20 Things Every University of Iowa Student Must Do


Four years might seem very distant once you start your freshman year, but I kid you not, in a blink of an eye, it’s all over. The memories you made in the place you once called home will now become stories of the past. But it’s never too late to enjoy the time you have as a Hawkeye, even though, as we all know, “Hawkeyes till the end!” That being said, here are 20 things every University of Iowa student should definitely consider checking off their bucket list before graduation.

1. Attend a college game.

Can we talk about the Hawkeyes this football and basketball season? If you haven’t been to a game yet, you need to. They have definitely been on a roll and the Hawkeye fans are loving every minute of it. The sport scene is always very lively and one you will never forget.

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2. Interact with international students.

The University of Iowa warmly welcomes student from other countries. Take the opportunity as a student here to interact with someone from another culture. You have no idea how much broadening your interactions could make you grow as a person. Our society is becoming more global each day, so why not start building these connections before you graduate.

3. Participate in multicultural events.

Going off my last tip; make it a point to try and attend some cultural events on campus. Believe me, there are tons! Fun, educative, and something different to do – definitely explore your options and broaden your horizons.

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4. Take a trip off campus.

Iowa City is cool, but there are other places in Iowa to explore. Go to the Iowa State fair in the summer. The unhealthy amount of fried food is unbelievable, but YOLO! Visit the lakes, check out the capital…chances are you’ll stumble upon some hidden gems along the way!

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5. Hang out with Herky.

Take a corny photo with Herky. I believe everyone has done this at some point.

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6. Attend Homecoming.

Homecoming week is actually very cool. There are a ton of fun events to attend and the parade is awesome.

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7. Participate in Dance Marathon.

If you don’t know what Dance Marathon is, then I don’t know where you’ve been? Dance Marathon is a student organization that supports and fundraises money for kids with cancer and their families. There is usually the Big Event which is a 24-hour dance marathon. And don’t worry – if you’re as bad a dancer as I am, you’ll be just fine. If you don’t take anything at all from this post, at least consider joining Dance Marathon. It is a great way to give back to the community!

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8. Be involved in a student organization.

Student organizations allow you to meet people with similar interests as you, while gaining skills that will look great on your resume.

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9. Sleep in the library during finals week.

Finals week is arguably the most difficult period of the semester. Most people literally move into the University of Iowa library during finals week. I don’t know if I could live without my bed for more than a day, but it would be cool to try it, because why not? After all, when you graduate you will remember the times you did the unusual.

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10. Use the recreation centers.

Since you pay for these services, why not take advantage of it now before you have to pay for those high priced gym memberships after graduation. The CRWC offers several fitness options for everyone.

11. Live in the residential halls.

What would college be like if you hadn’t lived in the residence halls for at least your freshman year. The Residential Assistants organize fun events that help you make friends with other floor mates, and help you get to know the campus a little better. If you’re lucky, the friends you meet on your floor will be your friends throughout your college years and beyond.

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12. Attend a lecture.

No, I don’t mean a lecture on your syllabus; although you should probably attend that too. There are several interesting people who come to the University of Iowa to talk about very interesting topics. Plus, these events are usually free.

13. Go to a job/internship fair.

I believe that everyone hopes to get a job after years of cramming for exams. Well, jobs are increasingly requiring recent graduates to have at least two years work experience. Although this is a little absurd, you can try to gain experience through internships before graduation. There are several potential employers who come to the University of Iowa job fairs each semester, so it might be worth stopping by.

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14. Take advantage of student discounts.

Student discounts are the best things that have ever happened to poor college students. The more discounts, the merrier. Before you know, you’ll have to pay full price for things…that’s right, you won’t be able to cash in the those “student” discounts forever.

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15. Get a Molly’s cupcake.

Best. Cupcakes. Ever.

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16. Step foot into every building before you graduate.

The campus is not that huge, so if your up for the challenge you can honestly do it. I believe in you.

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17. Check out the museum in MacBride and take a picture with the sloth.

The museum in the MacBride hall is home to the infamous Rusty the Giant sloth. I mean…did you really even go to the University of Iowa if you didn’t take a picture with good ole Rusty?

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18. Attend one of the cool events organized by CAB.

CAB puts some really neat events together, that are usually free (or incredibly cheap) AND fun. They’ve brought Kevin Hart to Iowa City, which was a massive hit. They also show movies every week for just $3, so try getting a study break by stopping by the Iowa Memorial Union.

19. Try sushi downtown.

If you are opposed to sushi, I bet you’ll change your mind once you taste the sushi downtown has to offer. Weird, I know…most wouldn’t think sushi when the University of Iowa comes to mind. But trust me. Formosa is my go-to sushi place.

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20. Go apple picking at Wilson’s Apple Orchard.

Get a group of friends and go to Wilson’s Apple Orchard (during the fall, of course). You’ll get delicious apples, and also some really nice scenery for a photo shoot. A win-win situation if I do say so myself!

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Featured image source: youtube.com/channel/UCxeHlUzzLotmE8Yo9R-8m6w


Efe Ayanruoh

Efe Ayanruoh is a journalism and mass communication student at the University of Iowa. She is a foodie and an avid Netflix fan.

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