Students at Western Michigan University are lucky because not only does the school give them a long list of things to do, but so does the town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. How does a student make the most of their time at this university when there are so many options? Even though everyone has their own opinion on what’s most important, here is our version of the ultimate WMU bucket list.
1. Visit Heritage Hall at night
Heritage Hall is a recently renovated building on WMU’s east campus that currently houses the WMU Alumni Center. A popular bucket list for students is visiting the building at night as it sits atop a steep hill that allows for one of the most breathtaking views of the Kalamazoo skyline. Before you graduate, make sure to make this Bronco right of passage and you’ll understand why it has become a tradition.
2. Have a 21st birthday for the ages
What separates Kalamazoo from most college towns is that its home to one of the most prominent beer scenes in the country. Turning 21 in this town means visiting all the bars which, for the most part, aren’t the typical divey college joints but quirky and unique establishments that serve great brews. Sure you could always visit after you are of age, but why not take advantage of what the town offers and have one of the best 21st birthdays a college kid could ask for?
3. Go to a Bronco hockey game
Western’s football team has had its relevancy in recent years (and probably has the most support student wise), but its hockey team is the one sport that is consistently competitive and breaks into the national rankings often. The real draw to Lawson Arena, though, is the group of super fans called the Lawson Lunatics that live up to their name on a nightly basis. Participating in this frenzy (a good frenzy mind you) is a bucket list item most students cross off in their first few years, and if you haven’t be sure to do it this year!
4. Go to Art Hop
Held on the first Friday of every month, Kalamazoo Art Hop turns the entire downtown area into a sprawling showcase of local artists and craftsmen. Since it’s once a month, this WMU bucket list item is easy to check off and you may find yourself becoming a regular attendee. I mean, what isn’t there to like about enjoying a nice glass of wine or beer while exploring Kalamazoo’s downtown in a new and exciting way?
5. Attend a house show in the Vine neighborhood
The vine neighborhood is a popular place for WMU students to live and are where a good majority of the parties occur. One particular type of party that Kalamazoo is known for are house shows that usually occur in the basements of these old, yet quirky houses. Even if live music isn’t your thing, they are worth checking out as there is something special and intimate about seeing local bands play for sloshy spectators (and there is usually a party upstairs so you can get all your weekend needs met in one place).
6. Study in the top floor of Sprau Tower
These all can’t be about drinking and partying, right? College is sometimes about getting an education and making sure you are passing your classes. By far one of the best places to study on campus is the top floor of Sprau Tower. Though studying doesn’t seem like the ultimate bucket list item, this place on campus provides one of the best views of WMU’s campus, providing a unique arial view of all the buildings.
7. Stepping on the “W” after graduation
Near Waldo Library there is a “W” in the pavement that holds a myth. That myth is if a student were to step on it during their tenure at WMU, then they are doomed to fail all their finals at the end of the semester. On a daily basis you’ll see students purposely avoiding this “W” even if they claim to not be superstitious. So once you graduate, make sure to finally taste the forbidden fruit and “stick it” to that superstition and cross one of the final things off of your Western Michigan University bucket list.
8. Go to House Crawl
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, parties among WMU students is the WMU House Crawl that occurs during the early spring. Essentially a huge block party, this yearly celebration of…well I guess warmer weather and drinking brings massive crowds that warrant a police presence. It has gotten more tame in recent years (thanks to the cooperation between the students and police department), but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. It’s the ultimate bucket list item for Western Michigan University students and will provide you with hazy memories you’ll sort of remember forever.