10 Things to Do at UGA Before You Graduate

10 Things to Do at UGA Before You Graduate

Don't walk across the graduation stage without completely these tasks.
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“College is the best four years of your life."

We heard this line at least five times moving into our dorm, at least 12 times at the past family reunion and god knows how many times from our parents. We all look forward to college: it is something that we dream of as a child and work towards in high school. After all of the waiting, lo and behold, we held that acceptance letter from Jerry Morehead (or Michael Adams for most of us), and still remember tearing up a little at the sight of the digital fireworks on your computer screen as you opened the admissions page.

We are the students of the University of Georgia brought here by different paths of life. One guarantee is that a majority of us now bleed red and black, have called the Dawgs to a crowd at least once (sober or drunk) and have made some of our best memories here in college. Four years can seem like an eternity, but as a second-semester sophomore, realization has hit home: our time here goes by quickly. While we are still here, we need to take part of the traditions that our school has to offer. In my opinion, here are the 10 things that we should do before we walk the stage at graduation.

1. Sleep on the downstairs couches in Snelling.

If you ignore the fact that so many bodies have laid/sat on these couches, they can be ideal for pulling an all-nighter. Once you pass the 1 a.m. mark, only a few people are there and you have all you can eat breakfast upstairs, making this one all-nighter that only you can experience being a UGA student.

2. Jump in the fountain and ring the chapel bell.

If you haven't already done this despite the fact that you have had plenty of opportunities, just do it! It takes 15 minutes and the overall experience is more alive after a long night downtown, preferably with friends and phones (#photoshoot).

3. Get lost on a Family Housing bus.

There are Do's and Do Not's, and the Family Housing bus is understood to be a Do Not. If you're rushing to get to your next class, yes avoid it. If not and you have time to kill (joke's on us), relax and wait at your nearest stop for the Family Housing. One thing that we all love is napping and, depending on the genre of music being played, it can be seen as just another opportunity for us to snooze in public.

4. Go visit the Iron Horse.

Located on a farm off of Highway 15 stands the Iron Horse. You have probably seen pictures surfacing Facebook of the iron horse, and yes, it is something that you have to see in person as a UGA student. It has been a part of UGA since 1959 and students even lobbied the university to move it onto campus for a short period of time. It is a part of UGA despite its location far away from campus.

5. Go to the Catholic Center for Midnight Pancakes.

If you didn't know this, the staff at the Catholic Center prepare a pancake breakfast at midnight each night during finals week. They have snacks, A TON OF CAFFEINE and tables/sitting areas where students can study.

6. Go visit the botanical gardens.

If you are into nature but do not feel like driving out of town to experience it, the botanical gardens are just for you. Housing so many flowers and plants, as well as nature trails, it is a great way for students to relax and find peace of mind amidst the college lifestyle.

7. Relax on a quad or the rocks outside of the MLC.

The long, rectangular rocks are there for your leisure and in the spring/fall, studying on the quad is an experience like none other. Kick back and relax after classes and use either to study or nap.

8. Get a hug from Sandra.

Stop by Snelling at any point from the morning to the late afternoon to meet one of UGA's celebrities, Miss Sandra. She goes out of her way to give each student that passes through the gates at Snelling a hug and can brighten the worst of days.

9. GA/FL!

Your preview of spring break. Go ahead and begin looking for a place to stay on St. Simons Island and pack for a day at the beach, bring your best red and black gear and definitely download the “Find My Friends" app. This is something that every UGA student needs to experience once while they are still in school to not be considered completely lame.

10. Trifecta!!!

At some point before you graduate, you should step foot on the grass of Sanford Stadium, the top of Stegeman and the dirt of Foley Field. It is just another way for us to live on the edge and break the rules a little while hopefully avoiding security cameras and well, security in general. After doing the trifecta, students can walk the stage at graduation knowing that although UGA made them into smarter individuals, they used the trifecta as a way to out-do and out-smart UGA.

Of course these are only a few of the many traditions that make us UGA students different from typical state university students, but these are 10 things that should be on your UGA Bucket List. Otherwise, your college experience is nearly the same as anyone else's and is just another thing about you that is basic.

Cover Image Credit: onlineathens.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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