5 Places In Madison, WI For The 'Outdoorsy Type'

5 Places In Madison, WI For The 'Outdoorsy Type'

If you love spending time outside, this one is for you!

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I have always been an avid fan of the outdoors. From camping, to hiking, to canoeing, I love it all! In an effort to get to know my new home of Madison, WI a little bit better I decided to compile a list of some great places to check out around the city if you're one who enjoys time outside. I asked several of my floormates, friends, and classmates what some of their favorite outdoor destinations around Madison are. I combined these answers with a few of my personal favorites and came up with what I think are 5 of the top outdoor spots to check out in Madison.

1.Picnic Point

On the far reaches of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve lie Picnic Point. UW students and community members alike flock to Picnic Point year round to enjoy an escape from bustling city life and a breath of fresh air.

2. Allen Centennial Garden

Located in the Lakeshore neighborhood of the UW campus, the Allen Centennial Garden is a beautiful spot to enjoy expertly crafted floral arrangements. The garden is open from 8AM-8PM Monday-Friday and is available to the public!

3. The Lakeshore Path

Running from the Memorial Union terrace all the way through the Eagle Heights neighborhood, the Lakeshore Path is an easy, and visually stunning way to get across campus. A walk, jog or bike along the path down the shores of Lake Mendota is guaranteed to put you in a great mood.

4. Lake Wingra

Lake Wingra is a bit further away from the UW campus than the other places that I've listed, but well worth the journey. It's beautiful shores provide a calming place to unwind and explore.

5. The Memorial Union Terrace

I would be remiss not to mention the famed Memorial Union Terrace. A shining landmark of Madison, the terrace is the perfect place to relax with friends and provides a beautiful view within the midst of the city.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE I Became A Senior

Advice for the graduating senior that nobody tells them.

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As a senior in college, I wasn't aware of the money, the time and the stress that would come along with graduation. After preparing for graduation, paying for everything and having several panic attacks, I've compiled a list of things every college student should know before becoming a senior.

1. Save up money for graduation

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Not only is paying for college expensive, with the University of Washington's estimated undergraduate resident tuition being $3,754 for 10–18 credits in a quarter, not to mention if you live in Court 17, the University's on campus housing, undergraduate rates range from $2,451-$4,221 per quarter, it's a good idea to save a few extra bucks for graduation.

Cap, gown and your major's tassel are about $50 for undergraduates, a guaranteed expense for graduates. However, there are other expenses as well when it comes to graduation.

2. Don't do graduation announcements through the school

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As a senior who has already gone through the graduation process, one option I had available was to have announcements made through the school. Simple, plain, university seal, and expensive!

Personally, I used Shutterfly. They came out looking professional and you are able to add your own personal touches to your announcements. Shipping however can seem a little bit expensive, but nowhere near how much it would be doing it through the school.

3. Have a friend or family member do your senior photos

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If you have a friend that does photography, or even just owns a camera, do whatever you have to in order to get them to take pictures of you. Buy them coffee, lunch — just do something so they will take pictures of you, as it can save you money down the road. A nice lunch or a cup of coffee will be a lot cheaper than paying a professional photographer to take your photo. However, some people want it done professionally or not at all, but it doesn't hurt to save a buck or two when you can.

4. Register for graduation during your Winter Quarter

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While you don't need to meet with an academic advisor until the beginning of Spring Quarter, every senior is going to be wanting to meet with them, and their availability is limited. Meet with them about half way through Winter Quarter, just to make sure your plan will work and you will graduate on time. If so, register for graduation. This will also avoid the crisis of advisors who decide to go on vacation or take a few days off and will be away from their emails while they are away.

5. Plan ahead for you guests

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Walking at graduation is a choice. For those who choose to walk, it's a pretty big deal and a lot of graduates plan on having friends, family and loved ones in the stands to watch. Be sure ahead of time if anyone needs special accommodations. That way, this can be specified when ordering tickets or can be discussed with an advisor. It's your big day, make sure everyone can come!

6. You classwork will pile up

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At the University of Washington, full time is considered 12 credits, which typically means students take three classes since most are worth five credits a course. Each class will have homework, quizzes, tests, midterms, projects, finals, possibly more. With registering for graduation, commencement and your last quarter all happening at once, things will start to feel like they are becoming too much. Be prepared and get organized to make it the easiest last quarter you can.

7. If you live on campus, move out little by little

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Move. Out. Little. By. Little.

I can not stress this enough! With scheduled move out days, so many people will want to be moving out the same day as you, which means little parking and cramped elevators. If you move out of campus housing little by little during the last month or so during the quarter, you will only have to pack up what you were using until the last moment. Making moving day so much easier!

8. Make time for yourself

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Making time for yourself is not selfish — it is key. Everyone needs a little bit of downtime to themselves, even the most social of butterflies. Make time to read, meditate, go for a walk, take a nap or two, make time for you! It gives you a mental break and you'll come back with fresh eyes and more motivated to get everything done on time!

9. It'll be fine!

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While the world is crashing down, your GPA struggles and motivation goes out the door, I promise that everything will be alright! Take it one day at a time, take time to breathe and everything will turn out fine.

10. Have fun and make memories

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While yes, you need to register for graduation, apply for commencement, pay for cap and gown, do your homework and study for tests, you're still in college. It is your last year, make it count! Go on that trip, go see that movie, meet that person, go to that event, make the most of your last year! There is no time like the present and for a lot of people, the undergraduate year in college is their last. Love life and make the most of it. Don't let deadlines become your life. Make time for friends, fun, and memories!

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