In 2019, Channing Reid gave 10 signs, and with the changing of times, APU is ready for 10 new ways to know if you are an APU student.

The Trolley

All of the trolley trackers in the world won’t stop you and a horde of other students from anxiously awaiting the trolley’s arrival, wondering each morning if the trolley system or the snooze button is to blame for class tardiness. 

Getting onto the trolley is an experience in itself. When it looks like there may be too many students for the trolley to hold, you will come to a crossroads. You will have a few seconds to decide if you will let go of every value APU has ever instilled within you and push and shove your way on or sacrifice being in the good graces of your professors by not being able to board, making yourself even more late. It’s a toss up between survival of the fittest and APU’s four cornerstones. 

Flex Dollars

You can never have enough flex dollars. While you may tell yourself that this will be the last unnecessary drink from Shalom for the week, you’ll eventually cave. You know you deserve a refresher on the hot days or caffeine on those mornings you had to get up early to make it to class on time. 

Cougar Walk

Feeling extroverted? Take a stroll down Cougar Walk. Even on rainy or hot days, it is guaranteed that you will see someone you know. 

Though you may convince yourself otherwise, doing homework on this busy walkway isn’t ideal. Just when you get in the zone, your best friend will walk by and ask to join you. Then he or she will ask if you want to grab lunch, an hour will go by, you’ll have gotten no work done and it’ll be time to go to class. 

But with your friend, you will have had one of the most meaningful conversations of your life, so you’ll make the same mistake tomorrow and try studying on Coug Walk again. 

 Power Outages

About three times a year, APU goes dark. Especially when these outages happen at night, students set aside their homework and loads of laundry to run around campus like the end times have happened. 

During my first power outage, my friends and I sprinted away from a car we thought was about to speed down Cougar Walk. After this terrifying incident, it should have been a relief when the lights came on, yet it was disappointing to realize the excitement did not last long enough for our professors to buy the excuse that we couldn’t do our homework because our laptops wouldn’t charge with the power out. 

Ring by Spring vs the Ratio 

When asking my friends for suggestions for this article, this was the most popular response as a sign of someone attending APU. Ring by spring is not a new concept. For who knows how long, folks who cringed at the seasonal ring have secretly yearned to find their soulmate by the time of graduation. 

Yet, the challenge is APU’s uneven male to female ratio. This ratio seemed to get worse and worse with each conversation I had. Last semester I was told that for every 10 girls there were 3 guys. Last month, it worsened from 10:2 and last week, 10:1. Yesterday my friend announced the most troubling number yet: 12:1. Whatever the exact number, it can be tough out there. But never fret because at least twice a month in chapel, you will be reminded that singleness is a wonderful season, even better than romance in spring.  


Becoming more and more popular, beach volleyball is a common pastime for students here at APU. No matter the time of day, you’re sure to find a group of friends playing in the sand courts by DRC. 

In just a few short weeks, you’ll see your friends grow leaps and bounds in their ability to bump, set and spike  — this newfound athletic ability comes just from staying up past midnight playing a volleyball game with their friends. 

Awkward Steps

It’s nearly impossible to avoid this awkward situation. Over on west campus, students climb these giant, curved steps which provide a very unique workout for students having to run to make it to class in time. After some time, you’ll probably acquire your own climbing technique to make these steps less awkward — but don’t get too confident.

The first story I heard when I toured APU was about a freshman who decided to run, jump and clear the steps in order to impress his campus crush. As expected, this stunt did not end well nor did his crush. 


Ever get a text at 4 a.m.from your roommate asking for help in getting rid of a bathroom cockroach? While potentially too specific, almost everyone has come face to face with these six-legged insects. 

Perhaps you first discovered these little guys (most likely dead) when you moved into your freshman dorm, or maybe you were just getting ready to step in the shower and you saw something funny coming out of the drain. The best advice I can give you is to ignore them and they’ll (hopefully) be gone by morning.  

The Greeting 

I don’t know about y’all, but back in my home state of Pennsylvania, we do not shake hands to introduce ourselves to someone outside of the professional world. Though I’ve gotten mixed answers as to whether this is an APU or a California thing, I am sticking to my belief that this is a distinct part of APU’s culture. 

During the first few weeks of school, I was greatly confused as to why everyone kept trying to shake my hand. Were they in love with me? Did I give off business-person vibes? Was I in an interview? It was a complete culture shock. I thought I might have been the only one who thought meeting someone of the same young adult age entailed just a simple hello and smile, but when I got back home they agreed the handshake concept was otherworldly. However, as much as I was against it at first, a hand shake is now the only way in which I say hello to a new person. 

You’ve Found a Hidden Gem in this Second Home 

While some may say it’s a diamond in the rough, APU would be hard to say goodbye to. I often hear that APU was not a student’s first choice, but that they can no longer imagine themselves at any other school. There’s something about the tight community here that creates a bond that cannot be felt anywhere else. Being here is as exciting as having to stand for a trolley ride. You might have to hold onto the high bar for dear life, but it’s a continuous adventure. 

Whether it be trying new things, meeting some of the kindest friends or making connections with professors who have lived out your dream job, at the end of the day, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.