Seven Things to Do Before You Graduate

The University of Rochester has its own list of “101 Things to Do Before You Graduate,” but I’m going to give you my special seven that you won’t find on the official list!

(Illustration: Michael Osadciw)

I’m writing about this, reflecting on my past three years at Rochester. I've had an amazing experience, and look forward to nothing less than amazing times as I transition into my senior year. You might think some of these are simple and straightforward, and yes, they might be—but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do them. You might regret it!

1. Take a picture with Rocky. It might sound simple, but I've talked to my friends who graduated a few years ago, and they express their regret for not having a picture with Rocky! It’s a Meliora keepsake! During the week leading up to the Class of 2014’s graduation, at the graduation rehearsal, there was a little revealing ceremony where students who wore that Rocky suit showed themselves and were interviewed!

2. See the live Meliora Weekend keynote speaker. This is one I wish I’d done. During Meliora Weekend, the University invites a high profile guest speaker (past speakers include Bill Clinton and Barbara Walters), and boy, do tickets go fast. The University does show the keynote address on screens in various lecture halls on campus, but seeing the speaker live at Kodak Theater is an experience entirely its own. I've heard from friends so many positive comments about being at Kodak Hall and seeing the conversations right before your eyes, as opposed to watching on a screen. I watched the screen projection of Bill Clinton’s address, and it was nice, but I wish I’d seen him in person!

3. Watch a rugby match. While it is not a varsity sport, I’d say rugby is one of the most popular club sports here. It’s completely open, you don’t have to try out, and the game is unlike any other combining agility, speed, endurance, and gut. I loved the game I watched. The team is pretty big, too. The chances of you have a friend on the team are pretty high, so you’d also get the chance to support your peers and friends!

4. Pull an all-nighter studying. But not the night before an exam. I’ve never been able to actually stay up studying all night, but all my friends are always referencing the good times they had pulling all-nighters inside Rush Rhees.

5. Have a drink with a professor at a “Club Rochester.” Every few months, our dining office sponsors something we call “Club Rochester,” which is just a fun, relaxing afternoon where students and staff can have a few Hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Yes, this is one of the few events on campus where students and professors can share a drink … together! It’s a really fun experience because you get to interact with staff and professors in a more casual environment. Even if you do not consume alcoholic beverages, even having some fruit punch and snacks can be a fun experience! These events are typically very well attended by students.

6. Attend Relay for Life. A truly unique event that brings together students from all walks of campus, and puts them under one roof for a night of fun, raising awareness, and supporting and celebrating those who've battled cancer. From performances by campus groups, to pieing friends in the face, Relay proves to be a top event at school year after year. It’s pretty much just a huge sleepover!

7. Check out Amber Graham’s LinkedIn workshop. The career center has guided students onto successful futures time and time again. My favorite presentation by their office is on LinkedIn, teaching students how to create, use, and update their profiles. LinkedIn is, in my opinion, essential for networking, and it encourages students to interact with professionals and University alumni. The presentation is to the point, and extremely valuable.

You can also check out the original “101 Things to Do” list online!

About the author

Alap Patel

I'm a member of the Class of 2015 and I'm from California. I'm pre-med with a major in health, behavior, and society and a minor in legal studies. I was also accepted into the Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) program. I am on the UR Bhangra Team and in Delta Upsilon fraternity.

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