Been there, done that: Complete your Illini bucket list
May 7, 2020
By the time senior year rolls around, you might find yourself bored of frequenting the same restaurants, the same bars, seeing the same scenery on your walk to class and seeing a familiar face no matter what side of campus you’re on. Nothing feels new to you. You don’t need Google Maps to find that one class across campus. Even if you’ve never been inside the Architecture Building, you probably still know where to find it.
You’re a veteran Illini now. You know all the ins and outs of campus, the best places to eat, where to be on a Monday night and the quietest study spots. You’re the oldest and the wisest. There’s probably not much you missed out on. Even if you did forget to check some things off your bucket list, you can always come back and revisit these things after graduation. In the meantime, take a trip down memory lane and be sure to mentally cross off everything you’ve done below.
- Buy Illinois Gear
This is one of the first things many of us Illini do, sometimes even before we enroll in the university. If your closet has zero Illinois wear, I don’t believe you.
- Sit on the Main Quad
On warm, sunny days, the Main Quad is usually packed with students laying in the grass, lounging in hammocks, tossing a frisbee or letting their puppies be petted by strangers. Walk out of the Illini Union and it’s a whole new world out there.
- Ring the Altgeld Bell
To each his own.
- Take a picture with Alma Mater or Grainger Bob
Were you really even a student here if you don’t have a picture to prove it?
- See a Krannert show
There are several great performances put on year-round at the Krannert Center. You were bound to see one eventually, whether or not your professor made you do it for extra credit.
- Visit the Japanese Gardens
Japan House and its beautiful gardens are open in select seasons for students to stroll through and learn about Japanese culture. I promise it’s way more beautiful than the dead, muddy, unraked leaves lining Fourth Street.
- Hit the bars on Unofficial
Finally, you’re 21 and allowed to see what the hype is all about. No freshmen trying to sneak in, no sophomores asking if they can use your ID. Just you and your day ones, legal and ready to mingle.
- Participate in an apartment crawl because you were too young to hit the bars on Unofficial
A rite of passage before you can even think about No. 7.
- Force yourself to stay at Grainger through the early hours of the morning
Bonus points if you ever watched the sunrise from the second-floor windows.
- Spend a night out at Cly’s or Firehaus
Wine Night, anyone? I lived vicariously through all of you.
- Visit Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch
Yes, their donuts are worth it.
- Experience a barn dance
Ever lost a shoe on the hayride? No? Just me? Okay.
- Dance on the poles at Joe’s
You might be embarrassed, but it was probably worth it.
- Miss a bus
It happens to the best of us.
- Struggle to finish what you ordered from Fat Sandwich
There’s no such thing as too many fries.
- Run out of Cafe Credits because you bought too many snacks, sodas and coffees in one week
Cheese fries from 57 North back at the Ike really had me broke.
- Show off your Orange and Blue at a sporting event
Finish my sentence: I-L-L …
- Attend Quad Day
Only for the free stuff though, right?
- Eat somewhere in downtown Champaign
Something about being off campus just tastes better.
- Form tight-knit relationships with your peers, professors and other members of the campus community
No matter what our background, we all share Fighting Illini blood. You all started this journey together, and you’re about to end it together as well. The people you met along the way are the most important part.
There are probably countless other things you experienced throughout your time here that make your college experience unique to you. From annual events to favorite study spots to nights out with friends, we all have our defining moments that have shaped who we are today. Your undergraduate bucket list probably looks a little different from the next person’s, but regardless of what your years here looked like, you made lasting memories to cherish no matter where you go next. Now it’s time to make a new bucket list.
Shivali is a junior in AHS.