2013 AAC Peer AdvisorsPeer Advisor

Each year, experienced students volunteer to serve as peer advisors to first- and second-year students, offering the perspective of someone who has been where you are now. Peer advisors can share with you how they formed meaningful mentoring relationships with faculty, assist you in navigating online registration and help you learn to distinguish what is merely popular from what is individually meaningful to you.

 

Advice to first-year students from the peer advisors

Watch a short video on your advising network

Things we wish we knew first year

The best way to learn a place is to experience it. Lucky for you, the AAC Peer Advisors have been experiencing Duke for you over the last two or three years. Here are some things they have learned along the way that they wish they knew coming in:

  • ePrint is Duke’s printing software, it’s extremely convenient, so there’s really no need to bring your own printer.

  • When you get a chance, download the software onto your computer from this link: https://software.duke.edu/node/77

  • Once you’ve done so, you can print from your computer, and it will get stored on the ePrint server. Then go to any printer on campus, swipe your DukeCard, and you’ll see a list of everything you’ve printed on a monitor next to the printer. Just select what you want to print.

  • Documents you print are stored on the ePrint server for 12 hours. This means you can print something at night and then pick it up the next morning on the way to class (as long as it’s within 12 hours).

  • You can find a list of ePrint stations on campus here: https://swat.oit.duke.edu/status/. The list also shows you which, if any, of the stations are currently out of order.

  • Black-and-white printing is essentially free, but you have a quota of $32 a semester (about 3,000 pages). If your print balance falls below $9, you can request more printing funds for free at https://dco3.auxserv.duke.edu/eprint/. Color printing costs 25 cents per page and is charged from your FLEX account, not the free printing quota. 

 

  • Duke’s Office of Information Technology has some software that is available to students for free. You can see the full list here: https://oit.duke.edu/comp-print/software/license/index.php.

  • The most useful software is probably Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.). You’ll need to connect to Duke’s network at least once every six months to validate Office. If you want a physical CD of Office, you can buy it from the Duke computer store for $15. 

  • If you lose your DukeCard, the first step you should take is to suspend the card so that nobody can use the money on it if they find it. You can do this here: http://dukecard.duke.edu/manage

  • While you look for it, ask the DukeCard Office for a temporary card, which you can borrow for free for a couple of days.

  • If you can’t find it, you’ll have to get a new one for $10.

  • Duke buses

  • Duke Vans

    • If you’re stuck on West or Central Campus, and the buses have stopped running, you can call a Duke Van. Duke Vans will pick up and drop off anywhere on campus, for free.

    • The number is handy to add to your contacts list: (919) 684-2020

  • Enterprise Car Share

    • With Enterprise Car Share, you can rent cars on an hourly basis. It’s usually $9 an hour, which is a little pricey but definitely worth it if you split the fee with a couple friends.

    • Registration information can be found here: http://parking.duke.edu/commuting/carshare/

  • Taxis

    • On Time Taxi: 919-493-5050

      • One of the cheaper cab companies, especially to/from RDU

    • Durham’s Best: 919-680-3330

      • A little pricier, but convenient for places close to Duke

    • Koala Cab:

      • Online ride sharing service—lets you coordinate with other Duke students

  • Public buses

    • The Durham bus system is a great and very convenient resource that is definitely underutilized by Duke students.

    • Bull City Connector

      • This is a free bus that runs to and from downtown Durham. There are a couple pick up points on campus, and you can see the whole route here http://www.bullcityconnector.org/map.html.

      • Take this bus to Durham Station, the Durham Performing Arts Center, a Durham Bulls game or some of the restaurants in downtown Durham (some favorites Toast, Dame’s Chicken and Waffles and Mellow Mushroom).

    • Go Durham (formerly Durham Area Transit Authority)

      • Go Durham has more extensive routes, but you’ll have to connect at Durham Station (take the BCC to Durham station). The routes are here: http://godurhamtransit.org/maps-and-schedules.

      • The one I use the most is Route 7, which goes to Southpoint Mall.

