Recently, the student leaders of the University of Virginia’s Class of 2010 aggregated a list of 110 things they and their classmates felt it was important to do before leaving the Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia. I attended U.Va. from 2001 to 2005 and returned in late 2006 until late 2008 to work for my alma mater.

When I read the students’ list, I realized I had completed most of the activities by the time I packed up the contents of my Lawn room. Feeling a tad proud of myself (and completely nostalgic for college as my 5 year reunion approaches), here’s what I remember.

Have a movie night in the chemistry auditorium or Newcomb Theatre I’ve done both. I was a Media Studies major, I saw movies everywhere! What’s exciting, though, is that I actually showed one of my movies in the Chem auditorium. My adolescent psych professor used “Girl Culture” in our class.
Go tubing on the James River Fun, but the water level is often low. Good for not drowning, bad for getting your tush scraped on sharp rocks and having to stand up and walk on slippery algae carrying a hot innertube and a warm beer.
Drink tea at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar I was just there, actually. I prefer their wine, but I have had tea. And hookah. With a class. Professor too.
Play a game on the Lawn with some friends As a Lawn resident I was always up for bocce and “drunk Jenga.”
Pull an all-nighter in Clemons I actually never did this. I’m definitely a night person, but I’m more a “5 hours of sleep minimum or else I can’t function” person.
Check out a book from the library My God, do students actually not do this anymore? Are they writing papers with Wikipedia or something?
Hang out on the Rotunda steps Oh sure.
Go green—take an exam with a green book I assume this is a blue book made with recycled paper. I feel like our blue books were made with recycled paper and were still blue, but this is a nice idea too.
Study in the Fine Arts Café There’s a Fine Arts Café?
Attend a club sports game Attend a club sport? I did a club sport. I dove for a year, actually. (Poorly!) Bet you didn’t know that.

Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall

Take a stroll downtown during First Fridays Student life mostly takes place on the campus, or Grounds, and on the Corner, a square half-mile of restaurant/bars and shops adjacent to Grounds. A short walk and even shorter free trolley ride beyond the Corner is the Downtown Mall, a bricked-over pedestrian street with restaurants and shops, and also small businesses, wine bars, music venues, movie theaters, and a recently renovated theater and covered amphitheater, both of which book major shows and acts year-round and draw a more mature clientele. Street performers and artists are a welcome presence. This is where much of the greater city’s social life exists. I worked at a restaurant with a lot of outdoor seating on Charlottesville’s downtown mall between third and fourth year, and I loved people-watching when I was on a shift and enjoying the gallery open houses and live music when I wasn’t. I can’t believe some students ever go through school without spending time in the actual city of Charlottesville. It’s a waste of four years. That’s strong language coming from me, too!
Attend Jazz in the Amphitheatre When I was there, jazz bands played in front of Old Cabell. Which is close to the amphitheater. I’m counting it.
Go into the Chapel One of my Inter-Sorority Council meetings was held there because the conferences rooms were all taken. It’s in use so often — particularly for weddings — that I wouldn’t assume I could just walk in.

Not Blue Hole, but another excellent swimming hole near the Clifton Inn with a rope swing

