Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Dumb things you’ll probably do on Lake Mendota for the ‘gram

This time of year, everyone is getting out on the lake, here are a few things you can do to add to the fun
Ahmad Hamid

It’s that special time of year! Lake Mendota is frozen over and every Basic is going onto the ice to acquire the perfect Instagram post. Bums have been busted, teeth have been chipped and dignities have been lost – all for the gram.

The two most famous Lake Mendota moments have passed. Lady Liberty came and went in a weekend, causing at least half of your feed to contain “Big Apple” captions.

Lady Liberty returns to Lake Mendota

Lily’s Classic, the philanthropic event hosted by Sigma Alpha Epsilon, had a similar effect. The combination of day-drinking and hockey jerseys caused any semi-fratty person you know to post a picture from the lake.


You can’t blame them. The ice simply provides for the best lighting in all of Madison. Pair Mendota with an overcast day, and all of your flaws are blurred away. Slap a VSCO filter on it and prove you go to UW-Madison by embracing the cold.

The only problem – there are no more events on the lake, and at least one – okay honestly two – months of winter left! You have to document something to prove to your hometown friends that you’re doing better than them. Don’t sweat it! Get creative, and check out these ideas to get your Instagram feed absolutely frosty!

 Start LARPing!    

There are plenty of movie scenes that are shot on ice – reenacting them will bring a rush of nostalgia and add some pop culture to your feed! A few recommended ones are – “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “I, Tonya,” “It’s a Wonderful Lifeand in warmer months, “Titanic.” Think of some of your favorite TV shows or movies and let Lake Mendota act as your scenery. 

Caption idea: “Lake Mendota is just like a movie!🎥”

Alternative Caption: “No knees were bashed in the making of this post⛸”

Lake Mendota’s late freeze coincides with warming climate induced trends

Have a picnic!

Nothing says “I love Wisconsin” more than eating a bag of shredded cheese on the lake. Sure, your butt may get wet. And sure, you may not be able to feel your hands at the end of your meal, but you’ll probably burn the calories you eat by shivering. Win–win!

Caption idea: “Couldn’t get more Wisco than this!🧀”

 Make a friend spin you around like a ragdoll!

Unleash your inner child by having a friend throw your limp body across a patch of ice. College kids don’t get to just play anymore.

If you loved the merry-go-round, you’ll love this activity. But be careful! Most of Lake Mendota is extremely bumpy and rigid – find a smoother part to really let your bod spin round. 

Caption idea: well maybe don’t post a picture of this one. Live in the moment – get a concussion. 

 Fight with your significant other!

This is something that is bound to happen anyway! If you bring your significant other to run your photo-op, they’re most likely going to screw it up or complain that your demands are too high.

Hold your ground during this argument. They should know better – adjust the screen for brightness levels, put you in the center of the frame and NEVER zoom in goddamnit. Unfortunately, this activity results in a grainy photo of you mid-smile.

Caption idea: “low quality picture low quality picture-taker😑”

There you have it! Spice up your feed with these unique ideas and have actual, genuine fun while doing so. Once the ice melts away, you can resume your regularly scheduled Mendota Sunset shoots. Until then, grab your Sperry duck boots and say cheese!

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