Senioritis: the worst thing since pop quizzes. It has the power to suck the life out of you and make time slow to a crawl. And in the Midwest, that feeling of having nothing to do is worse than our winters. For University of Missouri seniors, we’re experienced in finding relief from the overwhelming world of Adulthood around the corner.
Here are the top 10 things to do to cure senioritis at the University of Missouri.
1) Run Through the Columns
Like many schools, the first weeks of classes get jam packed with plenty of ‘get to know your campus and peers’ events where lower classmen should take the time to thrive. However, for the seniors the endof the semester is where the real nostalgic fun begins. Of the dozens of senior-based activities, walking onto the quad surrounded by school colors and free food is a favorite senior tradition at Mizzou. Running back through the columns as they once did at the beginning of their college career as little freshmen may sound a bit weird. This hefty run symbolizes more than a much-needed re-installment of your workout routine. With each pounding step you take, you’re growing. You send yourself out into the real world knowing that you can always return the this place your once called home. “My favorite memory is running through the columns with my friends,” said alumni Olivia Miller, “It was monumental because I finally made it to the end.” It’s a tradition that both begins and ends your years at Mizzou with a sense of unity.
One day every fall semester the whole city flocks to campus to celebrate another school year full of Mizzou pride. Through the crowds of black and gold, young and old alumni revisit their roots, participating in the traditions that thrive more than ever on this chill day. Even if you’re not a sports fan homecoming who was born at Mizzou, in the weeks leading up to it, the university holds events such as the blood drive, parade and more. “Before I leave Columbia, I must get a Booche’s burger and Go to a Mizzou homecoming,” said senior, Dylan Clemmens. The homecoming parade offers unique music, incredible food and memories you can’t get anywhere else.
3) Ride the Tiger
Placed on the south end of Traditions Plaza the infamous tiger statue stands tall over Traditions Plaza, guarding Mizzou and its history. Scale the fountain it rests on and onto the tiger’s back. Sitting on the tiger and looking over south campus gives a rush like no other. For most University of Missouri students, riding the tiger both at the beginning and at the end of your time at Mizzou is as essential as running through the columns. College is meant for crazy memories, and much like running through the columns, it provides a perfect dose of school spirit.
4) Paint the Rock M
The Rock M at the north end zone of Memorial Stadium endures years of wear and tear. Traditionally, repainting the stones that make up the M is designed for incoming freshmen to meet classmates and keep the university as beautiful as it was when you arrived. The rocks in the stadium are a classic white color that stands out in the gold and black colors of the stadium. Before each football season students come together and restore the once white color on the rocks. As a senior you’ve (hopefully) gotten a lot out of college, so participating in freshman service projects is a great way to meet some new people and share the advice you’ve discovered since coming to college.
5) Devil’s Icebox and the Pinnacles
For many people in the Midwest, exploring the outdoors sets the scene for those iconic “remember when…” stories you’ll tell amongst friends for years to come. Away from the classrooms, bars and hustle and bustle lies a series of caves and crevices in the earth. The Devil’s Icebox is one of many located in the Columbia area. “Whenever I wasn’t working or studying during the week, I was usually biking trails, at Cosmo Park,” said alumni Andrew Klass. These parks and caves bring you back to the days of simplicity, and in college that’s a fleeting feeling to hold onto for dear life.
6) Mizzou: The Botanical Garden
At the end of the semester it’s easy to go stir crazy; you look for any excuse to get out of the library and stop studying. As a senior, these anxious days come more often than not. Before you through your textbook across the library, take a step back and go for a walk around the university. Take a stroll around the botanical garden that consumes campus. Trees and flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors transport you into a different world. “I knew I would eventually miss the college life, and what it has to offer,” said Klass. Take time to enjoy the place that’s been home for the past four years before you need to take your career journey beyond the campus walls.
7) Grab a bite
Major fast food chains plague the streets but around every corner lies a “hole in the wall” place that offers amazing food. Shakespeare’s Pizza, a Columbia original thin crust pizza place offers the Columbia vibe all in one place. You can also swing by Sparky’s Ice Cream, an art gallery inside a small ice cream shop provokes smiles, laughter and good memories. If pizza or ice cream doesn’t get your stomach growling, head to Broadway Diner, the perfect Ma and Pa breakfast place that offers a warm place, hot food and the touch of home often missed at college. “Find great coffee shops, bars and other Columbia specific eatery,” said senior Sean Dolan. “I just love the atmosphere and the great people I’m with, and I always feel at home at these places.” A family owned eatery serves as the perfect distraction from the ever-growing pressure of senior year.
8) Drinks all around
Similarly to the great restaurants that surround the city, coffee shops and bars cover every nook and cranny. Bars like Silverball, Willie’s and Field House offer trendy menus and lively environments that embody the full college experience. Great music, tasty drinks and memories made with friends make each bar unique. Then, after a memorable night on the town, get back in the game with any cup of coffee at Fretboard, Shortwave and Lakota. These cozy coffee shops, full of soft music and comfy seating not only provide the perfect hangover cure but encourage you to do the homework you’ve been putting off all weekend.
Mizzou and neighboring Columbia host several festivals and events every year. Two of the most popular festivities are the Roots and Blues BBQ and the True False Film Festival. A park full of good food and great music can only be described as Roots and Blues. Rock and Roll may not have been born in Columbia, but it sure lives here. People from all over come to enjoy the classics as well as new hits. In the lively streets of downtown, the True/False Film Festival showcases different movies, artworks and music from people all over the city. “(I’d like to go to the) True/False film festival, go to some football games, find great coffee shops…” said senior Sean Dolan. Once a year events like these give the perfect excuse to get away from the books and explore Columbia one last time.
10) Take a walk through Ellis Library
The labyrinth of Mizzou, otherwise known as Ellis library, becomes home to those seniors pursuing graduate or professional schools. Ellis is often described as the castle in Harry Potter; every floor and every turn seems to change every second. Secluded spots around each corner can be the perfect study spot or hide away from the rest of the world. Spending time in Ellis can motivate you to look to the future or even just take a quick power nap to then return to the books with revitalized motivation. “I plan on going to dental school, I have to maintain a good GPA and can’t afford to have senioritis,” said senior Nathaniel Prather. It’s places like the quad and the library that you’ll find yourself missing the most after graduating. Take the time now to go and enjoy them.