“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.
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.
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.