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52 things to do before you graduate

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The University of Calgary is man things. It's an institution struggling to find a place in the Canadian post-secondary environment. It's a series of buildings dropped into a middle-aged neighborhood. It's an architectural mish-mash stuck between ugly '60s brown and The Jetsons. Most importantly, though, the U of C is a place you will be spending the next four to 120 months of your life. In an effort to make those months more than just a hazy, beer-filled pseudo-memory of poor lectures and bizarre campus statues, the Gauntlet presents a list of 52 things you should do before you graduate.

General:

Run in a Students' Union election: In recent years such worthy candidates as a rock, a guy who carries a sign and Barski's cabinet have run for the opportunity to mildly dictate limited aspects of your life. Whether you actually want to control the SU or just want to get up on stage and yell about things, democratic elections are your surest bet.

Join a club: Clubs are decent ways to meet people who share your questionable interests. If you join a large enough club you'll find yourself with access to a lockable room on campus, a handy thing for fulfilling many more of the 52 things you should do before you graduate.

Protest something: You're a student, therefore you have to be upset about something. So get up there and wave an overly simplistic slogan around.

Get involved with Trimedia: The U of C's three media outlets might just be the best part of the whole school. CJSW is where the cool kids flock, NUTV lets you play around with expensive equipment for free and you too can act like a superior life form simply by filling out a Gauntlet application form. Masturbation aside, the list of people who have gotten more out of their Trimedia membership than their education at this school is long.

Paint the rock: Where else can you get an open canvas in a public space to splash your sordid messages upon?

Spend some time in rez: If you live there you've already made good on this requirement and if you're a townie you owe it to yourself to spend a few nights in rez just to see what the big deal is.

Take part in the U-Pass scam: The U-Pass is one of the best perks of the U of C, depending on who you ask. If you actually take transit to school it's a godsend and saves you hundreds of dollars a semester. We can't tell you what the U-Pass scam really is for fear of administration getting wise to it, but it's not too hard to figure out if you think about it for a couple of seconds.

Go see a Dinos' game: No, it won't be quite at the pro level and no, they probably won't win, but everyone should see at least one varsity sports game in their years as a U of C student, if only to ogle some of the university's buffest and most beautiful.

Climb one of the ugly statues: The U of C is littered with ugly statues having next to nothing to do with each other. The effect leaves our campus looking like some junkyard of avant garde art school failures. The only way to conquer former administrators' unfortunate aesthetic choices is to get on top of them. The Gauntlet takes no responsibility for any injury suffered while trying to complete this list.

Use the Fitness and Aquatic Centres: You're paying for access to them so you might as well make use of them. If you're not into the whole exercise thing the Aquatic Centre is a great place to see both the U of C's ugliest and prettiest people wearing next to nothing, while the Fitness Centre is always great for laughing at girls who are working out in full makeup at eight in the morning.

Become pretentious: If you're taking this paper seriously you're probably off to a good start. University is the best time in anyone's life to become a total wanker, so take advantage of it and find something wholly inaccessible to fall deeply in love with.

Academic:

Get a gold star semester/year: The gold star is a tried and true method of actually getting people to go to classes. Basically, you get a gold star if you attend every class for a week. Extend this principle to an entire semester or year and you've got your instructions for fulfilling this requirement. The benefits? A lot less free time and derision from your colleagues.

Get an A+: It doesn't do anything to your GPA that a regular A wouldn't and it requires a lot more work, but as long as the U of C keeps this pointless grade everyone should try to have at least one on their transcripts.

Take interesting courses: Filling up options doesn't have to be a drag. The U of C offers some pretty neat courses if you've got the patience to find them. Courses on the Beatles, the Sopranos, science fiction and food culture, to name but a few, make your options fun, instead of the chore they will be if you just fill them up with 201 courses.

Make friends with a prof: Profs are lonely, lonely people, so find one you like and actually visit them during their office hours. The benefits for you are great as they will help you with assignments and will be more than willing to give you a valuable letter of reference if you ever need one.

