1. Spring Break
First and second years got to experience their first college spring break, whether it was taking a well-earned break at home, in Charlottesville or traveling somewhere with their new friends. Third and fourth years got to experience their first spring break in two and a half years, which was extremely different from the reading days scattered throughout the semester last year. I personally spent my spring break in Arkansas — a super tropical location, I know — but it was so refreshing to take a week away from the craziness of school and spend time with family!
2. Basketball games
Although we didn’t make it to the NCAA tournament this year, being able to watch our basketball teams was still an improvement to last year. Beating Duke at their home stadium for the second time in 27 years was definitely a highlight of the semester. The final score was 69-68 after being down by two with only two seconds left in the game. Whether it was in John Paul Jones Arena or watching from our laptops for away games, my roommates and I were so happy to be able to support our Hoos and bring energy back to the studium.
Trippie Redd came to the University and performed April 8 at JPJ at no cost to students. I personally heard about the concert too late to be able to attend. However, I was able to relive some of the moments through a plethora of Snapchat stories and it seemed like an awesome experience — mosh pits and all. Throughout Charlottesville, concert venues are once again hosting artists, both local and visiting. The Up and Up concert took place April 27, and the Downtown Mall has hosted other concerts so far this spring!
4. Eating outside with friends
Sitting in the amphitheater and eating lunch with friends is one of my favorite ways to spend time between classes, especially now that the sun is out most days! The food trucks right next to the Ampitheater — including Sombreros, Rice Bowl Express, Good Waffles & Co., Halal Kitchen, El Tako Nako and Got Dumplings — provide ample options for whatever you might be craving for a midweek lunch in the sun. Here is the schedule for the food trucks if you want to check them out before the end of the semester.
5. A cappella performances and dance shows
The past few weekends have seen performances from a variety of talented a cappella groups and dance clubs on Grounds. The contracted independent organization University Salsa Club performed downtown April 22 and 23. An abundance of a cappella concerts were hosted, including a concert by the New Dominions April 23. The Virginia Dance Company also performed in Old Cabell for their show Run The World on April 3. The month of April has been a busy month in the music and dance world at the University. My resident advisor from my first year performed with the AcHOOstics at McLeod Hall on April 15 in her final performance as a fourth-year and I am so proud of her!
6. Dining at the Downtown Mall
This has been one of my favorite activities this semester. I have been downtown with my roommates and a few other friends to grab a bite to eat, and the food options are just the best. Iron Paffles is currently one of my favorite spots — their gluten free waffle option won my heart from day one. Another favorite my roommates and I only allow ourselves to go for special occasions is Ten Sushi. I usually would be hesitant to eat sushi this far inland, however, Ten has very high quality food. I could go on listing restaurants, the Downtown Mall really has it all.
7. Chipotle coming soon
There are few things on the Corner that could replace Sheetz, Little John’s and the College Inn, but Chipotle is certainly a good contender. The rumors about Chipotle opening where the College Inn used to be have been circulating all semester, but now it is official. I am curious to see how crowded the Chipotle will be, especially as the Barracks location is typically packed with students. I, personally, am afraid of my self-control and my ability to not get Chipotle all the time if it's just a short walk from my apartment.
8. Snowball fight on Grounds
The weekend before classes started, Charlottesville had a great snow day. The traditional midnight snowball fight that occurs on the night of the first snow was held on the Lawn with some great attendance. The weekend before classes started for the spring 2022 semester was when that first big snow arrived and there were enough students around to celebrate it. Still, not everyone was back on Grounds yet, however, the snowball fight was still a sight to behold. My car was stuck for a week and a half on the very last piece of ice in my apartment’s parking lot after that night, but the snowball fight was so worth it.
9. Running with Jim
I have not yet been brave enough to attend one of University President Jim Ryan’s runs in the early hours of an occasional morning, however, it is something I aspire to do before I graduate. Ryan starts running from the steps of Madison Hall, typically at 7:30 a.m. and they are completely free and open to the public. Ryan even ran the Boston Marathon this year, so I’m a little bit intimidated — I might even need to train before going!
10. Finals weekend 2022
This one is something to look forward to. Between May 20 and 22, Finals Weekend is the time in which graduating students take part in the University’s traditions that celebrate their time and effort here. This year events will take place on the Lawn rather than Scott Stadium in a return to normalcy. Each student will receive six guest tickets, and I’m sure all students graduating this year are very excited about their ability to parkatake in one of the most highly regarded traditions at the University — walking the Lawn as a graduating student.