If I knew then what I
Advise and tips for new
by Lauren Bond, '05, with help from the class of
- The university does charge late fees on your
- Be patient.
- Go through the financial aid officer for
- Make sure you follow through with getting checks
and make sure you have an in-state address to receive your checks (for
example, if you would like to have your check sent directly to an
out-of-state bank, you can’t). Otherwise, they will hold it without
- Things to Do
- Take advantage of the Duke Performances series.
The shows are excellent and they’re only $5 with student ID. Get your
tickets early, though, they sell out very quickly.
- They run cheap movies during the week at the Bryan
Center for students.
- Explore the campus.
- Go to Duke Chapel at least once. You can walk
around on a self-guided tour, or go to the ecumenical Christian service
at 11:00am on Sundays. It’s awesome.
- Go to the Sarah Duke Gardens at least once. It’s
also an excellent outdoor study location.
- Go to basketball games.
- Don’t be afraid to use the library for studying.
It will make you feel like you belong more to the University community.
- In the summer, Duke sponsors the American Dance
Festival (ADF). Some performances are free! Students can get half price
tickets if they go 1 hour before the performance. Some of the worlds
best contemporary dance troupes come and perform – really amazing.
- Campus Activities
- Take every opportunity for free food, such as
receptions or convocations. Duke sponsored events tend to have good
food. Should be. You’re paying enough for it.
- Take every opportunity for freebies. Go to
presentations. You might get a free pen, Post-it Notes, a T-shirt,
- As a Duke student, you can join student groups.
ABSN students have been involved in the following:
- Duke Chapel Choir (easy audition required at
the beginning of the semester). See
- Open chapel choir requiem sing-along:
usually it is the first Wednesday of the semester. No audition.
Just come and sing.
- Summer choir is open to anyone. Just come
- GradCatholic is a Catholic group for graduate
students. Several ABSN students have been involved and really got a
lot out of it.
- Graduate and Professional Women’s Network
(GRADWOMEN listserv & activities). Incidentally, men can join this
- Health Care
- Even if you don’t buy the student health
insurance, you can use the student health center. Most basic services
are free. That’s why you see the “student health fee” on your bill. You
can get a full physical once a year. You can get vaccines. Prescriptions
are super-cheap at their pharmacy, too.
- If you need counseling, use CAPS (Counseling and
Psychological Services). Why make school harder than it has to be? It’s
free and they’re great. See
- As a student, you can use the gym for free. That’s
why you pay a recreation fee, so take advantage of it. See
- East campus gym (Brodie) has some treadmills,
bikes, elliptical machines, mostly free weights, a basketball court,
and some dance/exercise studios. The pool is open limited hours,
check the schedule and get there when the pool opens, because it can
- West campus gym (Wilson) opens its parking lot
after 4:30 on weekdays or anytime on weekends, when there isn’t an
event going on. It has tons of ellipticals, bikes, treadmills, a big
weight room, and free weights. The pool is open more hours than at
Brodie. Several TVs are visible from the machines.
- Both gyms offer free exercise classes – yoga,
pilates, aerobics, kickboxing, etc.
- Student Health also offers health promotion
services for free. Take advantage of them!
- You can join the Duke Run/Walk club. It meets on
Mondays and Wednesdays. Or, join the Duke team to participate in local
- One of the clinical instructors, Daya
Breckinridge, teaches yoga in her home not far from Ninth St. She offers
a very reasonable student rate for yoga classes. Several ABSN students
from the December 2005 class have participated her classes. It’s great
- A good running route is the loop around the
perimeter of the East Campus (about 1.5 miles per lap).
- Another good one is the loop around the golf
course (shady and hilly) and about a 5k once around. To find the
trail, drive down Erwin Road until it dead ends into NC 751, turn
left, the first and third right turns off this road are gravel
parking lots and the trail is right at the edge of the parking lots.
- Students (particularly women) have been warned
not to run in the Duke Forest unless they are with a group (4-5
people) or have big dogs with them. Lone female runners have been
attacked on these trails.
- Parking at Duke is a pain and it is expensive.
- Only park in marked spots in the H lot. They
like to ticket, especially the first week of school. The tickets
- You can park for free on Green St. and
surrounding streets. In the fall, it can be crowded.
