Cheney — the city that contains Eastern Washington University — can’t technically be referred to as being in the “middle of nowhere.” More precisely, it’s slightly to the east of nowhere.
But none of that matters once you’ve finally reached the beautiful campus, where dozens of buildings — some gleaming with modernity, others wise with old age — mirror the diverse nature of the programs available. This is a school that takes its academia very seriously. Even more seriously than it takes its partying. Here’s how to make the most of both:
Memorize the school’s layout. Like, fast. The sooner you know where buildings are, the slightly better chance you have of making it to class on time. That 10-minute walk from Kingston to the art building easily becomes 20 if you don’t know where, exactly, the art building is.
Ride the bus, eat in the PUB, and make friends. I know, it’s terrifying talking to people you’ve never met, but let’s face it, you both go to the same school. You’ve already got that in common. Feel like you’re missing out at parties? The best way to get around it is to go intentionally fishing for friends. Ask how they are. Invite them to study. Eat lunch with them. Don’t just expect friendship to happen. Worst case scenario? You become too popular.
Like at many colleges, registering for classes at EWU has become more competitive than the Olympic Games. It’s a sad fact, but if you aren’t literally sitting at your computer, clicking refresh at 7 am, waiting for registration to open, you might not make it. This is more of a junior and senior problem, but newcomers, take heed — others also pine to take that specialized class you’ve been dreaming about.
The Perils of Parking
Driving to school certainly has its advantages over busing (though busing is free), but if you’re going to truck the ol’ station wagon out to school every day, make sure you have your parking situation figured out. Free parking becomes a nightmare any time after 9 am, and the Parking Enforcement people on campus are invariably strict. Plug those meters. Then re-plug them even before time runs out.
Word of Warning
The campus is growing, and that means it’s often under construction. Know where this construction is happening and how to get around it to ensure it doesn’t make you late for classes or — Heaven forbid — parties. And try not to plan group meetings outside of the Patterson Hall construction site — unless, of course, your group finds the sound of constant hammering strangely relaxing.
Cheney is stationed in a nice little semi-circle around the Eastern campus. Because of this, anywhere in the city is a relatively short walk away from the campus, and many of the hot spots in Cheney are a straight shot from the school. Your best bet for heading into town is to go down Elm until you hit First and head southwest — this road will take you along many of Eastern students’ favorite Cheney spots. The other option is Betz Road which, on its way west to Highway 904, goes right through a heavy area of fast food restaurants and supermarkets.
Hope you don’t find corny date spots too embarrassing. Hope you like pizza. A couple of the pizza spots in Cheney, namely Rosa’s on Second and Gatto’s on First, are celebrated among the students at EWU for having either good pizza or cheap pizza. Either way, pizza’s pizza. Like bowling? Rosa’s is a skip and a jump from Cheney Lanes. Like jazz? Plan a night at Gatto’s to see members of Eastern’s own jazz program play live.