As a senior, I have begun to reflect upon my time here at Duke. I can already sense the impending wave of nostalgia that accompanies our departure from college and entrance into the … real world. With these happy, sad, scared, and uncertain thoughts in mind, I would like to declare this article an unofficial Duke bucket list. Seniors, you feel as if you are running out of time. Freshman, you think you have all the time in the world. As we all begin a new year here, I would like us to keep the following list in mind…
1. The Unofficial Graduation Requirements – You have to do them and there is still more than enough time left. According to the Library Answer Person, it’s a tradition that embodies the free spirited mindset of the college life and represents the creativity and spontaneity of Duke students. Take note and plan ahead.
– Drive backwards 3x around the Chapel Drive traffic circle. Please be safe and don’t get caught.
– Climb Baldwin. You’re smart, figure it out.
– Have sex in the gardens.
– Have sex in the Stacks of Perkins Library. Again, please don’t get caught.
– Explore the tunnels of East Campus.
2. Ride the Bull at Shooters – No matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid Shooters. While it doesn’t always promote the most respected student body behavior, it still manages to bring us together and dance our hearts out together. There’s something to be said for that. That bull sits there 365 days a year. Show it some love – you won’t regret it.
3. Use Food Points at WaDuke – Use your (not) hard-earned food points to indulge at the Washington Duke Inn. The college lifestyle isn’t always fabulous, so go ahead and treat yourself to a classy evening at the “WaDuke;” food points never tasted so good.
4. Return to the Marketplace – Freshmen, temporarily ignore this one. Upperclassmen, there is nothing more satisfying than returning to the Marketplace to enjoy a much needed brunch on a Sunday morning. Why didn’t we appreciate that never-ending stream of food before?
5. Attend a Duke-UNC Game – I don’t care how you get in, but you have to go. The Duke-UNC rivalry is one of our many traditions. The game is an amazing display of great basketball, undying school spirit, and a truly engaged crowd. You will never forget being a part of the Cameron Stadium experience. You probably won’t forget trying to get in either. Dress warm, kids!
6. Study Abroad – For many of us, there won’t be many opportunities in the future to pick up and ship off to a country where we can wallow in the beauties of a foreign culture. Take this opportunity. Experience something new. Learn a language. Make new friends. See the sights. Eat great food. Then come home a more cultured student with a bright, new attitude.
7. Get To Know Your Professors – Fostering a relationship with your professors will add an excellent dimension to your education. Becoming involved in the material and classes you truly care about will only make you a better student. Take the time to talk to your professors, attend office hours, ask them questions, and just bother to care. They appreciate your interest and you will appreciate theirs. When it comes time to apply to jobs or graduate school, you will already have developed the relationships necessary to ask for advice or a recommendation letter. Do not be that invisible kid in the back of the class.
8. Take a Class Purely Because You Are Interested In It – This seems obvious but hear me out. It is easy to get carried away with the work ethic and drive that is oh so prevalent on campus. Remember, you will be so much happier if you are studying things you are interested in. I understand it’s unreasonable to expect to be in love with every class you take, but go ahead and sign up for a class purely because it sounds like something you would have fun with. Forget about your future, desired salary, or friend’s schedules.
9. Make Your Own Bucket List – I tell every incoming freshman I meet that their experience here is what they make of it. This is the best advice I could offer a new student here. If you have a passion, go find a way to bring it to life here. If you are scared, face your fears. Get out of your comfort zone and make a plan. Set goals and aim high. These are the best years of your life.