19 Baylor MUSTS Before You Graduate

19 Baylor MUSTS Before You Graduate

You can't leave Waco before you do it!
1303
views

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

Popular Right Now

4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

65002
views

Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Seniors, There's More to Life After High School

The best and worst times over your life, but there's more than what your problems are now.

82
views

Dear Seniors,

There's more to life than high school.

You get to a moment in time where you feel like you're running yourself dry overturning in a lab report or study for a math quiz. And while those things do matter, they don't control everything.

I'm in a bit of a funk right now going into the ending of my sophomore year of college, and honestly, I'm about to declare that any sophomore year, is just no fun.

But after two years of being graduated from high school, I've come to the realization that there is more to life than what you live (or lived) in high school.

I'll be honest, I've had a bit of a bum school year so far and I don't really know if I can pinpoint why. I feel like I'm on a train that just keeps going and has no stops but somehow more people keep getting on board.

I'm in a feeling of just plain loneliness. And I know in retrospect that I'm not actually alone, but that doesn't stop the feeling from being there. And of course, when you're in a bum mood where nothing seems to be going right, what does any (somewhat) sane person do? Wallow. And then go down memory lane of everything that used to be good or figure out anything you could've done wrong.

With that, I came to the realization, that there's more to life than the life I lived in high school.

I used to care so much about what was going on in my day to day life, and whether people liked me or why they didn't like me. I cared about if I looked a certain way or did something right versus wrong. And all I could figure out from this is that none of that matters now. There is more to life than high school.

Be happy. Be so happy about graduating high school and completing 13 years of required schooling. Be proud of yourself for getting that far. It's important to graduate high school. But there is more to life than the life you lived in high school.

My experience coming into college was not all that I thought it would be. I didn't make friends right away, I didn't love my college from the start, I didn't know what I was doing at all. I saw my friends from high school on social media seem like they were having the time of their life and all I could think was what was I doing wrong.

All I've learned is that there was more to life than high school.

Every problem I've ever had within my four years of high school does not matter now. I thought everything used to be something, seems like it's nothing now.

There's more to life than high school.

I came to college with expectations of what life may or may not be. I graduated high school thinking every friend I had, was going to be a lifelong friend of mine. Truth be told, I think I can count on one hand the number of people I still keep in touch with from high school.

There's nothing wrong with old friends and staying friends and appreciating high school.

But there's more to life than high school.

There are things that you should always be proud of and graduating high school is one of them. But there's more to life than high school.

I'm trying this new method of living each day as if it's their own. I'm really trying to live more in the moment of things I'm doing because I really just feel like I'm rushing through things just trying to finish, finish what? I have no idea.

But live each day as it's own, and realize there's more to life than the life you lived in high school.

Cover Image Credit:

Kiahna White-Alcain

Related Content

Facebook Comments