An Essential UW-Madison Bucket List

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In a city like Madison, Wisconsin, there’s an endless assortment of things to do. Some activities are available at almost any college, such as attending sporting events, partying across campus or pulling an all-nighter in a campus library. Some, on the other hand, you can only find in this glorious city. If you find yourself in senior standing and haven’t experienced everything Madison and the UW have to offer, look no further than here for suggestions from your fellow Badgers.

Visit Every Bar on State Street

State Street is one of the most trafficked places in Madison and home to a variety of lively businesses and bars. Senior Taylor Matthewson said, “The cool thing about State Street is that there’s tons of different bars that have a signature identifier. Like how the Ivory Room always has a pianist to play live tunes for the crowd, or how in Paul’s Club, there’s a giant tree in the middle of the place. Even though at the end of the day, they’re all just bars, each one manages to leave an impression with you that you’re not going to forget.” Whether you want to get to it all in one night or over the course of a year, you’re bound to have a wild time at each stop.

Experience the View from the Top of Every Campus Building

After spending four years making your way through the hustle and bustle of the streets and hallways on the way to class, you may have missed out on what surrounds you. Senior Adam Aufmuth said, “Being right in all the action can make you forget how beautiful Madison is, and being able to look out over Madison from all the different campus buildings is breathtaking.” And knowing how much construction the city endures, seeing the constant change of Madison over the course of your college career can really make you reflect on how much you’ve grown as a person in that time.

Walk Across a Frozen Lake Mendota

Lake Mendota is a popular hangout in the summer for its sunshine, lake breeze and of course, the Memorial Union Terrace selling pitchers of beer that you can drink all day. However, it can be just as adventurous in the winter by taking strolls across the frozen over lake. Senior Emily Carroll said, “There’s that picture of the half-Statue of Liberty on the lake with a bunch of people walking around it and I’ve just wanted to run out on the lake since.” Stay safe, stay warm and maybe even walk all the way to Picnic Point. The destination is up to you.

Take a Tour of the Capitol

In the excitement of campus life, many people forget that the city of Madison is historical all on its own. One of the must see places to check out in the city is the state capitol, both for a little state history and for some cool sights. Graduate student Naomi Crump said, “It’s sweet because you can tour for free and that place is rad. That place also has a lot of weird history to discover.” With free tours, there’s no reason to miss out on such an amazing part of Madison.

Hook Up in the Stacks at Memorial Library

Memorial Library, a popular study spot on campus, stands nine floors high and contains seemingly endless bookshelves, secret corners and study cages perfect for hitting the books in silence and secrecy. I’ve never really understood the appeal personally, but I’ve always heard rumors about people hooking up between the stacks. Junior Nathan Brekenridge said, “There’s something about the stacks. Every time I’m in there for too long, I’m bored, kinda stressed and it’s so quiet. It kinda turns me on.” I guess you could say it’s a “work hard, play hard” philosophy in Memorial Library.

Have a Cheese Curd Crawl

In Wisconsin, deep fried cheese curds are a delicacy that, for some reason, isn’t taken advantage of in other states. If you haven’t experienced the amazingness of cheese curds (or even if you have), it’s time to loosen your belt and hit up every bar you can find in town. Senior Claire Barnes said, “No other states really care about cheese curds because they aren’t available. And that sucks for them.”

Get a Full Nights Sleep at College Library

College Library is another popular study spot, mainly because it’s open 24 hours. Once midterms and finals hit, you can often find it swamped with nowhere to sit. Desperate to keep their beloved seats near the outlets, some students take desperate measures. Senior Brian Beal said, “Before I graduate I wanna be able to get a full nights sleep in college library because they’ve never let me do it before. They wake me up after about an hour. Apparently you’re not allowed to sleep horizontally.” In my opinion, if you crash there, you have earned that spot forever.

Hook Up With a TA

We all have that TA we wouldn’t mind a few extra “study sessions” with after class. Or before class. Or literally whenever. The TA hook up story is another tale I always hear about, but don’t know anybody that will admit to it. How does it happen? Who makes the first move? Junior Allison Lindsey said, “I want to hook up with a TA just to say I did. I could be one of those people. Not even ‘hook up’ per se, but like coffee and extra credit. With some sex.”

Kasey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a fan of all things pop culture, pop punk, and Emma Watson. Her ultimate goal is to interview pop stars and touch a star-studded red carpet at least once.

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