University of Rochester

Rochester Review
May-June 2010
Vol. 72, No. 5

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101 Things to Do before You Graduate What defines the Rochester experience? Let us make you a list. By Dana Hilfinger ’10 Illustrations by Michael Osadciw
things (Illustration: Michael Osadciw)

Maps don’t always give you the whole picture.

Looking at a layout of the Fraternity Quad won’t tell you what to do on a Saturday night (SAM’s Beach Party, anyone?). Perusing the guide to the Old Stacks in Rush Rhees Library won’t tell you which floor has the best view or help you find outlets you can plug into so that you can stay up until 2 a.m. working on that paper due the next day. And going on Google Maps to get a birds-eye view of the city of Rochester— well, that’s about as helpful as a Nick Tahou’s garbage plate is to your digestive tract.

In college, we’re taught to think outside the box. Maps are cookie cutter; Rochester students certainly aren’t. And neither are the things we do. In an attempt to capture some of that eccentricity, I drew the assignment of asking Rochester students—from student government leaders in the College and at Eastman to the crowds of kids milling around the Eastman Quad on a spring day—all the same question: What do all Rochester undergraduates need to do before they graduate?

With their help, we put together a handy list: The best of the best 101 things you have to do before you accept that diploma. The place to be on a given weekend night, the ultimate venue for an all-night stakeout during midterm week, your best bet for where to grab food at all hours—all are included. The method wasn’t scientific, and the order is a little random—but we hope the results capture the Rochester experience.

And, most important, this is certainly not a map.

So, in recognition that this is the season of Commencement, here’s the list. How many have you accomplished?

  1. Eat a garbage plate from the Nick Tahou’s.
  2. See a movie at the Little Theatre.
  3. Take a course pass/fail.
  4. Grab the only outlet on the 500M level of the Old Stacks in Rush Rhees Library.
  5. Replenish your winter attire with free giveaways at Winterfest weekend.
  6. Climb the “tree-of-life” in Genesee Valley Park.
  7. Making Our List

    In order to come up with our list of 101 Rochester musts, Dana Hilfinger ’10 talked to several student leaders, interviewed students in the College and at Eastman, and drew on her own student experience.

    Dana has packed a lot into her four years on campus. The English major from Ann Arbor, Mich., played varsity volleyball for two years, served as sports editor and editor-in-chief of the Campus Times, was a resident assistant, and has worked for both the sports information department and the Career Center.

    In an effort to get even more of the Rochester experience, she’ll be a Take Five Scholar during 2010–11, focusing on environmental science and conservation.

    Dana introduces some of her personal favorites among the 101 items listed.

    —Scott Hauser

  8. Step up to the bar in the semi-authentic English Pub, the Old Toad, for Trivia Night or a free birthday dinner.
  9. Enjoy the snow—start a snowball fight on the Quad, build a snowman on the field at Fauver.
  10. Feel the beat at a UR Bhangra concert.
  11. Pull an all-nighter in Gleason Library or the IT Center.
  12. Follow the saga of the student, the scholar, and the wild boar during the “Reading of the Boar” at the Boar’s Head Dinner.
  13. Take MUR 122: History of Jazz, with Paul Burgett, music professor, administrator, and advisor to a generation of Rochester students.
  14. Buy cheese fries from Uncle Dickie’s.
  15. Find the final resting places of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
  16. Discover that the Medical Center’s cafeteria is open 24 hours.
  17. Have a “spot of tea” at La-Tea-Da on Alexander Street.
  18. Dodge the flying squashes sent aloft in the Pumpkin Launch.
  19. Infiltrate an Engineering Student Social.
  20. What’s on Your List?

    Burying calculus? Freshman beanies? Beers at the Rathskeller?

    We recognize that our list of 101 things represents only a slice of the entire Rochester student experience. That’s why we’re interested in hearing from you. What would make it to the top of your list of key things to do before you graduated from Rochester?

    Write us at Rochester Review, P.O. Box 270033, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. 14627-0044.

