10 things to do at USM before you graduate

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Photo by Dionne Smith, Director of Photography

By Asha Tompkins, Arts and Culture Editor

Ever since you were little, you probably thought of college as a haven of ethereal scholars. You’d live, breathe and die in order to get in. But now that you’re here, time is running out. If you want to make the most of your USM experience, here’s a short bucketlist of ideas.

Join a student organization

Every student pays an activity fee that’s based on the amount of credits hours they take per semester. That fee funds student organizations and extracurricular activities, so if you’re not part of one, you’re basically paying for other people to have a great time. Some organizations to consider joining: The Free Press, WMPG, Commuter Student Association, Student Senate and the Outdoor Adventures Board.

Sit in on a Student Senate meeting

The Student Senate is in charge of allocating the Student Activity Fee responsibly to student organizations and extracurricular activities that need funding. Before you graduate, it might interest you to see how these decisions are made and how student organizations come together to discuss the successes of their endeavors. The Student Senate meeting schedules are posted online.

Study in one of the libraries

Photo by Berkeley Elias, Lead Photographer

If you really want to get in a college vibe, step foot into one of the study areas of the Glickman, Gorham or LAC library. They provide you with the smell of education and the urgency to get things done. Even if you have nothing academic to complete, there are plenty of outlets and comfy chairs to sit where you can just scroll through your phone and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Photo Courtesy of Audrey Pohl

Go watch some sports

USM always encourages students to support their home teams at sporting events, and one would be surprised at how fun they can be. Whether it’s freezing your legs off in the ice area to watch the hockey teams slide a puck into a net, or getting sunburned on the stands while watching the baseball team hit a ball out of the park, the experience of being a part of a supportive community can’t be replicated. Whether or not you know how sports work, it’s fun to collectively yell with complete strangers at the opposing team. Also, snacks.

Play Pingo

PINGO Night – Photo Courtesy of Student Involvement & Activities

One incredibly anticipated student activity is PINGO, also known as PRIZE BINGO. It takes place on the Gorham campus, typically in Lower Brooks, and there’s really nothing to lose, as they will literally give away TVs, PlayStations, Nintendo Switches, etc.

Walk from Portland to Gorham

If you’re a glutton for punishment, Google maps states that it takes approximately three hours and one minute to walk from the Gorham campus to the Portland campus and vice versa. This is one minute less than the time it takes to watch Avengers: Endgame. At that point, you can do both at the same time, and it would be a great bedtime story.

Help out at Amistad or Preble street

Giving back to the community is not often promoted, but there are great opportunities to do so, such as volunteering to help serve in the soup kitchen at Preble Street, or helping out the members at Amistad, a recovery center. Both are non-profit organizations, located relatively close to the Portland campus, and always looking for people willing to volunteer and make a positive impact on the less-fortunate community.

Visit one of the Art Galleries

Photo by Ian Beckett, Staff Photographer

There are two art galleries, one on the Portland campus, and one on the Gorham campus. Both provide displays of student artwork, local artwork and even internationally renowned artwork. Their events are typically open to the public and free to attend.

Photo Courtesy of Student Involvement & Activities

Take a picture with the Husky Mascot

The husky mascot might be difficult to find, but if you search hard enough, you will probably find someone walking their pet husky. Take a picture with it or the actual mascot, for you never know when you might need to remember that you yourself were once a husky, and it will always be a part of you.

Get an internship

USM encourages all students to try getting an internship at least once in their academic career, as it builds experience for your resume, and helps clarify what you want to pursue as a professional career path. If you’re interested in looking for internships, you can visit the Career & Employment Hub for more information.

Bonus idea : Read every Monday Missive while standing in the Alumni skywalk

Before you take your leave from the Portland campus, grab a laptop or phone and read aloud every Monday Missive that President Glenn Cummings has written since you began your journey at USM to every passerby. This act will remind them and yourself of the progress the university has made holistically, as well as the progress you have made personally as a student.

Whether you graduate in May of 2019, or May of 2034 or never, these suggestions are merely a guideline for what your bucket-list might look like to complete your college experience. It is strongly encouraged that you create your own in order to take advantage of everything that USM has to offer.

Congratulations to graduating students, and good luck to those who are working toward being a part of that final ceremony.

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