Already? It’s all very cliché to say that it seems like yesterday that you were a freshman, but that’s exactly what it feels like. You know you’re a senior when you’re accepting into that grad school you’ve been wanting to get into, purchasing those graduation necessities of alumni wear and tassels, looking for that one job, and helplessly wracking your brains over what your future holds all at the same time. Feeling like an old geezer yet? Fortunately, you are not alone. Another chapter in your life is ending, and as graduation inches closer, your time remaining at UCI is slowly drifting away. So what to do? Alas, whether you decide to do them before you graduate, or right after, or really ever at all, these things will guarantee you a joyful and memorable last year at UCI, as recommended by other fellow UCI seniors. So relax, loosen up, and end your college years with a bang.
1. See Kobe at the ARC. – It’s definitely a difficult task to do, especially when rumor has it that he practices in our school gym at 6am to avoid crazy crowds. Yet, it’s definitely topic starter when you are meeting new people after you graduate on the job, or anywhere, and recall the day you saw the Lakers star at your university’s gym conditioning and shooting hoops. It’s not every school that a big NBA star like Kobe Bryant would go about prepping for the next big game at such a public gym. We’re pretty darn lucky.
2. Fall asleep at Aldrich Park. – It’s the one great thing about having long breaks in-between classes at UCI on a sunny afternoon. So, go for it. Venture into the heart of the park, close your eyes, and dream away. There’s nothing more calming and pleasant than waking up to white cotton clouds scattered amidst the clear blue sky and the warm, green grass sinking you in. Solitude is usually in dire need when life, especially as graduation nears, can be a bit too overwhelming. Aldrich Park is the perfect place to not only to take deep breath from stress, but also appreciate how Aldrich Park is truly a gem at UCI.
3. Discover those tunnels. – We’ve constantly heard about this secret network that lies below school grounds, but what is it really? Do a little research, reel in a group of friends, and go on an adventure. Getting the creeps by such a legend is one thing, but having the opportunity to walk through those mysterious tunnels that everyone’s been talking about since SPOP, is kind of awesome and epic. So seize that possibility and discover away, so you may gloat at how UCI isn’t just your typical school. Underground.
4. Stay late on campus. – The campus is definitely not as lively during school hours, but there’s something hauntingly beautiful when all the school buildings’ lights are on, you can actually hear nature’s vivacity, and students aren’t swarming every inch of Ring Road. Whether you’re there to study at Langson library for your last dreaded final or you’re meeting up a friend at Starbucks, it’s almost imperative for every UCI student to see how school is like at night. The evening environment enhances a contrasting vibe of our typical vision of a busy school day, giving a backdrop of silent splendor for the campus. Plus, you don’t realize how many random people enjoy walks around the campus at night until you go for one yourself.
5. Make a college music playlist. –
Remember that one song that everyone in your hall freshman year couldn’t stop listening to? Or the oldies hit where it randomly played on your iTunes one faithful night of studying for midterms and your studying session turned into a dance party? All those songs bring back too many memories that you can forget easily, but it’s miraculous as to how much a song can bring back. Gather all those songs from your iTunes, and you’ll always have your unforgettable college memories wrapped up in a huge bulk of a playlist.
6. Go somewhere at an absurd hour of the night. – When it’s driving down PCH with the windows all rolled down, going out for a night of clubbing, or heading over to Albatros for some delicious carne asada fries, go out with a couple of friends and live it up. Stay up all night doing whatever that comes to mind, and reminisce your years as you take your night tour around Irvine for one last time. It will be a night that your friends or you won’t forget.
7. Write a thank you letter. – Whether it’s for your roommate, your professor, or another fellow student who devotionally helps you out with lecture notes, show how much that person means to you during your years, or quarter here at UCI. There’s always one person amongst all that you meet who has always got your back, and stuck it through with you in good times and bad times. What better way to end the year with a little something from the heart? Genuine expression of gratitude to a person who deserves it will not only strengthen your friendship with that person, but it’ll also make you feel good about tying a knot of many untied ends on your final months here.
8. Go to a UCI sports game. – Regardless if you’re naturally prideful of being an Anteater or not, going to one won’t hurt. You’ll be surrounded in a sea of UCI fans that eventually you’ll find yourself raging away with the others for that bad call of a foul. You’ll have fun with friends, and it’s just a fun place to be where people aren’t muddled in their academics 24/7. We’re not the most athletically involved school, but going to one will fulfill that feeling where you’re cheering vigorously for your college sports team of any sort to victory and yelling out our famous chant “Zot zot zot!” before graduating and not being able to say that phrase without being looked at strangely.
9. Visit your dorm. – Whether it’s Mesa Court or Middle Court, visiting to where it all started will flood in memories of all sorts. Once you graduate, there’s a less chance that you’re going to be able to have the time to stroll around your community of your freshman year hall. Grab a breakfast and lunch at one of the commons one last time, and enjoy the liberty to eat whatever you want, without you cooking anything. It’s definitely something we take granted for now, so enjoy that last amazing plentiful meal. Going back to your hall will bring all those moments when you moved in with a group of freshmen that you didn’t know at all and how you met people who ended up being great friends in your college years.
10. Say goodbye. –
It’s such a simple necessity in terms of graduating, but sometimes we tend to forget about the little things. Saying goodbye to the people who you see everyday, or even once a week is a little absurd at first, but in the long run, when is it going to be that simple to call them up and grab a coffee together, or go walk on over to their apartment to rant about life’s crazy happenings? After graduation, not having the habitual comfort of friends being around becomes more apparent as reality sinks in. Everyone’s going to be doing things differently, and we can’t do anything about it. One friend could be traveling to France, or another prepping for grad school, and so on. Saying goodbye is giving closure to the people you have met through your college years, and giving closure to you. It won’t be as sad as you think, because perhaps the very important people who mean the most to you will stick around, regardless of where they are around the world. Saying goodbye is never the happiest occasion, but celebrate the years together, and who knows? Saying goodbye doesn’t necessarily mean forever.