- In the “big H lot” at Anderson Dr. and Erwin
Rd. it is very hard to find a spot after 8:00 am and before about
2:00 pm. Be prepared to circle the lot for a while. Allow plenty of
- You can park in some gated lots during the
week after hours for free. Use your student ID to swipe through the
card reader. Your H lot parking pass will also work.
- This is particularly useful at the Bryan
Center garage, if you’re going to west campus for an activity or
a meeting, etc.
- Three students’ cars were vandalized in the
Hillsborough Rd. H lot in Spring 2005. Car stereos were stolen. It happened
during the day, while we were in class, on Duke property. Don’t’ give
thieves a reason to target your car:
- Lock it.
- Take your stereo face plate with you.
- If possible, park closer to Hillsborough Rd. (not
the back fence).
- Don’t leave valuables in plain sight.
- Duke has a SafeRides program. If it’s dark and you are
alone, call them and get a safe ride to your car.
Food and Dining
- Ninth Street and Nearby
- Cosmic Cantina – Mexican – essential for surviving
- Blue Corn Café – Fusion of Latin American and
- Dale’s Indian Cuisine – below the school – very
good, ask for your discount!
- George’s Garage – a fabulous lunch buffet sold by
weight. You can also get deli sandwiches, and decadent desserts and
pastries. It’s really easy to spend too much on lunch when it’s
by-weight, but if you’re careful you can do well.
- Cinelli’s Pizza – on Main St. between Ninth St.
and Broad St. Many say this is the best pizza in the area! Try the
“Grandma’s” pizza. It’s a bit pricier but worth it. They deliver, too.
- On Campus
- There’s a Chinese restaurant in the basement of
the building across from the Trent Drive school. Student discount
available. Maybe not the best ever, but mighty convenient.
- The food court at Duke South (clinics) has some
- Believe it or not, the cafeteria in Duke North
(hospital) is pretty good. They have microwaves if you want to bring
your lunch or dinner.
- Durham Restaurants
- El Rodeo in Brightleaf Square is good cheap
Mexican food and they give a Duke student discount (maybe 15%) with your
student ID. It’s nice to eat outside on their patio, too.
- Satisfaction is good for pizza, a vast selection
of beers, and other greasy goodies. Good people watching, too.
- Chai’s on Erwin Rd has good Pan-Asian food. You
can get a noodle or rice dish with your choice of meat or tofu. Lots of
noodle dishes, soups, and smaller/lighter appetizers and dumplings and
- There’s a sushi place in the Woodcroft shopping
plaza off 751 that’s pretty good. Another good sushi place is Sushi
Yoshi on Old Chapel Hill Rd. in Chapel Hill.
- For elegant dining, try Verde in Erwin Square.
It never hurts to ask if any merchant has a student discount.
Use the Duke University Computer store in the Bryan Center. They sell
everything cheaper – software, peripherals, hardware, storage devices, etc. Get
software at the “student rate” whenever you can. It’s so much cheaper.
Many of the establishments on Ninth St. offer student discounts. Don’t
forget your ID and don’t forget to ask.
JCrew offers a 10% discount for Duke Students with ID.
Scrubs and Nursing Shoes
Buying online is cheaper than any place locally. However, you may not
know what kind of scrubs you like yet, so you may want to go to a shop and try
Lots of pockets are extremely useful. Some students have used a little
“fanny pack” for carrying supplies during clinical.
For shoes, students have done fine with clogs, sneakers, “Nursemates”
Compression support hose are your friends. But, you can probably survive
without them first semester.
There is almost nothing to buy to eat at Butner (in the town or at John
Umstead Hospital), if you have psych nursing clinical there. Bring your lunch
Black pens only.
Getting through School
Nursing school is hard and it will challenge you in ways you never
Be patient with yourself.
Get the support you need.
Eat good food.
Take time to treat yourself well. Don’t underestimate the value of
exercise, time away school, practicing your faith, meditation, whatever helps
you deal with stress.
Sleep is important.
Professors in this program assign way more reading than is humanly
possible to do.
Focus on what you really need to know (for the test, to be safe,
Figure out how you learn best, and focus on that method, because
sometimes they offer the same material in several different ways. You don’t have
to do all of them.
Use different locations for studying, it helps add some motivation.
Outdoors is great!
You can do this!
Remember, the person who graduates last in the class is still a Duke