Tips for branching out and exploring Iowa State
By Jessica Bennett
Get coffee: The Hub
When you need a quick jolt of caffeine in between classes, head to the Hub. With Caribou Coffee and a cozy atmosphere, it really can’t be topped. It’s located right off central campus and makes a great study spot — if you can find a table. The busiest times are during common breaks between classes and the lunch hours, so head straight there after your 8 a.m. to avoid long lines.
De-stress: Biofeedback Center (Student Services building)
We could all use a little less stress in our lives, and the Biofeedback Center can help. It offers interactive biofeedback training programs that help calm your mind and reduce stress. After a short introduction session, all you have to do is sit in a comfy chair, put on a pair of headphones and look at a TV screen. In half an hour, you’ll be relaxed and stress-free.
People-watch: The steps of Curtiss Hall
Offering a panoramic view of central campus, the steps of Curtiss make a prime people-watching perch. You’re right in the middle of the action, so you’ll see all kinds of interesting individuals. Tip: try this around midnight on a Friday — you might be able to catch some Curtiss-to-Beardshear runners!
Take a selfie: North staircase of Parks Library
When it comes to selfie-taking, lighting is everything, but if you’re going to take one on campus, you also need privacy. The last thing you want is for someone else to walk in and catch you in what would surely be an awkward situation. The library’s north staircase offers the solution to both these problems, and a beautiful view of the always-exciting Gilman Hall. With sun streaming in around noon, take advantage of the natural lighting and rake in those Instagram likes.
Get lost and never be found: Friley Hall
One of the largest residence halls in the country, Friley is five floors of long hallways, winding staircases, random administrative offices and more dorm rooms than you could possibly count. So if you feel like getting lost and emerging dazed and confused hours later, step inside the maze of Friley Hall.
Take a nap: Hixon-Lied Student Success Center
With the Academic Success Center and tutoring services housed in this building, Hixson-Lied is nearly always wonderfully silent and never too busy. You’ll normally find just a handful of students quietly studying here, which makes it the perfect place to sneak in a nap. Head to the back lounge area on the second floor and grab some Zs on one of the comfy couches.
Eat lunch: Courtyard Café (Lagomarcino Hall)
Tucked away inside Lagomarcino Hall, this hidden gem offers great food and a chill vibe. Stop in for a fresh-made sandwich or a steaming chai latte.
Watch Netflix (without being judged): West Lounge in the MU
You’re stuck on campus for the afternoon, and you’ve actually managed to finish all your homework. You finally have time for a binge-watching session of your favorite show, but you don’t want to be judged by all the other students slaving away over their textbooks. The solution? Hide out in the West Lounge of the MU. Located on the second floor near the west staircase, it’s a quiet spot with lots of couches and out of the way of judging eyes. Feel free to Netflix and chill there as long as you’d like.
Catch a glimpse of the white squirrel: Central Campus, near Mackay Hall
The legendary leucistic squirrel has become a staple in Iowa State’s culture, but he’s not always that easy to find. If you want to see for yourself what all the hype is about, your best bet is to take a stroll near Central Campus, starting near Catt Hall and heading toward Parks Library. This elusive white-furred creature normally hangs out around the trees near that sidewalk, so with a little luck, you might catch a glimpse while walking past. But if you do, be sure to remember: pics or it didn’t happen.