College students – are you treasuring your four years on campus? They go by so fast! So be sure to take treasure of your time on campus. With that in mind, here are 15 things you just have to do before you walk across that graduation stage! By filling in a few blanks, you can truly make this list your own. The one thing worse than not graduating would be graduating without having truly lived the full, college experience.
1. Go to that really pretty scenic area 15 miles away
Just beyond the border of every college town stands a pretty landscape that remains untapped by many students. It’s not always a ‘secret’ location, but sometimes it takes many different trail runs and countless hours of Google mapping but once you get there, it’ll all be worth it.
2. Take a picture with the mascot. Go team!
Whether it’s an orange or a bulldog, this activity is a must! It’s the ultimate display of school pride next to actually suiting up as the mascot. So find that cuddly creature at a sporting event and snap a picture!
3. Eat at that restaurant the next town over that was featured on Man Vs. Food or Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Eat 50 hotdogs in 10 minutes. Devour the spiciest wings known to man. Sample the world’s greatest barbeque ribs. With hundreds of episodes of these two shows filmed, chances are there’s at least ONE featured restaurant within a few miles of your college campus. Even you, Alaska Pacific University. So go out there and see if you can out-eat Adam Richman, or take the heat better than Guy Fieri. College kids have iron stomachs…usually coated in beer. Chances are someone can beat those television dudes!
4. Paint the statue/rock/wall that everyone paints
Ah—the beauty of a college campus—the green grass, ancient architecture and…a wall hand painted by the marching band. On some campuses it’s a rock, on some it’s a tree—no matter what the tradition, there’s numerous campuses that allow different organizations to make their mark by painting a particular item around campus. It’s a way for clubs, teams and bros to get their name out there in a fun, but messy way!
5. Attend a local, non-university, sporting event.
The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Marlins—they’ve all got minor league teams hidden somewhere—now go out and find them! Tickets are usually fairly cheap and the teams are chock full of big-name players fresh out of surgery or rookies on the cusp of greatness. Ever hear of the Binghamton Mets?
6. Eat at every dining hall.
Most campuses have more than one dining hall and if I’ve learned anything it’s that some are greater than others—even within the same campus! Smith Dining Hall may be serving breakfast for dinner, but it’s Indian food at Crouse Dining Hall…so pick your poison because there’s more than one option for you!
7. Party at every fraternity house
Alpha…Beta…Gamma…each fraternity usually has something different to offer—music selection, cages (to dance in on weekend, and house pledges on weeknights), specialty beverages, slippery floors—so shop around just to say you did…and before you settle for the house with the collapsing roof without seeing the castle-like house at the end of the block with cathedral ceilings.
8. Drink at every bar
The most popular bar may be the closest to campus but it’s also probably the most cramped. Avoid lines, dirty bathrooms and watered-down drinks and explore the surrounding areas. Maybe organize a bar crawl with an organization or group of friends. You never know what awesomeness you may uncover!
9. Road trip to Canada
Ask mom to ship you your passport because it’s time for a road trip! What better way is there to get to know your buddies while truly living life and taking it all in? Your adventure may not end up like that movie, but I can guarantee you’ll have one hell of a time being out of your comfort zone with those you’re most comfortable with.
10. Party with your professors
Because after finals are over, you’re just another citizen of the world conveniently sitting at a bar next to a guy who just so happened to be your statistics professor last semester.
11. Go surfing or snowboarding—whichever the geographic location of your campus will allow
Shred some powder! Thrash some waves! Whatever the kids are saying these days…these recreational activities make for excellent day trips and student discounts are usually available at areas surrounding universities. Do some research and get out there!
12. Leave your mark
To some this means tagging your name on the wall at a favorite bar, but to most this means branching out, discovering who you truly are and getting involved. Start a club. Stage a protest. Tweet your heart out. Whatever you choose to do with your time in college, make it count.
13. Play Frisbee on the quad
14. Take advantage of all free student activities including, but not limited to, ice skating, sporting events and taking out books from the library.
Broke? Don’t lie, all college students are broke in some way, shape or form. So instead of taking out yet another loan from the bank to afford a round of beers on Friday night, try something new like ice skating at the university ice rink, or attend that Saturday night lacrosse game. These activities are fun, safe and most importantly—free!
15. Attend a local festival or fair
From apples to hot dog eating contests, every town has some kind of annual festival or fair. So log onto Google, ask around and find out when and where the next one is within a few miles of your campus. Maybe you’ll have a shot at the pie-eating contest or submit those ants you’ve been hoarding since middle school for the ant farm competition.
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