SMC Fall Survival Guide

Here are a few quick and helpful tips to introduce, or reintroduce, you to the best of Santa MonicaCollege life. We’ll start with the first thing on your mind (parking, obviously!) even if there’s little we can do to ease the pain.


1. Parking

There is no secret solution. Parking is tough. Leave time before class for parking so you’re not stressed out about being late in addition to being stressed out about parking. Early mornings (before 8 a.m.) are best, so if it fits into your schedule, try getting to campus early.

2. Buses

Santa Monica and Los Angeles County each have their own public transportation system.

The Big Blue Buses run only in Santa Monica, except for the Rapid 7, which commutes to and from Los Angeles. Your SMC student ID card allows you to ride the Big Blue Bus for free.

LA Metro buses cost $1.50 a ride, and only accept exact change. There is a discount for college students - unlimited ride for $36 a month. Transfers from the BBB to the LA Metro cost 50 cents, so carry quarters.

On Campus

3. Food

The campus cafeteria offers a convenient way to satisfy hunger pangs between classes. Vendors there try to accommodate many special dietary needs, like Kosher, vegan or carrots-only.

4. BYO Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

If you’re on a budget, or you just like eating your own food, there is a microwave and a hot-and- cold water cooler in the cafeteria. Bring a hot cup and a tea bag, an oatmeal packet, or your mom’s homemade lasagna, and you’re good to go.

5. Computers

There are three computer labs on campus; in the library, in the business building on the second floor, and in the Cayton Center near the cafeteria. The computers can be accessed using your SMC username (lastname_firstname_middlename, not your ID number) and SMC password.

6. Wi-fi

Wi-Fi is available on campus. Just open your browser and sign in with the same username and password you would use for the SMC computers.

7. Studying

There is always space in the library for studying. There are tables, armchairs (although they are often taken by sleeping students), outlets, and quiet levels conducive to studying. In addition, many of the buildings have study areas near the staff offices that make great hideouts for serious studying. If you are not easily distracted, you can study outside in the beautiful Santa Monica weather.

Student Life

8. News

Stay on top of SMC news, announcements and events in any of the following ways:

a. Follow SMC on Facebook and Twitter. b. Read the school newspaper, The Corsair, which comes out every Wednesday in print, and is available online at c. Watch the TV screens located around campus (library, cafeteria).

9. Diversity

SMC is the melting pot of the melting pot of LA. If you have ever wanted to learn a language, you can bet you will find someone on the SMC campus who speaks it. Studying at SMC provides the opportunity to meet people of all nations, ethnic groups, religions, politics, and dietary leanings.

10. Santa Monica

Santa Monica has a population of 85,000, which swells to upward of 250,000 each day, thanks to us, and to tourists, and to businesses, and recently to a lot of techy startups. When you have a chance, you might want to take a look, or a hike, or a surf around.