When that first step is briskly taken onto the University of Arizona campus, we undoubtedly feel the air of excitement, a sense of independence and a desire to leave our own marks on the UA by getting involved, making new friends and discovering more about ourselves, our world and our passions.
Upon graduating from the UA, we feel proud to have accomplished and grown so much, nervous about landing that first job out of college and excited for the future and where our lives will head. But, we're also left feeling a bit cheated because those four (or five, or six – and sometimes more for graduate students) years went by faster than we ever could have imagined.
University of Arizona football game crowd. (Photo credit: Jacob Chinn)
To help mitigate those feelings and allow students who still have a couple years left or freshman who are just embarking on their academic career at the UA to make the most of their time, we asked Wildcats to tell us what students should do before graduating. These are their responses:
1. "Sit in the ZonaZoo section at a game," Nataly Q. recommends.
2. "Drive a snowman down [to campus] from Mt. Lemmon," says Jennifer S.
3. "Explore Fourth Ave., eat as much Beyond Bread as possible and go to Gates Pass," Kate M. responds.
5. "Go up A Mountain and look down on the campus, at night and in the daytime," proposes Agnes G.
6. "Eat, eat and eat some more!" says Robbie K. "[Go to] El Guero Canelo, Lindy's Diner, Frankie's, Brushfire, Bison Witches, The Hub, Eegee's, Blanco, Guadalajara Grill, Zona 78, Jerry Bob's....The list goes on and on!"
7. "See a laser show at the Flandrau Planetarium," Charlene O. responds.
8. "Sit on the Mall in the sunshine and do absolutely nothing!" suggests Renee L. "Seriously, slow down for a bit, enjoy your time and enjoy being outside."
The Pride of Arizona marching band. (Photo credit: Jacob Chinn)
9. "Experience the Pride of Arizona," answers James A.
10. "Take a class that's completely outside of your major or typical interests to discover something new, change your opinions and views and make yourself a better trivia game player," challenges Tyler J.
11. "Go to Tempe and watch us beat the school up North in their house," suggests Troy C.
12. "Eat at Sausage Deli. If you don't, you will regret it deeply," Danica S points out. "Also, thank your lucky stars you are graduating from the UA, a wonderful institution full of amazing people, in one of the best towns on the planet."
Cats in the Community, is the UA's volunteer day of service, which is held annually. (Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews)
13. "Complete a community service project that strengthens the greater Tucson community," Erik O responds.
14. "View a sunrise or sunset at Gates Pass, hike in any of the local mountains, eat breakfast at Frank's or The Cup, see a show at The Rialto or Club Congress, eat sandwiches at Baggins, drink slushy drinks at Eegee's, have dinner and drinks at the Arizona Inn and visit Nogales one last time," Cheryl R. recommends.
University of Arizona students gather at Old Main. (Photo credit: The University of Arizona RedBar)
16. "Meet a lot of people in your major," proposes Erk T. "It's best to keep those contacts for networking."
17. "Camp for a weekend with friends," adds Justin P.
18. "Go on a ZonaZoo road trip," says Erin J.
19. "Dominate the scene at The Buffet," answers Greg S.
20. "Go to Bobo's," Anthony G. points out.
21. "Graduate," Andrew P. declares.
Commencement is one of the pivotal UA events of every year. (Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews)
For those of you who have already completed the 21st item, and hopefully many other things, on this list of UA must-dos, you can reconnect with your university by joining the University of Arizona Alumni Association.