When your college is split between two campuses and over 8,200 students, common ground may not be the easiest thing to find. But if you’ve spent some time at LAU over the past three years or so, then I’m pretty sure at least one of these things applies to you.

1. Science Bridge: It all Begins Here

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You’ll always come across someone singing and/or playing guitar under the science bridge. It has become a Byblos Campus standard (this might have to do with the strategic location of the bridge). You can either enjoy the spectacle from afar or join the jam in the hopes of attaining a future career in music.

2. The Parking Spot Hunt

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It’s never a normal LAU day unless you’ve heard at least one person complain about the lack of parking spots available around campus (well, it’s a Lebanon standard). On the bright side, the parking excuse has become a valid explanation for being late to class. And hey, you can still prevent that by showing up early, the 7:30 a.m. kind of early.

3. The Fine Arts Stairs Crowd

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The Fine Arts stairs crowd, mostly made up of Communication Arts students, is hard to escape. You’re likely to step on laptops, cameras, backpacks (and possibly legs and arms) on your way up. First time on the stairs may be particularly awkward, but you’ll get used to it.

4. Music Courses: The Tragedy

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I never get the hype over music courses during the drop and add period. It’s like everyone is battling for a spot. Rumor has it that engineering majors are the top contenders. If you do get in, consider yourself lucky.

5. It’s All Happening at the Fountain

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“Join us tomorrow at the fountain, 11:00 p.m. sharp.” The fountain area hosts most outdoor events at the LAU Byblos campus, from Candy Day to the Student Council elections. It’s also a strategic meeting spot, especially when you’re a new student who hasn’t yet memorized the names of the buildings. Pro-tip: watch out for sprinklers or prepare to get wet on your way to class.

6. Strangers at the Medical Building

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The Medical Building opened its doors last fall at LAU Byblos. The complex has its own cafeteria and library, so the probability of coming across a medical student is minimal. Don’t set your hopes too high; you’re not likely to have a Grey’s Anatomy adventure.

7. Floor 12: This Is Home

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Floor 12 of the Riyad Nassar Library is probably the largest group work area at LAU in Beirut (any seasoned pro knows this). It’s not the best place to read a book and walking in alone feels weird (trust me on that). You’ll always find someone messing around with the furniture. Make yourself at home.

8. Never Heard of MUN?

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I’m pretty sure every LAU student knows MUN. It’s basically what happens when you drop by on a Saturday to find your campus taken over by young students on their way to becoming future leaders. It can also become a valid excuse to get more blazers (suits for guys) and skip unnecessary social occasions on weekends.

9. Blackboard

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Blackboard always feels like an alien concept during your first semester. It might take you forever to figure out how to upload your assignment correctly (the IT department is there for a reason). But hey, don’t you just love the cute messages left by your instructor in the announcements section (midterm on the 20th, chapters 2-4-5-6 and 7 included)?

10. Cats: Do Not Disturb

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Cats always seem to know the campus more than you do. They sneak into classes, terrorize Ailurophobics and often choose the most comfortable couches to take a nap (they seem to have a preference for Orme Gray couches). There’s always this ‘star cat’ you never fail to identify, everyone has their own.

11. Bipolar?

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Student opinion always differs on which campus is "the best." But if you spend some time at both, you’ll realize how equally amazing they are. It’s called the unifying LAU experience (and it’s beautiful).

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