Inside Cal Poly Logo

How prepared are you for your first year at Cal Poly?


You’ve gotten good grades in high school, done well on your standardized tests and been accepted to Cal Poly. Now the real work begins. To help you get off to a good start, we created this handy checklist.

You’ll find the University Store has everything you need from affordable books, to savvy tech, to spirit-packed apparel to help check off freshman year.

Get oriented at SLO Days.

There is a reason SLO Days are mandatory. It’s your best introduction to success at Cal Poly.

Meet with your academic advisors.

Don’t wait until you’re over your head. Meet with your advisors — they are there to help.

Make friends with the Cal Poly portal.

Students spend more time in the “portal” than they do on Instagram (well almost). It’s Cal Poly’s online hub for everything.

Locate the “Money Matters” tab.

Budgeting is not top on students’ minds, but it’s essential for staying up-to-date on your finances. You’ll find it on the portal.

Check your Cal Poly email early and often.

It’s a new habit that pays off big, keeping you in the know.

Know the 25–35 rule.

That is, study two hours per week for every unit of coursework.

Order your books.

University Store has multiple affordable options. Speaking of books, do some pre-class reading. The quarter system flies by. Get a head start.

Know where your classes are.

Classes start 10 minutes after the hour. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to class.

Get your tech in order.

Murphy’s Law says your computer will break down right before you have to upload an assignment. Luckily, the University Store has a fully certified service center.

Nail down time management.

There’s no getting around it. The best plan for academic success is to have a plan.

Get a study buddy.

When it comes to studying, two heads are better than one. A study buddy will keep you motivated and company on those late night cramfests.

Fill your closet with green and gold.

It will boost your mood and get you in the Mustang spirit. The University Store has the ultimate collection of fan gear including brands like adidas®, Under Armour® and Champion®.