Swim in Blue Hole To get to Blue Hole, a small waterfall and pond west of Charlottesville, you have to hike about a mile (if that) down a path that goes through some streams and over fallen trees. It’s pretty secluded, but on warm days you’ll definitely run into another group or two. Around the time I graduated, a guy asked me out and brought me here with his dog, and I was really into it. Shortly thereafter, as I recall, I ran into him with another girl at a bar. Nevermind that…
Hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Humpback Rock to see the sunrise Sunset, yes. But again, I like sleep too much.
Be ticket No. 1 at Bodo’s Bodo’s is a wildly popular bagel shop (well, three bagel shops), and the line starts forming right at 6am. I have been to Bodo’s at 6am, but it was against my will, so I was not first in line.
Attend a themed party or date function “Themed party” is my middle name. My parents felt “Anne” was too unique and daring a middle name.
Rock out at a concert in JPJ The John Paul Jones Arena was completed after I graduated, but when I moved back, I saw Justin Timberlake perform there. Almost $100 I will never see again.
Brave the Vermonster at SpringFest Surprising I didn’t, given how much Arch’s ice cream and store-bought cake and Ben & Jerry pints I went through in college.
Attend Culture Fest This is new. I would have been into it, though.
Swim in Walnut Creek I love Walnut Creek Park. It’s a small lake for swimming and canoeing, and the beach is equal parts dirt and sand. It and Sherando Lake in George Washington National Park were places where I could go and be in the company of non-students and just be alone and anonymous. And get a tan.
Grab a slice from Crozet Pizza Enough people said it was expensive and not very good that I grew disinterested. But I did eat at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, off Route 29 at the Crossroads. That was great.
Check out Final Fridays at the U.Va. Art Museum I hadn’t heard of this so I looked it up online. It seems like a fine idea in print, but they should really consider captioning their photo of a body-painted girl in a bikini licking a lollipop. Until they do, I’m going to assume this involves acid trips, so um, no thank you.
Visit the Special Collections Library to see the original Declaration of Independence *One of the originals.
Study in the McGregor Room I pretty much studied everywhere in search of the hottest nerdboys.
Experience a performance in Old Cabell Hall Several.
Listen to an a cappella concert It would take a great deal of effort not to listen to an a cappella group. They’re so there for you at U.Va. Adorably coy guys in blazers with shorts or smoking jackets show up at your dorms, club meetings, special events, French quizzes, innertube water polo play-offs. They almost sense stress and turn it into spontaneous swoonage with their whimsical arrangements of “Lady In Red.” The highlights in my hair catch your eye? Really?
Hug Ms. Kathy in Newcomb What a Godsend she is. Seriously. When I think of this perpetually grinning, reassuring, high-fiving Dining staff member, it’s like kittens play with buttercups in my mind.
See “the river” on the Lawn To experience this optical illusion, you lay down on your back at the top of the Rotunda steps and let your head hang over the ledge of the top stair. When you look out at the Lawn from this position, upside-down, the sky looks like a river. It’s quite beautiful. Watch out for the headrush.
Eat on the Corner Well, yes. It’s right there.
Go to an ’80s dance party at Three Embarrassingly, I did this a lot more as a graduate than as a student. But in my defense, it was Jabberwoke when I graduated and before that it was the Greenskeeper. Oh, how I miss the Greenskeeper with its sweaty smell, the dirty couch for cliques in the front, and frequent lack of TP in the women’s room. A truly great college bar.
Check out the Student Activities Fair Or, more aptly, “sign up for activities you have little interest in to meet any upper-class guys you didn’t get to meet on move-in day, when they volunteered to carry your shower caddies and peacoat collections up three flights of stairs to impress you and your dad.”
High-five Dean Groves I like the sound of this Dean Groves very much.
Use the 21 Society box outside of Lawn room 21Students can inform one of U.Va.’s selective secret societies, the 21 Society, of needs or concerns using an anonymous drop-box next to a Lawn Room it sponsors. For a summer I toured hundreds of prospective students around our Grounds and talked about the box, but I was never inclined to use it.

