Personal achievement varies from person to person. If you’re at UNM for four years, you’ll wind up doing a lot of things to entertain yourself, and some will be more meaningful than others. Here are a few things every Lobo should do before graduation. Call it a UNM bucket list:
1. Rally with fire
UNM does its annual pep rally with style — and by style, I mean fire. We burn a 25-foot-tall effigy of NMSU’s mascot, the Aggie. There’s a big party with the UNM sports teams, cheerleaders and marching band. For more info, visit sac.unm.edu.
2. See a play
UNM’s Popejoy Hall is famous, and for good reason: you can see a play, hear a symphony, or experience other dramatic pieces. For those who are into a more alternative style, Theater X, located in the basement of Popejoy Hall, puts on experimental theatrical performances usually created by UNM students. Visit popejoypresents.com for more information.
3. Watch a flick on the field
Every semester, Mid-Week Movies puts on a production on Johnson Field. Hundreds of students pile onto the grass and enjoy a film on a giant projector. It’s a great way to make friends or spend time with the ones you have. For info on that, and other UNM activities, visit sac.unm.edu.
4. Go to a Museum
UNM campus features a variety of museums, and it’s worth it to visit at least one of these great places before you finish your degree. For a complete list, go to unm.edu/welcome/museums.html.
5. Go to a game
UNM’s football team plays its home games just a few blocks south of campus. The pre-game tailgates are among the few events sanctioned by UNM for on-campus alcohol consumption, presuming you’re 21 or older. Attend one of these rowdy parties before settling back to watch the players toss about the pigskin; bonus points if you catch a homecoming game. For information on events, visit www.golobos.com.
6. Travel abroad
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox
Sure, it’s easy to spend your whole college experience in one familiar place where everyone speaks your language and the culture doesn’t differ greatly. But to get a full view of the world, in order to better appreciate and understand other communities and perspectives, sometimes one must leave their proverbial doorstep. UNM’s Global Exchange Office helps students find ways to travel. The GEO’s website is studyabroad.unm.edu.
7. Take advantage of recreational services
UNM’s recreational services offer a variety of off-campus outings, such as camping, backpacking and kayaking. These outings are available at discounted rates to students. Taking advantage of at least one will result in a great experience. There’s a list of services to come at recsvcs.unm.edu.
There are plenty of organizations at UNM that take on charitable tasks. Volunteer work can be rewarding, both educationally and emotionally. It also connects participants with their communities and can open doors for work opportunities. For a list of UNM Student Organizations, go to unm-community.symplicity.com.
9. Get Bricked
Just across the street from UNM are two pizza bars: Brickyard Pizza and Bricklight Dive. These two, and all the bars in between, serve great food and beer from local breweries. Start furthest at Bricklight Dive, have a local beer, and make your way over to Brickyard Pizza. Be 21 first, of course.
10. Eat at Frontier
The Frontier Restaurant is an Albuquerque staple. It was established on historic Route 66 back in 1971, during the classic highway’s heyday. Their sweet rolls are famous state-wide, and their breakfast burritos are great fuel for a hard night of studying. It used to be open 24/7, but since that’s where drunk folk would go to fight when the bars closed, it’s now only open until 1 a.m.
11. Catch a flick
In the basement of the SUB there’s a movie theater called Mid-Week Movies. Students can get in for two dollars per show. School life may be busy, but there’s always a few hours to catch a flick. You should visit this theater at least once in pursuit of your degree. For movies and show times, visit movies.unm.edu.
12. Swim in the Olympic Pool
UNM has an Olympic-sized swimming pool: something many campuses are not blessed with. Even those who can’t swim should experience the sensation of being in such a large body of water. Those who are a bit more brave — and closer to graduation — might consider jumping from the high dive. A word of caution, though: doing so without a coach present can result in expulsion from the pool. YOLO.
13. Get a meal at LaPo
Many students are forced into this during freshman orientation. Others are required to have a meal plan if they are living on campus. If you’ve never eaten at La Posada, the campus cafeteria, you should try it at least once. For the best results, go during the beginning of the semester. For contrast, try it again during finals week.
14. Check out the trees
UNM isn’t just New Mexico’s flagship university; it’s also the home of the state’s largest arboretum. Main campus is home to more than 300 trees — which basically means you’re taking classes amidst a giant botanical garden. The phone app UNM Pocket Archivist can take you on a walking tour through the natural masterpiece.
Kevin Haaf is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @DailyLobo.