The following post is a list of cool stuff I experienced this year.
- I learned how to read a map. Wait, what? By taking the recreational, single credit hour class “Basic Orienteering,” I was given the chance at reliving childhood dreams of being Lewis/Clark. Although I wasn’t mapping the unknown or making friends with Native Americans, I did learn how to use a map and compass to navigate around in the woods. Will I ever need this skill? Probably not. But after hiking something like 5 or 6 miles around MacBride Nature Recreation Area, I did realize more of what I’m capable of. My group used a map and compass to find 11 different markers attached to trees, and did so completely off-trail. Plus, I snapped some really cool pictures. I’d suggest taking this class if you want to re-experience a childhood running around outside, or to appreciate the beauty of Iowa nature. Whatever recreational 1-hour class you pick, just make sure you do one before you graduate.
- Iowa City is one of the few cultural hubs in the state, which means we get a ton of cool shows. Aziz Ansari, Bo Burnham, Michael Ian Black, and Seth Meyers were a few of the speakers/performers I managed to see this year. There were countless others that graced the city with their talents and craft, not to mention a lot of musical talent that visited. I even managed to organize and participate in a comedy show at Public Space 1 (the stand-up’s getting there…). Before you dive into actual adulthood, be sure to do something artsy in Iowa City.
- Finally, I type this last point with tears rolling on to my keyboard (*sniff). Not really, but the last big point I’m going to mention involves the general academic opportunities I’ve been afforded at the University of Iowa. I (finally) made the effort to make friends with a TA, and the knowledge and outlook I learned from them has helped me grow a lot over the last few months. When junior-year talks about college started way back in high school, a lot of my classmates were concerned about becoming lost in the numbers of a large university. Iowa is a pretty big place, but you can stand out if you make the effort. The many opportunities to get involved make it seem a lot smaller.
I’m pretty pumped for the next two years.