The Facebook in May 2004, screen grab from the Wayback Machine

Remove yourself from Facebook for 24 hours It’s generally known that Mark Zuckerberg set up The Facebook for Ivies in the beginning, after Harvard, but the University of Virginia was actually included in this focus group of sorts. I believe we received our network in late spring of 2004, so I only had it for a year before I graduated. Probably a good thing. It was amazing to get to be a part of creating the culture of Facebook, but at the time, I recall being really anxious because there was no precedent for such a culture at all. In 2004, I couldn’t just meet someone and confidently say, “I’ll Facebook you.” Those who did came off as desperate or promiscuous, and with only half of my peers using it with any enthusiasm or regularity, there was no guarantee this would be well received. We went through a stressful process of finding out if others were on The Facebook, and if so, if they wanted to translate actual relationships to virtual ones. I still remember the anguish of wondering what criteria were needed to add someone as a friend, and what the protocol might be for interaction in real life after friending someone and suddenly knowing things about them they had never told me. And if you looked at the profiles of people you didn’t know, it was actually — our word — “sketchy.” It’s just something that wasn’t talked about. At the same time, that’s exactly what we did with it. It was so profound to suddenly be aware of others’ social networks. We chose to make public so much of what we previously deemed “private.” Overnight. And it was thrilling to peruse the profiles of complete strangers at other schools. I am still Facebook friends with a Tufts alum I probably friended under the influence of too many drinks at, say, the Greenskeeper. He probably lives two blocks from me right now.
See U.Va. from another angle—try the view from the roof of a building I wonder what building the student who submitted this had in mind. I’ve been on Pavilion roofs. Again, probably under the influence of too many drinks at, say, the Greenskeeper.
Stargaze at McCormick Observatory I’m stretching on this one. I’ve been up to the observatory many times, and I stargazed with the Astronomy department a couple of times. (Very proud of my astronomy report card.) But I have not looked through their telescope.

Pavilion gardens from a rooftop

Hang out in one of the Pavilion gardens I’ve done more than hang out. I’ve attended garden parties and read books and climbed trees. I feel like this is code for “Hook up in one of the Pavilion gardens,” though, and I have not done that.
Have a “Sunday Funday” Whoever submitted this recommendation is probably the little-little-little in my friend Juan’s University Guide Service family. I’m quite certain he invented it. I can assure you no one does it more justice.
Get lost in Alderman Stacks You mean, my favorite place in Charlottesville, Virginia? Yes. Yes I have done this.
Streak the Lawn Yes. Yes I have done this.
Grab something greasy from the White Spot Like The Facebook, I couldn’t be more pleased for my well-being that I didn’t have a Gusburger until my fourth year.
Get muddy in Madbowl I got so muddy in Madbowl in a hurricane that I was contacted by the student newspaper to tell my story. I still have the scars. They’re not going anywhere.
Eat breakfast at Spudnuts Oh, they’re just potato donuts. I’ll find this list-worthy when they’re asparagus donuts that taste good.
Get stumped by Mellow Mushroom Trivia This is not a bad way for smart kids to spend a Wednesday night, so I’m a little embarrassed to admit it’s not my favorite. I preferred bars’ theme nights and drink specials on Tuesday and Thursday, none of which involved knowing famous athletes or senators. I found it exhausting just to come up with a team name clever enough to be in the competition.

There are horses at the Foxfield Races?

