As I’m looking back on my time in college, there are so many things that I’m glad I did (and a lot that I regret not doing). It’s easy to get caught up in deadlines and forget that eventually, your time at DePauw will end, and there are so many things to do on this campus that some just slip through the cracks. Here are a few of the things I’ve done (or wish I did) that I would definitely recommend.
- Go to a School of Music Event
It doesn’t matter–– band, orchestra, choir, senior recital, musical, play–– this is a chance to hear some really great music by amazing musicians for free, and you get to support fellow students. I played violin in the orchestra my first year at DePauw, and it meant the world to me when my friends came to a concert. If you like music, played an instrument in high school, or are ever looking for an hour or two of entertainment or a break from school, this is honestly a really good way to spend time.
- Go to a (non-football) Sports Game
No hate on football, but a lot of the student body already goes to the Monon Bell game, and there are other teams at DePauw that are just as fun to watch. Watching women’s basketball has been something that I’ve enjoyed immensely over the past four years, along with field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. (I also may be a little biased with this one, but if you’re friends with a swimmer, gather a small group and go watch a home meet. There aren’t any fancy rules you have to know, and it’s a great way to show support.) You don’t have to watch the whole game, but it’s a great way to chill on a weekend or weekday night, and again–– it’s free. You’re going to have to pay to watch sports for the rest of your life. Take advantage of it now.
- Visit the Nature Park
It’s the perfect place for walks, hanging out with friends, or getting a bit of a tan once the weather warms up. Let’s face it, this is probably the closest some of us will ever live to those kinds of walking trails and open green space, and it’s stunningly beautiful at certain times of the year. The Prindle Center events are also completely worth it, especially the ones at the beginning of the fall semester.
- Explore the Academic Buildings
This sounds a little weird, but I’ve discovered the best study spots completely on accident. The study spaces in Julian and the UB are almost always full, but if you look around, you’ll find an unlocked empty classroom (the computer science rooms have the best whiteboards) or a secluded table (check out the second and third floors of Harrison, they’re my favorite places to isolate myself and really get to work). The outdoor spaces are great as well–– the tables outside the GCPA, benches around the academic quad, and of course, the tables in Stewart Plaza.
- Bookmark the Hoover Menu
This isn’t really an event as much as a tip, but this has been so helpful. I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked up the menu to decide if I wanted to eat at Hoover or get something else, especially in the last few minutes of a 10:20 class when I need to know if I need to beat lunch lines. On that note, download the app that lets you check your meal plan balance. Super helpful.
- Go to a Research Poster Session
Have you ever gone to Julian and walked directly into a maze of posters? It happens every once in a while, and they’re usually pretty interesting. During a session, other students stand there for a few hours just so they can explain their research to you. If no one comes up to you, it can be incredibly boring (speaking from experience). Most posters are STEM-focused, but a lot of them can be understood by pretty much anyone. You’ll learn something new and maybe even find a new interest, especially if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to do in the future.
- Explore Greencastle (specifically the restaurants)
I’m a big fan of trying everything once, and this should be no different. I was recently made aware that I really haven’t eaten at many Greencastle establishments, and this is something I’m going to rectify before graduation. In my first few semesters, I really didn’t have the money to spend on non-meal plan food, so I went to Marvin’s and Scoops (Taco Wapo didn’t exist yet). Now that I have a little more spending money, I’m excited to broaden my horizons.
- Take Pictures
I honestly annoy myself with how often I whip out my phone to capture a moment, but I also have all of these memories that I can look back on and remember instantly. Without the photos, I would never remember sitting behind Longden on the first day the temperature broke 70 degrees, or all of the early morning lifeguarding shifts with my friend where we made up a dance routine. It’s so cliché, but I’m glad I have these moments documented because I’m going to want to remember them forever.