Fresh tips for fresh students!

By Gwen Frost

1.Looking back on Freshmen year, many students wish they had known how to navigate the Behavioral Health Clinic at Western’s Health Center.

“It’s good to see our University making the mental health of their students a priority, and it’s nice for students to be able to get access to necessary healthcare for free” Western student Raji Gill said.

Western is definitely dropping the ball in some respects here, though; the limit of sessions with a counselor is 6 appointments, and after that students are asked to look for a new doctor, or redirected towards one.

Says Gill, “its  cool we get 3 to 6  sessions, but I wish we would continue to add more resources regarding mental health.”

For anyone who knows anything about mental health, it’s blatantly obvious that any serious mental illness cannot be solved in 3 to 6 appointments. However, you might as well take advantage of the free sessions you are entitled to!

2. The counseling center ran by grad students provides therapy as well! Western’s health center also offers a myriad of  therapy groups, ranging from Eating Disorder support groups to Sexaul Assault recovery groups. This is a good way to unisolate from issues that could be bothering you; trust me, you’re not alone.

3. For junior Henry Leenstra, as a Freshman he wish he had known about the “jobs through the Associated Students in positions that work to promote social  justice,  sustainability, and solutions for many other critical issues.” At the Associated Students’ website,, one can apply for a job that will have them working a five-minute walk from class.

4. The amount of clubs on campus leaves very little to ask for. From Business fraternities (for all “genders”) to Poetry Club and Socialism Club. Get involved politically, socially, or just for yourself, and do something you love, or do something you’ve always wanted to try! The majority of clubs at Western are run by students, for  students. I personally believe the Beyoncé club is over-hyped and that Western only boosts it because Universities are corporations, and Western wants to advertise as a diverse and POC-friendly school, when there have actually been many problems with the administration ignoring the concerns of students of color.

5. There is unlimited access to photoshop and Lightroom for computers. If you’re into design or art, this will be a blessing. Says student Matthew Christianson: “most computers have it and you can ask for access from  the western tech center to download a code for your own computer.”

6. The Disability Resources Center (DRS) is a gem and so are all of the people who work there. The DRS is housed on the bottom floor of Old Main, and  you can talk to them about accessibility, getting modifications for your university experience and exemptions or extensions on tests. If you can’t take notes, the DRS will pay other students in your classes to scan and share detailed notes with you.

7. If you like to type in the night and don’t have a computer at home, you don’t have to be chained to Western’s insane policy of closing the library at 12:00 am; there is a 24-hour lab in Haggard Hall. Though Western is probably the only University in the world that doesn’t recognize that over half their student body is still studying after midnight,  they compensate with this secret resource that no one is able to take advantage of because they didn’t tell anyone about it.

8. Speaking of secrets that we deserve to know because we pay for them, there is FREE PRINTING in the humanities building! Western gives 50 “free” prints for every quarter (they’re not free, we all pay thousands of dollars to be here), but after the 50 are used the begin to cost additional money. Maybe Western could stop patronizing Aramark for our dining halls, because it supports the Prison industrial complex, and instead use the money to give students the resources to do the tasks that are asked of them.

9. ATUS rentals are a lifesaver. As someone who has lost their laptop in their room upwards of 20 times, these rentals on the ground floor of Wilson library can save you so much money by supplying that $900 flashlight for your art project that you don’t have to buy from Home Depot anymore. Usually, Mac laptops have to be returned within 24 hours, but rentals can often be renewed, and objects that are less high in demand like flashdrives can sometimes be rented (for “free”) for months. You can also rent speakers for your next kegger.

10.Worried about paying hundreds (or a thousand) dollars for an ambulance to the emergency room? Western will pay for rides for Western students to and from the hospital through Yellow Cab! If you call the Student Health Center, (360)-650-3000, a ride can be arranged for no cost (to you). Just know your Western ID number and first and last name. If it’s an emergency, I recommend getting a friend to drive you or calling 911, because if the cab company is busy there can be a wait. I have had a friend wait for one hour, while my longest wait has been about twenty minutes. Everyone should know about this- tell your friends and save them some dough.

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