19 Baylor MUSTS Before You Graduate

19 Baylor MUSTS Before You Graduate

You can't leave Waco before you do it!
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I am (finally) starting my last semester at Baylor! I'm stressed, scared and anxious. However, I'm also excited, hopeful and ready! While I spend these last few months in Waco, I'm finally getting around to all of the things that I said I would do before I left.

From fountain hopping to Ms. Mei, here are the 19 things you have to do before you graduate from Baylor.

1. Fountain hopping.

This is a Baylor classic. Most of our fountains are shallow enough (or completely flat) to run through, so put on your best Baylor tee, Nike shorts, and Chacos and jump on in. This activity is best done with a few of your line camp or welcome week friends.

2. Tortilla tossing.

Yup, I'm starting with the most cliche activities I could think of. When you go to downtown Waco, be sure to check out the beautiful Waco suspension bridge. Next to it, you can see two giant pillars that used to carry a train track but are now used as targets for Baylor students who throw tortillas at them. If your tortilla lands on one of these pillars, you will marry someone you met at Baylor!

3. Take a class for fun.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I decided to become a Great Texts minor because of my love for reading and classics, and I have loved every single class. It is a great way to explore your passions and develop them. Who knows, it may change your potential career path.

4. Climb the Alico building.

This building is one of the tallest in central Texas and is the tallest in Waco. Its picturesque, towering look begs to be climbed!

5. Go to Dr. Pepper Hour.

Free dessert! This is a great Baylor tradition that has been around almost as long as Baylor has. If you go ten times, you get a free mug and your name goes on the wall in the SUB for years to come.

6. Take a spontaneous trip to a big Texas city.

Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are all 1-3 hours away. Take advantage of your proximity to major cities and travel! I can't count the number of times my friends and I have decide to go on a trip the day we take it. Always worth the drive.

7. Enjoy a cookie from Ms. Mei.

These cookies are only available in Memorial Dining Hall. Ms. Mei is not only a kind, incredible person, but her cookies are just as warm and sweet. Pro-tip: fill a to-go box with them and save them for later.

8. Sit on Judge Baylor's lap.

This is one of those Baylor traditions that everyone does, but no one really knows why. Regardless, be sure to make your way in front of Waco Hall and take a picture with our founder.

9. Play in the water at the marina.

At the marina, Baylor students get unlimited FREE access to kayaks, canoes, and other things that would usually have a high hourly cost.

10. Attend Church Under the Bridge.

This church encompasses the primary reasons I went to Baylor: Christ and service. It is just what it sounds like — a Christian church service held underneath a bridge. The founders of the church wanted the relatively large homeless population to feel like they had a place they could go for service without sticking out. Free food is offered for those who need it, and the word of God flows through the community of worshipers that attend. Whether or not church is part of your weekly routine, this experience is bound to make you appreciate life in a new light.

11. Attend a show by the Baylor Theatre Department.

Baylor University has one of the most talented performing arts programs in the world. You will not regret attending a show here! If you have the opportunity, take the two-hour "theater appreciation" course to get free tickets.

12. Go check out the Bobo Center.

I know this may shock you, but Christian Texans are not the only people who go to Baylor. The Bobo Spiritual Life Center embraces the differences that make us unique by leading the cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue on campus. To get a free dinner and a first-hand look at the work that the Bobo is doing, attend "neighbor night" every Tuesday at 7 p.m.!

13. Go hammocking.

This is a college classic. Baylor has plenty of trees and beautiful places to relax, so grab a friend on a sunny day and relax in your hammock.

14. Befriend a professor.

Baylor professors are known for being kind, helpful and compassionate. I highly encourage you to attend the office hours of one or more of your professors to get to know them on a personal level. They will help you greatly in your career and your life if you give them the chance.

15. Befriend someone who is NOTHING like you.

This is for the ones who say "I have a Hindu friend (on Facebook), I'm cultured!" My response to you is this: closing yourself off from everyone who has grown up in different circumstances as you will only lessen your college (and life) experience. Some of the most incredible people I have ever met grew up in different countries, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religions than me. As humans, it is completely natural to hesitate with things that are different than what you're used to. However, once you let down that barrier you open your life to be more fulfilling. You don't know what you're missing!

16. Participate in the Bearathon.

This is known as "The toughest half [marathon] in Texas." If you like running you won't want to miss this! It is inexpensive to register and worth every penny. AND, for those of you who are hesitant, they also have a 5K!

17. Sit on a green and gold swing.

This is another Baylor tradition that involves marriage and has a questionable origin. If you sit on a swing with a special someone at least three times, you are destined to marry them. Even if you're not going for that "ring by spring," it's fun to do anyway.

18. Become a leader in a student organization.

I would not have found my Baylor family without joining Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. Through this organization, I have met some of the most brilliant, driven and talented individuals at Baylor, and I haven't regretted a second of my membership or leadership. It has also exposed me to a vast network of alumni and networking opportunities that have helped me get a job!

19. Graduate!

Just do it.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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To The Ones Who Are Confused On How To Feel About Senior Year

It's a feeling where you don't know if you should have happy tears or sad tears... or maybe a little bit of both.

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Senior year is about to start, and it's such a bittersweet feeling. Summer is coming to an end, we're moving out of old apartments and houses and into new ones, and of course the question, "are you ready for school to start back?" is definitely being brought up multiple times a day.

Am I ready? Yes. No. Kind of.

My little brother is going to freshman orientation at the high school today. My mom came into my room and asked me if I could remember all the stuff I had to do when I went, and that's when it hit me… that was 7 years ago… holy crap. Where did time go?

Here lately it seems like everyone has been asking "oh when does school start back?" "Are you excited?" "Are you ready to enter the big girl world?"

Well to answer your question, yes but no. This is the most bittersweet feeling I have ever had about something.

So why am I answering yes? Because I can't wait to have all my friends back in town. I miss y'all like crazy; Oxford just isn't the same. Football – it's August and that means the countdown to football season is getting so much closer, and that is always exciting. Formals, swaps, date parties, bid day... all of that is exciting too, but then I just can't help but think… while all these things are so happy and so fun to look forward to having those countdowns for… this is also my last time to get to have those things – as a student at least.

So why do I answer no? Because it's my last summer before the real world, before me and all my friends get real jobs and follow our dreams, our last football season in The Grove as students, our last formals, date parties, bid day, all of that. We can't wait for these things to happen, but just knowing how fast junior year flew by… I'm a little worried senior year is going to be over in the blink of an eye.

This has really been something weighing me down because it does make me really sad to think about, and hearing people say "oh senior year, a year full of lasts" does not make it any better. All I know is this year I will be so much more appreciative of those slow days that I just want to get over with and the busy days that I'm running crazy just trying to get everything done in. I'll appreciate the little stuff and hold tight to the memories I have made and will make this year.

And to my friends, hurry up and get to Oxford so we can make senior year the best year yet!

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