By Anna Pearson
Hundreds of students move onto campus during Welcome Weekend, unpacking their things and preparing for the upcoming school year. Freshmen and seniors alike wonder, ‘What will this year hold for me?’ The unknowns of a new year can be thrilling, invigorating or straight-up terrifying, but having goals can help to outline ideas of what the unknowns entail. Having a bucket list is always a fantastic way to start making those goals. So here we present to you, a basic (but essential), official Bethel bucket list.
#1: Lake Valentine adventures
Whether that be on the ice, the shores or a dip in the algae, Bethel’s very own Lake Valentine has plenty of things to keep you busy all year round. Taking about an hour out of your day (or night) can get you a nice walk around it, or, in the winter, rent some snowshoes to complete the trip on the frozen top. Some people have ventured underneath the lily pads and jumped in, but for a cleaner lake you could always head down the road to Lake Johanna.
#2: Find the best study spot
…Or the best procrastination spot, depending on your homework habits. Some students prefer the endless hallways and study rooms of the Lakeside Center, just a short walk from any building on campus, no matter the time of day or night. Otherwise, there’s always an option to take advantage of a local student discount, and settle into a table at the Arden Hills Dunn Brothers from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on that study grind.
#3: Try out a new career
Although I’m sure you’re pursuing a degree for the job of your dreams, there are plenty of on-campus jobs available that can always change your mind. Try applying for a position in the campus store, admissions event team, in the Frogtown-Summit University partnership or even consider joining snow crew. If you don’t know what snow crew is, just imagine becoming a morning person during the coldest, snowiest winter months.
#4: Take the most obscure electives possible
Bethel has a class for every letter of the alphabet to fulfill your A, Q and Z tags. The key is trying to find the most interesting, weird and fun ones to take with friends! Anything from taking your Q tag in fly fishing, self-expression through dance or disc golf, to taking your A tag in spoken word, guitar or art foundations. These tags are the best opportunity to become “that one class” you took in college you can tell people about for years after graduation.
#5: Find your new favorite spring break destination
Spring break in college doesn’t have to be the same old, same old as it was before! No more going home for the week staycations or visiting your grandparents in Florida for the 10th year in a row. There’s always opportunities to visit friends out of state, rent a cheap AirBNB or join Student Ministries or Campus Outreach on a mission trip.
#6: Attend Movie Club in CC313
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the students behind CC313’s Movie Club found a way to bring the silver screen to campus. Every other Saturday, join your friends in the lecture hall for a good old-fashioned movie night with free popcorn, candy and homework procrastination, while trying to get comfortable in the lightly-cushioned stadium seating.
#7: Hang out with the goats
No, I don’t mean GOAT as in greatest of all time. Literally, the legendary Bethel goats that roam the woods on campus once a year. Legend has it that they’re friendly, but you can never be too sure while walking past their habitat at 2 a.m. after a late-night Taco Bell run and hearing ominous rustling in the trees… But during the day time, the goats are as cute as ever, and definitely a must-stop sight on any fall walk around campus.
#8: Join an intramural sports team
Even if athletics aren’t your thing, there’s always teams that will need extra players for any intramural sport at Bethel. J-term broomball is a classic for anyone wanting to tap into their competitive side in the most boring winter months. Or, if warmer temperatures are more your thing, there’s always sweating it out in the SRC for fall volleyball, and some cool air-conditioned basketball in the gym. Either way, there’s something for everyone, no matter if you’re cheering on your favorite team or working hard for the championship title.
#9: Participate in homecoming week
Although the eight dorms have an unspoken, ongoing feud all year over which one is the best, there is a designated week of the year where competitions declare a winner. Throughout homecoming week, there’s cheer night, men’s dance, tug of war, powderpuff games and then of course the football game on Saturday. Intense nights of learning the cheer lyrics and choreography for the men’s dance all pay off at the end of the week, which ultimately ends in the homecoming banquet where a dorm champion is crowned.
#10: Sledding on a DC tray
And finally, a Bethel classic: finding a dining center tray anywhere you can get one (aka wearing a coat into the DC and walking out with your back looking suspiciously flat after dinner one cold December night) and bringing it out to any one of the built-in sledding hills around campus. Whether it be with a big group of people from your dorm, or going with just a few friends, this is the most classic Bethel tradition, and is a must-do on the bucket list before graduation.
Bonus: Go for a swim in the Heritage pool
If you don’t know where this is, just ask any upperclassmen who’s lived in Heritage – which is obviously the best dorm – if it has a pool inside it. Grab your swimsuit, goggles and towel, take a left at the dead bee on the third floor stairwell window, and you’ll find it eventually. Good luck!
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