Get a doctor's note to pardon you from missing an exam: The Gauntlet can't openly condone skipping tests, but these things happen, whether intentional or not. If you do miss an exam there's no point taking a zero. Rush to the drop-in clinic and set yourself up for a pregnancy or STD test. It might be morally dreadful but your GPA will thank you.

Get on the dean's list at least once: Scoring the GPA your faculty requires to get on the dean's list isn't very difficult if you actually try. We're not suggesting you do it for your entire academic career, but once is worthwhile, if only so you can be as condescending as you want until your next set of grades come in.

Withdraw from a course for reasons of laziness: Students are allowed 10 withdrawals before the university gives us the heave-ho so you might as well make use of some of them. Sure, they just screw you over in the future and prolong your stay, but they're short-term lifesavers and instant stress-relievers.

Spend a weekend in the Library: This one won't be difficult to fulfill. You know you're going to get nailed by a paper eventually so just wait for it, soon enough a weekend sequestered in the library is a sure thing.

Correct your professor: Study up on some esoteric subject you know a prof will mention in passing then wait patiently for your moment of truth. Relish in the joy of making someone with a doctorate feel like a fool for a change.

Graduate: Though you can't technically do this before you graduate it's important to keep graduation in mind while ambling through the student life. You only have 10 years to get out of this place with a degree so plan accordingly.

Sexual:

Have sex somewhere on campus other than rez: Nothing screams academia like getting it on at the top of the stairwell in the social sciences building, or locked in the private bathroom in Mac Hall. You know you truly belong somewhere once you've left your sinful juices smeared all over a counter top.

Start a TLF romance: The Gauntlet's Three Lines Free section is the perfect place to hit on the cute person wearing red in your Psych 201 class without having to talk to them directly.

Have a random hook-up at the Den: The Den is probably the easiest place to score you'll ever come across so take advantage of it while you have the chance. The steps to complete this task are simple. Show up on a Thursday, get drunk then dance. Sloppy, sloppy sex is sure to follow.

Make use of free condoms: In case you didn't know, the SU gives away free condoms in their offices. This is likely the most useful thing the SU does, as it all but eliminates the need to go to the drug store. Sure, they tell you to only take as many as you'll need for one night, but all you need is decent acting skills to make off with a few dozen, and better acting skills to use them.

Get in an argument about pornography: If you take enough social science classes it's bound to happen eventually. It doesn't even matter what side you take so long as you take one. No university education is complete without yelling at a complete stranger about the morality of other complete strangers getting paid to do nasty things.

Invent your own sexual position and actually try it: Everyone comes up with their own Honey Glazed Donut or the ever-popular Monocle Pop but moving things away from the hypothetical level is an entirely different manner. Go on, try the trusty Cold Hammer, lord knows you want to.

Experiment: Everyone's heard the expression "well, I experimented a bit in college." Considering the expression's pervasiveness, someone must actually be doing it. You can be that someone.

Make your own shock website: Goatse, Lemon Party and Tub Girl are getting old so make your own site sure to horrify internet users everywhere. We suggest doing something with a watermelon, you can decide what.

Use a sex toy: It doesn't matter whether the toy in question is a pair of sex themed dice, a butterfly vibrator or a 14-inch, glow in the dark, pork-flavoured, laser-shooting glass dildo so long as it cost way more than it's worth and makes you blush.

Discover the wonders of grooming: This isn't so much for your own benefit as it is for anyone foolish enough to get under the sheets with you. Let's just say 15 minutes with a pair of scissors goes a long way.

Get caught in the act: Is there any better way to let everyone know you're getting some than to have them stumble into a toilet stall where you and your random Den hook-up are trying to open your SU-supplied condom?

In Calgary:

Visit Crave in Kensington on a weekly basis: Everyone loves cupcakes. Crave makes the best cupcakes you can buy outside of giving someone's grandma a quarter for a baker's dozen.

