Places to avoid on campus during your first week back

WKU students wait in line for Panda Express in Garrett Conference Center Tuesday, Jan. 23. Periods right after students get out of class are often the busiest for restaurants on campus.

Noah Moore

No decision is more gut-wrenching than deciding whether or not to wait in the Panda Express line during its busiest hours of operation. Let us make those kinds of decisions so you don’t have to. 

As the spring semester begins, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things on campus. Being away for six weeks can make you forget the tips and tricks for navigating around campus. Here’s a list of places to avoid on campus during the first week of classes:

1. The WKU Store

Let’s be honest. Even though we all wish we were planners, the majority of us procrastinate and wait until the last minute to buy our books. The WKU Store will most likely be brimming with people for the next week or so as students add and drop classes, return unnecessary textbooks or replace their lost WKU Tervis tumblers. The WKU Store is essential for preparing for the upcoming semester, but be sure to heed this advice and only visit if you must or you have the time to wait in line.

2. Panda Express at peak lunch time

Besides the slight atrocity that orange chicken isn’t a meal swipe option, the worst thing about Panda Express can be the eternally long lines. Avoiding the restaurant around 11 to 1 p.m. can help you avoid long lines. The prime time to visit Panda is from 2 to 4 p.m., when the lines die down and you can get your orange chicken fix quickly. Even so, if your Chinese food craving persists, any amount of time is worth it for the fortune cookie.

3. Preston Center

To all who utter “new year, new me” and promise yourselves that you’ll be more active this semester, approach Preston Center with caution. It will be flooded with people as this new semester begins as students try to keep their New Year’s resolutions. If you want to get some exercise, we suggest the natatorium or track, which are usually empty. Also, activities like swimming can be a great, fun workout. If you are dying to get back on the elliptical, be prepared for a crowd.

4. Starbucks

Alas, the Meal Plan Dollars have been replenished for the semester. You know what that means: students will get in line to spend them at Starbucks, which is a surefire way to burn through all your Meal Plan Dollars quickly. If you simply must get your caffeine fix, we suggest going a bit earlier before your 8 a.m. classes. We know you think you can squeeze in a pit stop on your way to your class, but everyone thinks that. For optimal times, try going around 7 to 7:30 a.m. or around 10 a.m.

5. Chick-fil-A

Oh, wait. Chick-fil-A will be closed until its renovations end, so I guess everyone will have to avoid it until it opens. Until the day those glorious chicken nuggets arrive again, you’ll have to satisfy your cravings another way.

Though we suggest avoiding places that are sure to be packed, there really is no place on WKU that isn’t worth a stop. With a diverse array of dining options and ways to spend your free time, there is something for everyone.

Reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-2653, or at [email protected] and @noah_moore18 on Twitter.