    • Duke students are eligible for a free GoPass, which will allow you to use the DATA bus for free. You can pick up a GoPass at one of the Parking and Transportation offices. Locations are listed here: http://parking.duke.edu/buses_vans/gopass/.

  • Amtrak

    • You can get to the Amtrak station using the BCC.

    • Address: 601 West Main Street, Suite 103, Durham NC 27701 

 

  • http://dukelist.duke.edu/

  • This is basically Duke’s version of craigslist. Look here for opportunities for student employment, researching in a lab and volunteering.

  • Also take a look at “Human Research Subjects Needed” section—you can make some money on the side by participating in research studies.

  • Also look for furniture/other items on sale. 

  • Duke’s Academic Resource Center offers free tutoring services. This is a great resource that I have personally taken advantage of for several of my classes and found extraordinarily useful. Tutors are other undergrads who have previously taken and done well in the course you seek help in.

  • There’s two types of tutoring:

    • Walk-in tutoring is like a help session. No appointment necessary—your professor should provide you information if this is available for your class. (It’s usually this is provided for large lecture classes.)

    • Peer tutoring is one-on-one and is more individualized. You’ll meet with your tutor for an hour a week. You can get a personal tutor for one subject every semester.

    • The exception is if you’re also taking a foreign language class. Then you can have up to two tutors—a foreign language tutor in addition to a tutor in any other subject.

  • Link to apply for a tutor: http://arc.duke.edu/peer_tutoring/index.php

  • Tip: Apply early! Sometimes, certain classes will run out of tutors if you wait too long.

  • Office hours are basically help sessions offered by professors or TAs. Your professor/TA should give you the times/locations on the first day of class (or in your syllabus). There’s no need to make an appointment or sign-up—you can just show up during the scheduled time.

  • At office hours, you can (among other things):

    • Ask (specific) questions on confusing course material with you

    • Ask for help with homework problems (given you’ve already attempted them)

    • Discuss your ideas or an outline for a paper

    • Ask for more information about something you found interesting from class

    • Ask for advice about your academic career

  • If the normal office hours conflict with another class or something like that, you can always email the professor or TA to set up an individual appointment. 

  • If you have a Mac, iCal is a great way to keep track of your schedule. If you have a PC (or don’t like iCal), Google Calendar is another great scheduling tool.

  • The Duke Bookstore gives out free planners during the first week of school. 

  • These activities give you something fun and safe (and usually free!) to do on the weekends. They occur every week and are posted right in your residence hall. If you would like to have Facebook reminders, join the Devils After Dark group.
  • You’ve hopefully had some experience with doing your own laundry before you’ve come to Duke, but if not, you will learn! (Always ask for help if you don’t know how much detergent to put in the wash. You don’t want bubbles everywhere! Trust me, it happens.)

  • In the laundry room, you can either use quarters or FLEX as payment for the machines. If you prefer not having to carry change, then FLEX may be for you, but remember that you cannot add amounts of less than $10 to your FLEX account.

  • Once you’ve loaded your clothes in the machine and put in your laundry detergent, just go to the keypad located near the door of the laundry room. Enter the number (ex. C5) of the washer you used and then swipe your ID. Don’t forget to return to the machine to press the start button. You will have to repeat this process for the dryers. It’s as simple as that!

  • Off-campus eateries

  • FLUNCH

    • At some point, you will want to get to know your professors. Inviting your professor to a FLUNCH might be the perfect way to get to know him/her and to allow him/her to get to know you on Duke’s dime. You can choose from a variety of on-campus eateries. Duke does this to encourage students to create relationships with their professors, so take advantage of it!

    • Visit this website if you want to learn more: https://undergrad.duke.edu/programs/flunch

  • Meal plan extras

    • If you miss breakfast at the Marketplace during the week, you can get up to $4 to use at the Great Hall on West Campus for breakfast or use it towards lunch at the Marketplace.

    • You can also eat dinner at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life for a meal swipe. The food there is really delicious, and you can go there if you ever want a break from the Marketplace. If you want to go to dinner on a Friday night, you must RSVP for dinner because that is the night of Shabbat, so a holy service is performed during dinner.