Enjoy an afternoon at Foxfield The Foxfield Races are a steeplechase event that takes place every spring and fall, and the spring tailgating is the party of the year for U.Va. students. Ladies wear sundresses, gentlemen wear seersucker, and that’s about where the resemblance to polite, self-aware individuals ends.
Attend a Black History Month event Did I? I really hope I did. I do know I took both of Julian Bond’s classes. That will change a person.
Visit a Virginia vineyard I am quite the wine tasting enthusiast. This should surprise no one. Of the Monticello Wine Trail, I’ve been to (alphabetical order): Afton Mountain, Barboursville, Burnley, Cardinal Point, First Colony, Flying Fox, Jefferson, King Family, Kluge, Pollak, Veritas, and White Hall. And Oakencroft closed.
Dine with a professor One of my fourth-year writing professors had a party at her house for my class, and because we were all 21, we could drink wine with her. I had been dating older guys and working in restaurants that served the city’s older demographic, but I remember feeling particularly “adult” that night.
Join the Alumni Association I believe in doing this at any university.
Attend Lighting of the Lawn Every December, after a few weeks of watching workers on ladders stapling strands of white lights to the frames of Pavilions and columns, the University community gathers to watch the Lawn illuminated for the holiday season. A cappella groups perform carols (not surprisingly), and Lawn residents host small parties for the groups they’re involved with. (We all had fireplaces, which were delightful for cooking s’mores.) I was really busy with the Virginia Film Festival and Virginia Film Society my fourth year, so I missed some of these traditions — but I usually turned my keys over to friends so they could enjoy a warm place to sit down.
Relax in the AFC hot tub I didn’t dive after my first year, but I continued to swim laps until I remembered I hate swimming laps. I probably spent more time sitting in front of high-power water jets than backstroking.
Attend a CIO’s cultural day I looked forward to these. I disliked dining services then, so I could actually count on really good food for a change.
Celebrate TJ’s birthday—try to see the Purple Shadows If you can just get past the fact that their robes and hoods look exactly like purple versions of the garb worn by men in a certain notable racist organization — which, admittedly, is hard — then this is a really exciting sight to see. Its members walk down the Lawn late at night, side-by-side, and leave a memento at the statue of Thomas Jefferson.
Give back—volunteer in the Charlottesville community Sure did.
Bundle up at the ice rink downtown I’m not shy about telling people how much I love ice skating, and people are often surprised to learn that I took my first lesson in college. I think that because I enjoyed watching figure skating on TV so much as a kid, I went into the lessons with an idea in my head of what I was supposed to do. No sport has ever come easy to me, but figure skating came easy to me. Finally, my sport!
Make a change—Vote in U.Va. UBE Elections I did twice, I believe.
Study in the dome room of the Rotunda I’ve been in the room several times and certainly attempted to study there. But it’s reserved for events so frequently, it can be hard to actually do it.
Find out how it all began—take a historical tour of Mr. Jefferson’s Academical Village I gave tours!
Share your love of U.Va.—volunteer for Days on the Lawn This is an opportunity for prospective students who have been admitted to U.Va. to come and check it out one last time before committing. I never went, but it sounds like a really good thing.
Buy local and eat fresh at the Farmers’ Market on the Downtown Mall Yes!
Be a crazy HOO Crew member This is new. They’re, like, unofficial cheerleaders who follow our teams and make a lot of noise from the stands. Body paint optional.

This is part of a mural in Pavilion VI that is very, very old!

Ponder the paintings in the Clark Mural Hall Clark was originally the law school, and the murals date back to 1932. A recent addition to Virginia’s Landmarks Registry, the murals will be replicated in U.Va.’s new law school on its North Grounds.
Teach someone something you learned in class Inevitable.
Chalk it up on Grounds (in an approved area) I loved chalking for my student organizations. I do a mean bubble-print.
Try Riverside for a tasty lunch A couple of years ago, this would be a mention of the now-shuttered Tavern. I suppose the students have moved on to the next dive. The Riverside Lunch brings together city politicians and county farmers alike for hamburgers between intentionally flattened buns and Nascar memorabilia. Once was enough for me.
Walk the Monticello-Saunders Trail This is a great walking trail! It starts at the base of the mountain atop which Monticello sits (with an apple orchard on its side). As you climb and the terrain gets increasingly uneven, a dirt path turns into a series of wooden bridges that snake up the mountain. Once you reach the top, you get beautiful views of the city. It’s a pleasant, moderate, one-hour round trip.
Witness a Probate I think this has something to do with the U-Guides.
Get spooked at Brown College Hauntings I love haunted houses, so student-run haunted houses were right up my alley.
Indulge your nostalgia and visit your first-year room (if it still exists!) I did that once. The girls who lived there were adorable.
Grab some food from Mel’s Diner I do regret not getting some soul food from Mel’s.
Pick apples at Carter’s Mountain I just mentioned an apple orchard on Monticello’s mountainside — Carter is it! I picked apples, rode the tractor ride, ate apple donuts, drank apple cider, I did it all.
Take a picture with Cavman That’s okay…
Go see a show—support theater at U.Va. I wish I did this more often. I saw “The Pajama Game” and “Waiting for Godot.” I also saw “Angels in America” and “Sweeney Todd” and several others at Live Arts downtown. Great city for theater, and speakers. David Sedaris came right as he was getting really famous, and he did a reading at a local high school.

