With the incoming fall freshman class expected to be somewhere between 7,500 and 8,000 students, which would top the previous record set in 2017 of 6,836 students, a lot of popular places around campus are expected to be even more crowded and cramped than previous years.
While popular dinings halls like Turner and West End as well as the Blacksburg Transit bus stops have always been crowded at specific times, this year is expected to be even more so for students. Have no fear though, as the Sports Squad has you covered through experience and sometimes pure luck for the best times to go anywhere or do anything around campus.
Best times to ride Blacksburg Transit
Figuring out the best times to use Blacksburg Transit is an absolute must for any student living on- or off-campus. While it’s hard to ever really find a time where the bus is completely empty on your way to class (unless you have a rare class late in the evening), you can plan out a way to get on the bus before the huge crowds come on and take all the seats. Going on a bus an hour before your class starts gives you plenty of time to get to class on time without worrying about a completely filled bus that might just drive right past you due to full capacity.
The best times of the day to use the buses to get on campus when you don’t have to be rushed would be the times of day when students are generally in class; buses coming to your stop around 1:30 or 2 p.m. on a school day will likely be pretty spacious because students will generally already be in classes starting around noon or 1 p.m. This also applies for later classes. Going on the bus a little after 3 or 4 p.m. also works for the same reason. If you’re ever trying to make a quick run onto campus for some food or to hit the gym when you’re not busy, it’s always best to plan around class times to have the best chance at getting a seat on the bus.
Best times to eat in the dining halls
Any Virginia Tech student can confirm that during the week the dining halls, especially Turner Place, are unpleasantly crowded with busy students at times. That is the price we pay for having one of the country’s best on-campus dining services. Lines are abnormally long and can make it difficult to get in and out for a quick bite in between classes. Going at times where the dining halls tend to be less busy can be a much more enjoyable experience.
The best time to visit the dining halls are when classes are in session. Most students grab food directly before or after class, so dining halls should be avoided during those times if possible. The way to ensure you do not get caught in the after-class rush is to wait 30-40 minutes after your class ends to head over to the dining halls. By then, most of the crowd should be cleared out. Later in the evening, most freshmen and students living on-campus tend to stick with the dining halls on the residential side of campus (West End, Owens, D2) for dinner. Turner is close to empty and in perfect condition for a relaxing meal. Tapingo is also a great way to avoid lines. The app lets you order food from the dining halls online for pickup. Just time the placement of your order so it is waiting for you when you are released from class. The theme that should be taken away from this is that planning around classes is very important. If you can master a schedule of when you eat at the dining halls, you will quickly learn that huge crowds can be avoided.
Best time to head to Lane Stadium for a game
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there when it comes to finding the best possible seats for a football game, which means you have to be prepared at all times. Planning ahead and knowing when to make the walk over to the stadium, whether you’re coming from your dorm or from Center Street, is vital to finding the exact amount of seats for your group that give you as good a view of the field as possible.
We’d recommend leaving from Center Street to Lane about 70 minutes before kickoff starts. Why so specific a time? Well, it comes down the amount of time it takes you to regroup with everyone as well as accommodate for obstacles such as (but not limited to) bathroom breaks, large and slow-walking groups ahead of you, the loss of a ticket, and even a quick and spontaneous stop to get food. It’s generally about a 15 minute adventure getting from Center to Lane, but that trip can easily turn into a 30 minute walk. If you leave with an appropriate amount of time, you’ll definitely get to the stadium with plenty of time to spare and at least a good spot on the east stands for you and your group.