congrats! I stayed in A&I as a first year (D2West Stand Up!) and loved every minute of it. Of course, there were things I wish I would have known before hand to help me out, but I got through it and so will you!

I have plenty of first quarter dorm hacks to share. It’s easier when a friend goes through it first and can spill all the details for you!

Attend Every Event



Attending all the res hall events allows you to get the best bang for your buck. RHA (the Residence Hall Association) hosts everything from crafts and ice cream parties to Highlander gear giveaways and open mic nights. They even allot a budget to each specific hall to spend on activities of your choosing. So go! Get that free ice cream and make those refrigerator magnets, because that stuff’s not cheap! You’re paying for all of these activities and treats one way or another, so you might as well enjoy them.

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9 Things to Do Before You Leave UCR


Source. Courtesy of the Life at UCR Instagram!

As I was packing for my trip to Washington, D.C., I stumbled upon my acceptance letter to UC Riverside. The letter I had received four years ago was still perfectly intact inside an envelope, with statistics and photographs of a school I hadn’t known much about. Although I graduated college in four years, I technically only spent three of those years studying at UCR. Between studying abroad and taking part in the UCDC internship program, I took advantage of all UC Riverside had to offer in making my undergraduate experience memorable.

While I don’t for a moment regret all the programs I took part in, I do recognize that occasionally separating myself from UCR put a strain on my friendships and altered my connection to the Riverside community. Spending my final quarter as an undergrad across the country has been bittersweet. While my time in D.C. has set me apart from so many soon-to-be graduates, it also meant missing out on major milestones, such as attending the grad fair, struggling through one last finals week and enjoying the last few weeks with my college friends.

As I began to pack up my workspace and apartment here in Washington, D.C., I got to thinking about all the things I would be doing if I was back at UC Riverside. Maybe it’s because my hometown is hundreds of miles from campus, meaning I most likely won’t be returning, but my senioritis has worn off and all I feel like doing is reliving my favorite moments at the school that gave me more than I ever could have imagined. If you’re a graduating senior or just feeling really nostalgic, check a couple things off this list — and be a proud Highlander.

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Revisit: Finals Survival Guide


I meet with a few fellow students each week to talk about writing, and to workshop our latest pieces. We usually meet in one of the study rooms in Rivera because it’s most convenient, and I can usually just reserve a room same-day online. Today, though, I went to reserve a spot and found that almost all of them were full, with bold black bars blocking out the names of entire rooms. I was momentarily surprised, and then I remembered:


We’re at the beginning of the end, which means that Red Bull and Rockstar are seeing sharp increases in sales at UCR, and every Starbucks within five miles is being swarmed by dead-eyed students seeking venti-orange-mocha-caramel-frappuccinos. What do you do? Where do you go? Oh, the humanity! Don’t worry, gentle Highlanders. We’ve got you covered. Click the links below for some of our favorite articles about finals — full of places to go, things to do and ways to keep your mind from spontaneously combusting.

Places to Go:

- A Survival Guide

- 5 Peaceful On-Campus Spots

- Open Hours

- Study Spots on Campus

Places to Eat:

- Late-Night Eats

- Surviving Finals Week: Food

- Coffee Places During Finals Week


- 5 Ways to Rock Your Finals

- Got Finals?

- Tips for an Effective Study Time

Good luck out there!

- Rebecca

The Home Stretch


The end of spring quarter is always tough because it’s hard to stay focused and motivated when the sun kisses your skin. Even I have trouble staying on top of the seemingly endless amounts of reading and problem sets. Believe me, I’ve played hooky more times than I’d like to admit this quarter. I don’t know if it’s early onset senioritis or what, but I’ve been needing a lot of inspiration to get my head in the game.

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8 UCR Life Hacks to Make Your Life Easier


It has come to my attention that you can spend all four or five years here at UCR and still not know all the things that our own campus has to offer. Not sure if you are missing out on something important? Check out my 8 UCR life hacks below and see how your life as a student just got better.  

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The Hunt for the Perfect Summer Job


The school year is winding down to a close.  While finals are a more imminent doom, theres also the struggle of finding a job for the summer. Im sure that summer jobs (or internships) seem pretty elusive for some of us. Ive spent many summers being completely unproductive because I was unsuccessful in the job hunt front. There are several things Ive learned over the years that help with the job hunting process.

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5 Things to Do Before Graduation



Hanging in my closet right now, next to my Pillow Pet, is one thing: my graduation gown. Some of my friends mentioned wearing theirs around the house as soon as they got home from the grad fair. And although the sound of pretending to be a wizard in my robes sounds wonderful, I’m letting it sit in my closet so the creases fall out. It looks too large, even though I know it’s not — I know it’ll fit just fine once I get the guts to wear it. (I did try on the mortarboard, and it’s just as unflattering as the one I wore in high school.) In any case, there are a few things I want to do before I officially wear my grad gear — things that, to me, feel like a great way to sum up my UCR career. Let’s check them out together:

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14 Must-Do Things Before Your First Day at UCR

Congratulations! You SIR’d and you are now an official Highlander! As the chapter in your life called high school comes to a close, a whole new chapter in your life is about to begin this fall. We know you are excited, and we are, too! From a graduating senior to an incoming first year, here are 14 things you should do before your first day of class.

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