Students cheering at Shocktoberfest
While academic excellence is key at UCI, the campus also celebrates fun as one of its core values. Here, students celebrate at the annual Shocktoberfest concert. University Want to maximize your UCI experience? Here's a list of things to do during your undergraduate years, according to older (and presumably wiser) upperclassmen. They came up with the roster in honor of the university's 50th anniversary in 2015 — when current freshmen will graduate. Slide show: Bucket list highlights, including Shocktoberfest (shown); for all 50, see end of story. University Communications

Incoming freshmen, take note: As members of UC Irvine’s class of 2015, you’ll get your degree the year the campus turns 50. In anticipation of the half-century celebration, you’ve got a little homework — a bucket list of things to do before you graduate.

To make sure you don’t spend your entire college career toiling away in Langson Library — and miss out on key UCI activities like rock climbing at the Anteater Recreation Center— your upperclassmen have identified 50 must-dos while you’re here. And the UCI Alumni Association has funded the production of magnetized checklists that were distributed Sept. 19 at New Student Convocation.

“It’s to make the most of your experience at UCI,” says Associated Students Vice President Jun Wang, a fourth-year international studies major who helped circulate the proposed list among ASUCI students. He himself has completed most of the items. One of his favorites also happens to be one of the weirdest: Stand directly above the drain in front of McGaugh Hall and talk loudly. Why? “You’ll sound just like Darth Vader,” Wang says.

Before the list became official, “there was an understanding among students of what you should do while you’re here,” says Sandy Jones, executive director of student government staff, who came up with the bucket list idea. “Then, when we started talking about plans for the 50th anniversary, I thought this would be perfect.”

While her office ensured that no items were dangerous (or illegal), the administration took a hands-off approach to the list. “We didn’t want them putting in things like ‘Study hard and ace your finals,'” Jones jokes.

Some things are pretty easy to knock off, such as meditating in the Jao Family Sculpture Garden or going to class wearing pajamas. “Everyone does it during finals,” Wang says.

Others — such as speaking to a crowd of 400-plus people, trying out for a dance crew or trying not to get a parking ticket — might prove a bit harder. Jones’ favorites include asking an international student to coffee and attending an (unfamiliar) religious or cultural event.

“They challenge students to do things that may be a little bit uncomfortable for them,” she says.

For his part, Wang hopes the list will help freshmen enjoy their time at UCI as much as he has. “I always stress getting involved and being open to change,” he says. “If you do that, you’re going to have a really good time.”

The list: 50 things to do before you graduate from UCI

1. Give Peter the Anteater a hug
2. Visit the study abroad center and fill out an application
3. Climb the rock wall, play intramurals or do the ropes course at the ARC
4. Meditate in the Zen garden
5. Watch a performing arts show
6. Speak to a crowd of 400-plus people
7. Come to school in pajamas
8. Break a world record
9. Take a Sticki Picki photo with a friend
10. Write an article for the New University
11. Apply for a leadership position on campus
12. Attend a religious/cultural function or festival
13. Ask someone about UCI’s underground tunnels
14. Visit the “real” Peter the Anteater at the Santa Ana Zoo
15. Have a bonfire at Corona del Mar State Beach (or at least “beach”)
16. Ask an international student to coffee
17. Visit The Gypsy Den
18. Find UCI’s talking fountains
19. Give free hugs on campus
20. Take a nap in Aldrich Park
21. Go to a party in Newport Beach
22. Walk, run or bike the mountain-to-sea trail
23. Listen to KUCI
24. Start or join a campus organization
25. Take a class with an award-winning professor
26. Go ice-blocking in Aldrich Park
27. Buy Korean BBQ, Spam musubi or boba on Ring Mall
28. Talk over the drain and act like Darth Vader in front of McGaugh Hall
29. Count the number of trees in Aldrich Park
30. Get your resume critiqued at the Career Center
31. Attend the following events at least once:

  •     Welcome Week
  •     Shocktoberfest
  •     ASUCI movie nights
  •     Homecoming
  •     Care-a-thon
  •     Wayzgoose
  •     Reggaefest
  •     Songfest

32. Take a picture on one of the Anteater benches
33. Introduce yourself to the chancellor
34. Watch the Disneyland fireworks from VDC
35. Invite your family to campus
36. Get a free drink at the Anthill Pub on your 21st birthday
37. Do a midnight run to Cha for tea
38. See how many things you can buy for $10 at the ASUCI Vendor Fair
39. Pull an all-nighter at Starbucks or the Student Center during finals week
40. Paint your face or body for a UCI Athletics game
41. Go to the farmers market at University Center on Saturday
42. Try out for a dance crew
43. Eat at a 24-hour pho place at 3 a.m.
44. Look at UCI from the top of Turtle Rock
45. Give a campus tour … walking backwards!
46. Get some laughs at the ASUCI comedy night at the Anthill Pub
47. Find the campus building that looks like a womb and sperm
48. Find the mitosis planters
49. Participate in a research experiment
50. Try not to get a parking ticket

Originally published in ZotZine Vol. 4, Iss. 1