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10 Things To Do Before You Graduate

02nd June 2011 13:38:37

For many of us in our final year of university, we are coming to accept the reality that we will soon be entering the real world - a place which expects us to be mature, sophisticated and intelligent graduates.

Although graduation is fast approaching, there is some time left to do the things that we never got round to doing during the last three years. For this year’s graduates, and students still at university, here’s a list of the top ten things that have to be done before donning the graduation robes and embarking on post-university life...

1. Revisit your first year accommodation: It all began in first year when we were living in either halls of residence, colleges or private rented accommodation. Although shared bathrooms and messy kitchens may not have been particularly appealing on arrival, most of us grew to love our temporary new homes, where we enjoyed a year’s supply of good times with our flatmates. At some point since we left our first year accommodation, I am sure that we have all thought ‘I wonder who has my halls room now?’, so why not go back and revisit the place where it all started? You could even give the first years some advice on the where to locate the block’s best showers or how to sneak some extra food away from the canteen!

2. Complete your hall’s traditional humiliation ceremony: Most halls of residence seem to have a humiliating tradition of some sort, which many freshers complete at the end of drunken nights out. For Southampton University, two of the most famous halls’ traditions are naked quad runs and swimming in ponds (yes, we know how to have a good time!) So, if you never managed to do a quad run, now’s your last chance!

3. Go to an SU night you’ve never been to before: Many freshers have their first university night-out at the Students’ Union. Before we discover the bars and clubs that await our drunken arrivals, the Students’ Union is a safe bet: we know where it is, it serves cheap drinks and lots of our friends seem to be going there – a recipe for success! However, the SU club nights that we enjoyed in our first year may well have been replaced by brand new nights (or nights which are actually fairly similar but have just been rebranded with an exciting new name!) For Southampton University, ‘Kinki’ and ‘Fat Poppadaddys’ have now been replaced by ‘Twisted’ and ‘I Love College’. If you have never been to one of these new club nights, satisfy your curiosity by venturing down to your SU one night – it could be the best night of your life!

4. Watch the sunrise: Watching the sunrise is something that we probably won’t have time for in the real world, where (hopefully) we will have jobs to go to, so whilst on your way home from that SU night, find a nice place to sit and watch the beautiful morning sunrise awaken your university city.

5. Spend a day in the pub on campus: The pub on campus is often favoured as the first stop on a pub crawl but can also be a brilliant place where you can chill out all day long. For Southampton students, The Stag’s Head, the pub on the university’s main campus, is open from 11:30am - midnight, serving all our favourite beverages at wonderfully cheap prices. Although spending an entire day in the pub is considered to be a socially acceptable thing to do at university, the same behaviour in this place called ‘the real world’ is apparently a little less socially acceptable so I suggest making the most of it while you can.

6. Have one final crazy night in your favourite club: From the local dirt-cheap student hang-outs to the fancy nightlife in town, every student has a favourite club where they’ve enjoyed some of the best nights of their lives, so what better way is there to end your time at university than by having one final wild night in the place that has harboured so many happy memories...or caused so many losses of memory? Jesters, also known the Palace of Dreams, is a second home for many Southampton students and should definitely be visited one last time. If you haven’t done before, you could aim to get thrown out of Jesters – quite an achievement that will certainly be up there alongside your degree result. Absurd though it may seem, you could even challenge yourself to ‘do Jesters sober’; speaking from experience, this makes for a slightly strange but hilarious night out!

7. Confess that secret love: Whether it’s the cute guy from halls or the gorgeous girl on your course, many students have had a secret crush during their time at university. Forget the fear of rejection or worry of humiliation now could actually be the best time to confess that secret crush to the person who you’ve had your eye on for a while. Although it may not seem like the best timing in the world, if it does all go pear-shaped at least you won’t have to face them every morning in lectures or in the dining hall, so just go for it – you never know what might happen!

8. Pull an all-nighter: Of course it is great to be organised and allow yourself lots of time to do your assignments, but plenty of students will have pulled an all-nighter at some point during their university lives. Pulling an all-nighter the night before an essay is due in is a vital part of the university experience – sitting alone in the library with eight cans of red bull sounds like a pretty depressing situation but one which is integral to university life–and it may just teach you to be a bit more organised next time!

9. Sleep somewhere where you know you shouldn’t: Pavements, gardens, parks – all places where we know we shouldn’t sleep but sometimes it just happens! Although snuggling down in a random garden can seem like a fantastic idea in your intoxicated state at 2am, waking up the next morning may be a rather puzzling experience but one that is, again, definitely considered socially acceptable whilst at university.

10. Buy a souvenir from your university city: Along with the hundreds of facebook photos, a little souvenir is a nice keepsake to always treasure from your university days. Rather than a tea towel or a mug, try to find something a little bit different to remind you of your time spent living in your university city. Perhaps a tartan hat from Edinburgh or a welsh rugby top from Cardiff? Even just a framed photograph of your favourite spot in the city is a lovely souvenir which can remain on the mantelpiece for years to come.

Having done all ten things, you are now ready to leave university and behave like a mature, sophisticated and intelligent graduate. Some things are only ever going to be acceptable at university, so make sure that you don’t miss out on your chance to spend the entire day in a pub or have a midnight swim in a pond!

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