Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


22 things all students must do before graduating

Steal a chair from Memorial Union. Sled down Bascom Hill. Bonfire at Picnic Point. Lie out at James Madison Park. Run the Crazylegs race. Follow Madison's drink specials for a week straight, from fishbowls to flip night.

There's just so much to do and so little time.

Mentally, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison mid-beer bong before the Michigan game in September. Officially, however, the big day is May 14, 2006. So I've talked to friends and fellow seniors and compiled a graduation checklist of 22 things any UW student should accomplish before turning 22, graduating and joining the thousand clowns of the real world.


For some reason, having sex in random, public places was a popular choice among many seniors. "Have sex in the bathroom of your favorite bar," one suggested. "Sex on Abe Lincoln," another noted without hesitation, before adding: "Sex in the stacks, of course." Who knows just how many UW grads actually get freaky on Abe's lap or knock over books at Memorial Library, but the recent (painfully bad) movie “The Prince and Me,” which supposedly takes place in Madison, featured a stacks hookup. And rumor has it College Library is among the nation's hottest places to meet people.

So, freshmen, take note: while no list will ever be complete, here's what members of UW's class of 2006 came up with:

1. Subsist on ice cream, beer, brats and cheese curds … at least once.
2. Register for a random class because it sounds interesting, not because you need it.
3. Jump around at a Badger football game.
4. Polar Plunge into Lake Monona; jump into Lake Mendota naked.
5. Start a snowball fight sometime between October and April.
6. Coax your inner foodie to the farmers’ market.
7. Go on a date with Helen C. White or get intimate with the stacks of Memorial Library.
8. Head out for a night or three of costumed craziness at Halloween.
9. Get to know your Miffland neighbors at the Mifflin Street Block Party.
10. Attend a protest or political rally.
11. Tone your bod at the SERF through group strength, spinning, dance or yoga.
12. Hit up Friday After Class (FAC).
13. Check out a community dance show, theatre production or concert.
14. Join one of UW's many student organizations.
15. Run down Lakeshore Path.
16. Take your pick: walk of shame or stride of pride?
17. Indulge one of Library Mall's eloquent speakers with your undivided attention.
18. Go sailing or skiing, or snowboarding.
19. Chow down on late-night pizza at Ian's.
20. Browse the shops on State Street.
21. Take a tour of the Capitol building; visit the Wisconsin Historical Society.
22. And finally … if you haven't kicked your feet up and downed a beer at Memorial Union Terrace, you don't deserve a diploma.

This year marks Madison's 150th birthday, and in talking to UW seniors, I realized just what a unique city it is. UW consistently makes top-10 lists, whether for strong academics, cutting-edge research, competitive athletics (yeah, hockey) or rowdy parties. From Best Small City to Live to Best College Sports Town, Madison racks up the accolades. Damn, it feels good to be a Badger.

In college, you learn to see the humor in living with large groups of people. You figure out what interests you — and what really doesn't. You realize that you don't know as much about life as you did in high school.

So enjoy your years in Mad-Town. Go out of your way to meet as many people as possible. Explore. Volunteer. Contribute. Experiment. And don't forget to laugh. This is your time in the People's Republic of Madison, hometown of The Onion, 70 square miles surrounded by reality. Enjoy … and congratulations to the class of 2006.

Cynthia Martens ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in Italian and European studies. She sends a shout-out to all UW-Madison students who work hard and play hard, and she can't wait to see everyone at the Mifflin Street Block Party.

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