Your last year as a college student can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Mourning over premature nostalgia, soon-to-be graduates linger in years of memories while the senior year clockwork comes to an end. Suddenly, everything about college was wonderful when you really think about it, but did you really get to dive into all things your campus? The University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus has secret libraries, must-go-to food establishments and student-life experiences that you can’t graduate without. Regardless of if you’re in your freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior (or super senior, you know who you are) year in this college, here are fifteen UPRRP ideas to add to your bucket list.
- Find and study at the hidden library in Plaza Universidad
Bet you didn’t know that Plaza Uni had a library with a chef kiss* view of the tower? I stumbled upon it by accident by taking a bunch of elevators and, when I reached its doors, it was like stepping into Narnia. I think it’s on the sixth floor of Plaza Uni (a floor I was completely oblivious of), and I will make it my senior year goal to find it again and study there.
- Visit the Museum
The ‘Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte de Río Piedras’ is at the literal entrance of the university’s gate. Centuries of rich and vast culture just next to you on your way downhill to Plaza Universidad. They got Egyptian mummies, thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, and Oller’s famous painting El Velorio. So, next time you’re on your way to grab a bite of pizza or deal with some business at the university’s central offices, you might want to take a right and indulge in culture instead.
- Go to a “jueves de jangueo” at Ave. Universidad
Not an introvert favorite, perhaps, but student social life is key in any college experience and what better way than to get yourself out there than to go to a “jueves social” or “jueves de jangueo” at Ave. Universidad. You can keep it classic and take a trip down to Vidys Bar & Restaurant and really just enjoy the ambiance. I’ve been told that it’s actually a pretty chill area to go with a friend or two, so what are we waiting for?
- Go To a Tuna concert
You’ve seen those wacky, medieval looking students roaming around campus with their capes and guitars? Yup! They are members from either Tuna UPR or Tuna Bardos, energetic musical groups composed of students from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. If listening to the musical prowess of 20-year-olds is your thing, then going to one of their performances is a must. Keep in touch with their socials so you don’t miss out on their next events.
- Swim at El Complejo Deportivo’s Swimming Pool
Okay, so, I’m not 100% sure if this is still possible, but I was told that the swimming pool has a schedule that’s open for the college community. Similar to the library at Plaza Uni, I’m going to not mind my own business and ask at El Complejo Deportivo.
- Go Watch a Play at Teatro Experimental Julia de Burgos
Teatro Experimental Julia de Burgos is the mecca of the Drama Department. From time to time Drama major students perform plays, free for the college community (although donations are always welcomed!). Tune in into the Drama Department’s upcoming events, chances are you’ll find something that catches your eye and go and experience a great play for and by the student body.
- Be a Part of a Student Organization
Extracurriculars and afternoon clubs are not limited to highschool. College era is the best time to become a part of a community of students that share similar interests with you. There are a bunch of registered student organizations at the UPRRP (coughs* Her Campus! coughs*), that you’ll surely love to be a part of.
- Be the Audience (Or Be the Star) at a Karaoke Wednesday
Every Wednesday at 11:20am el Centro de Estudiantes lights up with a session of karaoke. Students from all around campus gather around the small stage and listen to participants from genuinely talented singers to laughing, pranksters who’ve been challenged to make a fool of themselves and own it. Be the audience or be the star, that is up to you!
- Order a Shake at Merendero Abel
Merendero Abel at the Complejo Deportivo is known for their famous shakes, among other tasty treats. A hidden gem on the second floor of this building, and your soon-to-be new favorite place to grab a bite, for sure.
- Buy Any UPRRP Merch From “La Tiendita”
We’re talking about lanyards, pins, pens, notebooks, keychains, sweatshirts, jackets, t-shirts, you name it! Show you’re a proud “gallito” and “jerezana” with merchandise that appeals more to your liking and needs.
- Have an Afternoon Picnic in Front of “La Torre”
You know that outstretched, grassy landscape when you enter the university’s front gate? Take a spot just below any tree and have yourself a calm afternoon of snacks, books, and/or friends. It’s the perfect place to read or get together with friends and just vibe.
- Study at “La Lazaro”
La Biblioteca Jose M. Lazaro, or as we commonly say: “La Lazaro,” is the campus’ main library. You are bound to study there at least once, but if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? The library is massive and it has a wide variety of spots to study (or watch Netflix!).
- Eat at “Los Merenderos de Sociales”
Name a more legendary place to eat on campus, I’ll wait. Seriously, “los merenderos de sociales” have been on campus since the last century, and it’s no surprise that this humble establishment has been in business for years. It’s affordable, it won’t leave you with an empty stomach, and it’s so good! The go-to food establishment on campus.
- Walk Around Generales and Reminisce
Before you graduate, take a trip down memory lane and infiltrate as a “prepa” around the “Generales” buildings. Remember when you used to walk around those halls some years ago, you would see that spot where you always stood waiting for the professor to arrive to enter the classroom along with everyone else, that usual spot where you used to talk to your friends and laugh it all out. The experience might be emotional, but it will be worth acknowledging just how far you’ve come.
- Take a picture at the I <3 IUPI Sculpture
You must. As corny as it might seem, taking a picture at the I (heart) la IUPI sculpture needs to become part of your camera roll and future nostalgic college pictures to revisit. And you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop than “la torre”!
And there you have it! Just a couple of ideas to incorporate into your college experience as a UPRRP’s alumni. College is said to be one of the best eras of your life, and we’ll never really know until we’re past it, but in the meantime make sure to live it!