Discover the SAIT bakery: The only place in town to get delicious pastries cooked by near-chefs for incredibly cheap is tucked away in the bowels of the SAIT campus. The voyage might be a little frightening but the rewards are well worth it.

Go Folk Festing: Calgary's annual Folk Fest (held every July in Prince's Island Park) is the highlight of every Calgary summer. The acts are strong, the location is unbeatable, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is unlike anything else you're likely to experience in this city. You owe it to yourself to make at least one appearance.

Go hipster watching: Head down to Broken City or the Hi-Fi to watch Calgary's silliest looking people in action. The pants will be tight, the hair will be wild, the beards will be everywhere and the dance moves will be outrageously uncoordinated.

Discover a local band: The Calgary music scene is on the verge of blowing up. It's already getting a lot of national attention and if things keep going the way they are, international interest won't be far behind. In light of all this, find a band, become a rabid fan and prepare yourself to tell people you liked them before they were cool.

Go for shisha: With at least three shisha bars in the city Calgary is a burgeoning flavoured tobacco hotspot. Taking someone out for shisha is also about the only way you can look classy while saying you want to spend an entire evening sitting around inhaling carcinogens.

Leave the city: Okay, so this one isn't in Calgary but it's still important. Calgary's surrounding area is simply too rewarding to spend all your time cooped up in Charleswood. Get out of town; see what Balzac has to offer.

Discover your own hangout: Calgary has more neat areas than just Kensington, Inglewood and 17th so seek out your own metropolitan haven.

Find your favourite pizza by-the-slice place downtown: First Street west is littered with late night places to grab a slice and each person has their preference. You haven't spent any time in Calgary until you've gotten in a fight with someone about where to get pizza after you leave the bars.

Get lost: Hop on a random bus, see where it takes you and plan the rest of your day accordingly. Don't worry about how you're going to get home until well after transit has stopped running.

Drinking:

Spend at least two weeks in the Den: You don't have to do it all at once--though if you did it would be worth mad cred--but over the course of your degree, two weeks total time in the Den is a bare minimum.

Have a drink in the shower on BSD: You only get so many chances to get away with the shower drink and BSD is the perfect opportunity. Of course, it doesn't count if the shower drink is taking place after eight in the morning.

Go on a bender: There are few times in life when taking a week off in order to drink yourself to oblivion is considered acceptable. University is one of those times so take advantage of it while you can. If you try to pull off a bender post-graduation you'll probably find yourself faced with unemployment, loneliness or an intervention.

Get drunk on every day of the week: Thursday through Saturday shouldn't be a problem, but it often involves a bit of a search to find a reason to get drunk Sunday through Wednesday.

Invent your own cocktail or shot: Mixing the dregs of all your half-finished alcohol together in a glass is one thing, retaining your vision while doing it is something else entirely. Consider your achievement even greater if you can get people to start ordering it at a bar.

Go on a dive-bar pub crawl: Nothing makes you feel better about your alcoholism than an evening bouncing from one ratty bar to another. Being surrounded by middle-aged people wearing snowmobile jackets while clinging to VLTs really makes you appreciate your youth.

Try absinthe: It might be difficult to find, but it's not impossible and is your best bet if you want to become well acquainted with pink elephants, which, it's safe to say, you do.

Throw your own cab: Pretty much every Saturday at the Den is reserved for various organizations' cabarets. These soirees range from epic to pathetic, but you're sure to have a great time if you get to pocket the proceeds.

Go on a detox: A sure fire way to regain the fun of drinking, not to mention lowering that pesky tolerance, is to give up the booze for awhile. Consider doing this once you regain consciousness after your bender.

Say you're never going to drink again: This task should preferably be done while clutching a toilet bowl with a small trail of your own vomit trickling down your chin.

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Comments

There's a few sort-of's in there (for the "In Calgary" section), but otherwise, I nailed at least 40 of the 52. Hmmm, that's higher than my cumulative GPA.