Revenue sporting event?

Cheer on the Cavaliers at a non-revenue sporting event Does this mean IM-rec sports? Yes, I have actually cheered on a flag football and softball team my friends were on.
Take a study break at Para Coffee Where?
Hike or bike the Rivanna Trail This is one to bike. I’ve always felt it needed to be better lit, routed away from road traffic, and maintained to be a practical walking/running path.
Jump on Ruffner Bridge This is a footbridge that students occasionally joke was designed by a Virginia Tech Hokie, but its flexibility is an indication of really sound design.
Hang out on the Brooks Hall lawn Brooks is our anachronistic anthropology building, and the grassy hillside next to it draws a slightly more eccentric crowd than the Lawn. I’ve seen Medieval dance and fencing, for example.
Complete the Dining Hall Marathon Day (three halls, one day) By choice?
Sing your heart out at Baja Karaoke I’m pretty sure I’ve done this. I’ve definitely watched.
Break it down until dawn at Dance Marathon I did a lot of volunteer work with an organization that occasionally kept me up all night, but I never danced for DM. I always wanted to, and I should’ve gone regardless of whether or not I was going to know people there.
Cruise around in the Wahooptie These are 80s-era limousines converted into disco-fab taxis that charge the same as any other Charlottesville cab company. They hit the roads after I graduated.
Go to a class dinner or Class of 2010 event Except it was “2005.”
Reconnect with a friend from first year I still do that.
Smile at a stranger I’ve always done that.
Sing “The Good Ole’ Song” with friends I will, but I might have to hum a couple of the words.
Thank your bus driver What kind of jerk doesn’t?

View from Observatory Hill at sunset

Explore the woods of O-Hill There’s a nice path right through them.
Save gas by riding the trolley or the bus Good public transpo in that city.
Eat up at Pancakes for Parkinson’s This event has gotten huge. It was not one of the philanthropies with the best name recognition when I was there. Good cause for sure.
Experience Drag Bingo I love this recommendation! I had the best time seeing some of my friends and classmates in drag. And all for a good cause.
Grab some gourmet gas station grub at Belair I don’t quite understand the fanaticism, but yes, I’ve been several times. For a creative sandwich, I preferred Baggby’s on the downtown mall. They made me one with turkey, cranberry relish, honey mustard, and cornbread stuffing. Good God.
Participate in a Sustained Dialogue event This is a forum for cultural awareness and sensitivity to racial issues that came to U.Va. my first year. I participated in two different variations on it over the course of my four years, and I still remember the intensity and relief of the conversations that transpired.
Learn some moves from a step show or a dance troupe performance I tried to get pulled on stage to get taught some moves at a huge step show, but I wasn’t picked. I did take hip-hop dance lessons. Salsa too.
Party with first years at the Wertland Block Party Is this an official event held by rental corporations or something?
Attend mid-autumns carnival “Mid-autumns”? Also known as October?
Take a picture at the South Lawn Project to compare with the finished product No, that’s okay…
Recycle! If you live off-campus or in the city, you have to drive your recycled goods to a recycling center. Carbon footprint trade-off.
Support Take Back the Night Yes.

The work of my sorority

Paint Beta Bridge I have several times! This bridge has been painted several times a week to promote student activities and celebrate birthdays since the late 1970s. In 2007, the paint was so thick that it began to peel off and eventually needed to be removed. Within the many, many layers of messages, there were actually layers of wet paint that never had the opportunity to dry. Apparently, its weight was estimated at 1,000 pounds.
Say “Thank you” to a University employee I should hope so!
Participate in a 5k I ran in my Fourth Year 5K and a few others.
Visit Edgar Allan Poe’s room Yup.
Take a picture with Thomas Jefferson Um, this is problematic.
Go to office hours The general opinion of professors when I was a student was that they were underutilized during their office hours. I’ll admit I never had a problem getting face time, but I also didn’t feel the need to go for every class.

