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1. Run with President Jim Ryan
Every Thursday, University President Jim Ryan invites students to run with him around Grounds. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. and leaving from the steps of Madison Hall, it’s time to lace up your running sneakers and participate in the weekly #RunWithJim. Not only is this a great opportunity to meet people within the University community, it is also a refreshing way to start your day with some movement. Plus, what could be better than running with President Ryan?
2. Plan a picnic or read on the Lawn
If you’ve never spent an afternoon on the Lawn, it is absolutely time for you to do so. With the weather warming up, grab a friend and relish in this beautiful, historical location on Grounds. Go the extra mile by packing a picnic lunch and taking a moment to reflect on your time spent at the University. Even if you don’t go for lunch, consider spending an afternoon there reading, walking or just sitting on the Lawn. As a central spot for student life, you are bound to be entertained by lots of activity and faces.
3. Play a game on Mad Bowl
Mad Bowl, the well-known field located behind Madison Hall between Rugby Road and Madison Lane, is known for its use by students for a variety of recreational activities, including intramural sports, sorority and fraternity events as well as fundraisers. When walking by Mad Bowl in the daytime, you are likely to see a crowd of people either playing games, sitting on picnic blankets or walking their furry friends. Whether you like frisbee, soccer, tag football, kickball or spikeball, gather a group of friends together and play a game in this bustling spot on Grounds. Consider making it a weekly tradition!
4. Pick apples at Carter Mountain
Before leaving the University, you have to visit Carter Mountain. With stunning views of Charlottesville and breathtaking sunsets, this location is a great way to spend time outdoors and explore places outside of Grounds. Pick your own fruit, enjoy their delicious homemade cider donuts and grab a drink with friends. During the spring season, Carter Mountain offers live music events that continue throughout the year. Only minutes from downtown Charlottesville, take the time to enjoy the fresh mountain air and allow yourself to be immersed in the Charlottesville community.
5. Visit your first-year dorm
I know that we all are just so eager to be brought back to our glory days as first years. Before graduation, make an effort to visit your first-year dorm — your first home at the University. Of course, only go if you have positive memories about this place. Walking the halls of your old dorm might feel a little bit strange, but it is also exciting to see how things have changed and evolved over the years — especially for those of us who lived in the old dorms. If you lived in an old dorm like myself, these buildings have been completely renovated and restored to resemble some of the newer dorms such as Lile-Maupin and Watson-Webb. With the permission of current residents, check out your old room and take one last stroll down memory lane.
6. Snatch the No. 1 ticket at Bodo’s
Calling all frequent Bodo’s Bagels visitors! If you habitually visit Bodo’s and are an early riser, maybe you’ve already gotten lucky and received the No. 1 ticket. If you’re one of these fortunate people, I am quite jealous. It sure does take some dedication. Before you lose the luxury of easily consuming a delicious Bodo’s bagel in Charlottesville, make it a fun goal to snatch the No. 1 ticket if you have yet to receive it. It will indeed require an early wake-up, but the gratification you will feel holding the No. 1 ticket will be insurmountable and that bagel will probably be the best one you’ve ever received from this wonderful franchise.
7. Hike Humpback Mountain at sunrise
While I’m sure many of you have hiked Humpback Mountain, have you ever hiked it at sunrise? In order to take advantage of the beautiful landscapes that surround Charlottesville, I highly recommend making it a bucket list item to hike Humpback at sunrise. At the summit, you’ll be astonished by the expansive, impeccable views of Virginia mountains and the beautiful sky that expands before you. Pack a breakfast sandwich and a bottle of water, grab a friend or a group of friends and discover this beautiful scenery. You won’t be disappointed – I can guarantee you that.
8. Paint Beta Bridge
As we all know, the University has an abundance of traditions, one of them being painting Beta Bridge — one of the most remarkable landmarks on Grounds. As a way to leave your mark at the University, set out to paint Beta Bridge. Always brimming with color, students paint the bridge to exhibit event and club information, sweet notes and memorials. It’s a great way to spread information far and wide and share your thoughts or messages. You wouldn’t want to graduate without participating in one of the University’s most artistic and public traditions!
9. Eat at every restaurant on the Corner
If you’re a big foodie and not a particularly picky eater, this is the perfect bucket list item for you. Packed with a variety of restaurants and bars, you don’t want to miss out on any of the places the Corner has to offer. From sushi, to pizza, to sandwiches and salads, there are so many places to choose from. So why not try all of them? While there are definitely some more well-known restaurants such as The Virginian, Roots, Take it Away and White Spot, consider trying some of the more hidden, low-key places such as Marco & Luca and Thyme & Co. or a new restaurant such as Sammy’s On The Corner. Imagine being able to say that you have eaten at every single restaurant on this strip — pretty cool, right?
10. Go to Fridays After Five
Fridays After Five, taking place at Ting Pavillion on the Downtown Mall, is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the greater Charlottesville community. This year marks the 34th season of this free concert series. Beginning on April 15, the series will take place every Friday until mid-September. With a variety of food trucks and drink stands, this is a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon. Explore the Downtown Mall and enjoy some live music and good company.