UW Madison Parks and Rec

College Life At UW-Madison, As Told By 19 'Parks And Recreation' GIFs

"I love you and I like you."

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison has more to it than just education. The city of Madison is always full of life, great views, and amazing food. For college students, there is so much to do outside of class. College life at UW can be a struggle, but it has so many perks which draw students to coming here and loving it. Memorial Union, State Street, and sporting events are only a few of these perks. Bascom Hill and exams are a few of the struggles as well. All of these things which make up college life at UW can be described with GIFs from "Parks and Recreation."

1. Ian's Pizza

Ian's is always packed full of drunk students on weekend nights that the line goes out the door. They also gave out free mac pizza to people who voted!

2. When you get food on State Street

State Street has a huge variety of places to eat, both local and national. Chain-wise there's Chipotle, Qdoba, Taco Bell, Five Guys, Noodles and Co., Potbelly, and Insomnia Cookies. Local favorites include Mooyah, Glaze, Salads Up, and Brats. Sure, it would probably be cheaper to make food at home or go to one of the dining halls, but treat yo self.

3. State Street's coffee shops

Colectivo is the most popular coffee shop on State Street due to its amazing coffee, extensive menu, and aesthetic atmosphere. Starbucks and Caribou come in a close second. Starbucks because of its national reputation, and Caribou because of its conjunction with Einstein Bros Bagels. Personally, Caribou is my favorite. Chocolate chip bagels FTW. In addition, there's Espresso Royale, Fair Trade, Michaelangelo's, and Sun Room Cafe.

4. Gordon's waffles

Their waffles even have the UW-Madison insignia on them. Classy waffles are my favorite waffles. Plus fruit toppings, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup?? Unbeatable.

5. Voluntarily waiting over an hour to get into Basset Street Brunch Club on the weekends

Ron is right. Breakfast food is the ultimate food, and that is why Bassett is so packed every weekend. They even have an entree named "The Hangover," because they know. Bassett has amazing brunch, delicious donuts, and serves Colectivo coffee. It's worth the wait.

6. Babcock Ice Cream

Babcock ice cream is essential at UW-Madison. It's perfect for eating on the Memorial Union terrace on a hot, sunny day or for buying a pint to eat in your dorm while stressfully doing homework. The best part is that you can pay for it with your Wiscard so it's like you're not even paying for it, right?

7. Football Game Day

This year half of the home games were at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. Students woke up early Saturday morning after going out the night before and rallied to tailgate before the game. Additionally, many of the students didn't show up to the game until the middle of the second quarter and left at the end of the third quarter after Jump Around. Don't forget Ben's Pretzels.

8. DJ Shawna 

Does your school have a DJ who plays music at sporting events like football, hockey, and basketball? We do. No need to awkwardly sit on your phone during timeouts and halftimes because she will keep you dancing the whole game!

9. Having to work out at Ogg because the SERF is under construction

The Southeast Recreation Facility, aka the big gym to workout in has been under renovation for the 2018-2019 school year. In replacement, there is a make-do gym in Ogg Residence Hall. It's ALWAYS packed.

10. Getting lost in the humanities building

Mosse Humanities Building is basically a labyrinth. There are a million entrances yet somehow you can't find your class or a way out when you leave.

11. Walking up Bascom Hill to get to class

"Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there's vomit on your professor's sweater already, Gordon's spaghetti."

12. Regretting scheduling a night class

UW-Madison's campus is huge. Scheduling a night class means walking far, in the dark, when it's cold. In addition, all of your friends are done with classes for the day but you aren't. I took a two-hour night class, twice a week, my first semester. It was a 15-minute walk from my dorm AND I had to walk up Bascom Hill to get there. Regret.

13. You, to yourself, when you actually go to class

Wanting to stay in bed, having to do other homework, spending time with friends, or pure laziness are the typical excuses for skipping class. When the professor doesn't take attendance, it's easy to want to skip.

14. Having midterms the whole month of October

One month into school and all of a sudden it's the midterm season. My first midterm was October 5th and my last midterm was October 24th. Some people even had two rounds of midterms. WHY?

15. Memorial Union 

Memorial Union is one of my favorite places on campus. There is a huge lounge area which overlooks the lake. Students come here to do homework or meet up with friends. Need food? You can get wood-fired pizza at Strada, chicken strips and/or cheese curds at Rathskeller, coffee at Peet's or ice cream at The Daily Scoop. All of these options in one place. In the warmer months, Memorial Union has colorful chairs and tables set out on the terrace overlooking the lake. There's a stage where bands perform and movies are played. There are many dogs being walked and cute little ducks swimming.

16. Weekend nights

Peer pressure? More like beer pressure.

17. Sunday morning

Sundays are tough. You think about all the stuff that happened over the weekend, you just want to lay in bed all day, and you have all the homework that you put off the whole week.

18. Texting your mom 24/7

UW-Madison's campus is huge, and there are tens of thousands of students, yet, it can still get lonely. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone familiar, even if it's about something trivial like whether or not I should get chicken strips for dinner...again.

19. Checking Canvas 

Canvas is where grades are posted at UW-Madison, in addition to discussion posts, readings, quizzes, and syllabuses. There's a cool tool to predict what your grade will be in the class based on what grades you think you'll get on assignments. *Tries to figure out how to get from a B to an A in the last week of the semester.*

I love UW-Madison. It's my home, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.

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Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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Stand-Up Comedy Can Make The Most Stressful Days Way Easier

If you're stressed to the max, I highly recommend giving stand-up comedy specials a try!

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Have you ever been laying in bed after a long and stressful day, scrolling through Netflix, trying to find something to watch? You can't make a decision on something, so you decide to try something new. Now, this could be a big mistake or you could find something amazing. This happened to me a few weeks ago and somehow I ended up in the stand-up comedy section. I have seen a couple of clips of Gabriel Iglesias, or "Fluffy," on YouTube in the past, but I've never watched a stand-up comedy special on Netflix before. It never was appealing to me and I don't know many people that watch stand-up.

After deciding to watch Gabriel Iglesias' new Netflix special, I was intrigued. Then, my friend told me that I had to watch Bert Kreischer's new Netflix special. He promised that I would find it funny and that he was really good. He added that Bert does all of his performances shirtless and it makes it that much funnier. So, I watched it and I've been hooked to stand-up ever since. Now, I've become a fan of the many classic stand-up comedians that many people know and love like Kevin Hart, Ellen Degeneres, and Iliza Shlesinger as well. It quickly became something I couldn't get enough of, especially after a stressful day. I figured out that even after the most trying day and even when I was extremely stressed or drowning in homework, I forgot about all of that. I got an hour to myself to just take a breath, have a good laugh, and forget about all of my problems.

A lot of times, I use the hour to eat some food while I watch the special or just lay in bed for a little while and enjoy forgetting about all of the things I could be doing. I've also learned some things. Like the fact that Ellen got her start by doing stand-up, or that Fluffy is coming to Columbus this summer to do a show. I also learned that even though these people are celebrities and have thousands of followers and fans, they're very relatable and more like me than I realized. We sometimes forget that they are people too.

I highly recommend taking an hour out of your day to see if stand-up comedy could be a stress reliever for you. This is definitely a topic that many people don't think of when it comes to relieving stress or getting into a better mood. I'm glad I stumbled across this new found stress reliever to be able to try something different and new and to enjoy a good laugh while doing so. If you're down in the dumps or having a hard day, try watching stand-up. I promise it'll make your day better.

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