  21. Argue over which country— Canada or the U.S.—has the better view of Niagara Falls after a daytrip to the scenic landmark.
  22. Fall asleep in the Welles-Brown Room.
  23. Get on the air at WRUR.
  24. Fully grasp the meaning of the term “wind chill.”
  25. Stay late after spring semester to go to the Lilac Festival.
  26. Indulge in a melt and milkshake at Jay’s Diner.
  27. Walk or bike along the Erie Canal trail.
  28. Take a wine tour in the Finger Lakes.
  29. Join Wegmans Shoppers Club.
  30. See The Vagina Monologues.
  31. Catch a late-night laser show at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium.
  32. Tray down the hill behind Susan B. Anthony halls.
  33. Tap your toes to an a cappella concert.
  34. Get delicious food at Wilson Commons Wednesday.
  35. Write an editorial for the Campus Times.
  36. Listen to live music at Starbucks.
  37. Fool around in the Stacks.
  38. Have a picnic at Genesee Valley or Highland parks.
  39. Ride the “mind eraser” roller coaster at Darien Lake theme park.
  40. Do research with a professor during the summer or outside of class time.
  41. Walk in George Eastman’s footsteps at the George Eastman House.
  42. Meet Mr. or Mrs. Right (if only briefly).
  43. See a production at Todd Theatre.
  44. Read on the balcony of the Messinger Periodical Reading Room.
  45. Hear—or better yet, perform in—a concert in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
  46. Dig in at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
  47. Explore the shops on Park Ave.
  48. See an exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery.
  49. Go to the Public Market and take advantage of the unlimited free samples at the European cheese shop.
  50. Eat at Lento’s in Village Gate.
  51. Cheer on the Yellowjackets at the Courage Bowl.
  52. Get a food special named after you at the Orchestra Pit at Eastman.
  53. Rent a City Cycles bike and ride to Lake Ontario.
  54. Watch a game, drink beer, and eat wings at the Distillery.
  55. Find out where your student fee money goes by attending a Students’ Association Senate meeting.
  56. Catch up on relatively new releases at “dollar Tuesdays” at the Movies 10 cinema.
  57. Paint the tunnel underneath the Eastman Quad.
  58. Study abroad.
  59. If you’re an Eastman student, make it through your jury examinations at the end of each year.
  60. If you’re in the College, complete a cluster that you designed yourself.
  61. Play intramural floor hockey.
  62. Make friends with Dawn, the world’s nicest Dining Services worker.
  63. Watch the basketball teams play Wash U.
  64. Volunteer in the city of Rochester.
  65. Enjoy the view from the top of Cobb’s Hill.
  66. Stay in Rochester over the summer.
  67. Go to “dollar dog and beer night” at an Amerks or Red Wings game.
  68. Find the hidden elevator in Meliora Hall.
  69. Check out the “Grand Canyon of the East” at Letchworth State Park.
  70. Take a picture at Strong Museum of Play for your Facebook profile.
  71. If you’re hungover, drag yourself to Danforth brunch and eat until you’re in a food coma.
  72. Sit at Java’s coffeehouse until they kick you out.
  73. Attend the keynote lectures at Meliora Weekend.
  74. Go to ChiFriday at Chi Phi Fraternity.
  75. Take a class with Jim Memmott in the English department.
  76. Play Frisbee on the Quad.
  77. Use the motto Meliora properly.
  78. Tour architectural and historic sites in Rochester with Urban Exploring.
  79. Rack up delinquent overdue status at Sibley Music Library.
  80. Attend an academic conference about a subject you don’t really understand.
  81. Walk through the herb garden at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.
  82. Visit the Susan B. Anthony House.
  83. Sunbathe outside the Miller Center.
  84. Get cheap drinks at Senior Nights.
  85. Attempt to understand a squash game.
  86. Grab a bite to eat at John’s Tex-Mex Eatery, a burrito joint on South Avenue.
  87. Waste the first day of sunshine in the spring doing nothing on the Eastman Quad.
  88. Drink and schmooze with professors at Club Rochester.
  89. Get really involved with a club, sport, fraternity, sorority, or student organization.
  90. Change your major at least three times.
  91. Find that watching Hour of Power on URTV has become a habit.
  92. Take a test where the mean is 23 out of 150.
  93. Try to explain the Eastman School to a Rochester resident.
  94. Find the old pool full of desks in Spurrier Gym.
  95. Climb up the fire escape on the side of Rush Rhees and stargaze.
  96. Attend one presidential event at the Witmer House.
  97. Enjoy the show—and the Indian food—at MELA.
  98. Make it to the Fraternity Quad on Dandelion Day.
  99. Park your car on campus and successfully avoid getting a parking ticket.
  100. Be a part of a midnight pickup game of soccer or Frisbee at Fauver Stadium.
  101. Take a class with Douglas Brooks from the Department of Religion and Classics.
  102. Go to the top of Rush Rhees Library on Halloween for the best view on campus.
  103. Say good-bye to good friends.