kate malay,tom deluca
Hypnotized to laugh uncontrollably

Watch the antics of hypnotist Tom Deluca Well, he hypnotized me!
Take a random road trip It’s almost comical how badly the one that comes to mind went, but I’ll take it.
Make your fourth year the best one yet In reflecting on my time at U.Va. to do this post, I remembered so much that I’d forgotten. It definitely was.
Think about all U.Va. has meant to you and say thank you by making your class gift That’s quite a recommendation to end on. I like my Marble Palace story a little more.

I suppose this wouldn’t be a post by a real alum if it didn’t include some additions I think the Class of 2010 missed. Right?

One of many posters I had the pleasure of designing and circulating for Virginia Film Festival screenings in 2005

Attend the Virginia Film Festival, the Virginia Festival of the Book, and the Festival of the Photograph They’re all amazing festivals! I’m very proud to have volunteered off and on over the course of three years for the Virginia Film Festival and Film Society.
Swim to the island at Sherando Lake Nestled in George Washington National Forest, this mountain lake offers a roped-off shallow swimming area, clean bathhouses, grill areas, campsites, hiking trails, and let’s be honest, probably water snakes beyond the shallows. I’ve been to the lake at least a half dozen times, but I remember swimming to the middle twice.

Polo fashion

Attend Virginia men’s and women’s polo matches U.Va. has one of the best programs, arguably the best program, in the country. We recruit internationally. In the summer, you can also watch polo at King Family Vineyards, as long as it’s not too hot for the horses. The ladies dress accordingly. And yes, everyone is invited to replace divots.

Getting lost in the mountains in the autumn, a friend and I came across an apple butter festival, where these families had been up all night stirring the cooking apples

Tour Monticello It might seem obvious, and any kid in Virginia public schools within a two hour radius will go on a field trip there at some point, but I didn’t do it in college until my uncle and my nieces visited. It’s quite cool.
Bring a picnic to the Ash Lawn Opera Festival My parents and I brought a little wine and cheese picnic out to this delightful summer event at Ash Lawn, near Monticello. This sort of requires staying in Charlottesville through a summer, but I totally recommend doing that, too.


Go down in the steam tunnels I apologize if this is an egregious crime, but when I was in school, it was merely frowned upon. I didn’t know anyone who had been ticketed for doing this, unlike streaking, but it was also a little harder to get caught. After all, you’re underground. Make sure your flashlight has batteries to last a while, be prepared for it to be really freaking hot, and go in a group.
Use the Marble Palace One of my favorite quirks of fourth year was when I lost my key-card, which provided access to facilities like computer labs and my West Lawn restroom, and had to go to the locksmith. He casually listed off places I might need to access for me to confirm, and he said, “You all get access to the Marble Palace, right?” As a student, I was bound by an Honor Code, and I did not recall any rules that explicitly prohibited females from entering the Marble Palace, the men’s facility on the West Lawn. For a little context, both East Lawn restrooms and the female restroom on the West Lawn were built into the ground floor, and both the toilets and showers were stalled, with almost no privacy. A few months into the school year, we grew generally apathetic about who saw what (even on our walk from the restroom back to our rooms, past other students and potentially tourists). Bugs were a problem, too, and for most of that year, I returned to my room clean, with fresh mosquito bites. Also, the restrooms were already a little co-ed. Some of my neighbors were in serious relationships, and I got to know their boyfriends in passing by the sinks in my bathroom. As such, I did not stop the locksmith from giving me access to the Marble Palace. Unlike the other restrooms, the Marble Palace had separate chambers, each with a toilet, shower, changing area, and heated towel rack. I guarded my key-card with my life. I raised some eyebrows, sure, but I believe I wasn’t the only girl with access by the time we all graduated! And I think that’s the only story of that nature I’ll share right now. But of course there are more. Wink.