July 25, 2024
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Binghamton Bucket List: 10 Things to Do Before You Graduate

Time flies! Before I knew it, Commencement was suddenly just around the corner. It has been an incredible four years here at Bing, and even in my final days, I have learned so much about myself and the world around me. As an English and psychology double major, my final classes have ranged from reflecting on romanticism in the Nature Preserve, to understanding the importance of digital mental health programs. I’ve also made so many happy memories outside of class, from late-night eats to sightseeing stars. Before I graduate, I decided to create a Bing bucket list to make some final memories. Below are some of the things I’ve done, or wish to try, before my last time here as a Bing student!

Order food at C4 Nite Owl

There’s no better way to end a long day of studying than by heading to C4 after 9 p.m. for some mac & cheese bites. If I felt extra fancy, I would request an order of the salmon and rice, where they put genuine soul and seasoning into that salmon. C4 at night is definitely the best time and place to have those long, deep conversations with your friends as you sit by the windows.

Find the Nature Preserve’s abandoned cars

Fact or fiction? Turns out it’s a complete fact. It’s unknown how the cars managed to make their way into these woods, but they have been stationed there for a long time. Their influence is widespread, as one of my friends went on a first date centered around finding the cars. Unfortunately, it is not the most highly recommended first-date idea. However, it goes to show the intrigue and novelty of the cars among Bing students. It’s one of those Easter eggs of Binghamton University that’s worth seeing with your own eyes, and well worth the trek deep into the Nature Preserve.

Check out the updated Oakdale Commons

It’s not often I go out to the mall, but I’ve heard there’s been some big changes happening at Oakdale Commons, with the addition of stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Chipotle. The improvements the mall has been making are definitely notable, and worth a visit. Not to mention the incentive of fulfilling my food craving for a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. I would also love to drop by the mall to pick out some last-minute shoes for my graduation outfit.

Attend Date Auction for HASA

I have never attended a date auction for the Haitian Student Association, though I’ve been hearing about it for years. But this year is the year! My friend Juli used to be on the e-board as treasurer, and she told me the event is incredibly entertaining. Watching people send donations to bid on contestants for a date is definitely not a typical Friday night, but certainly a fun one!

Buy some jewelry at Imagicka

I remember when I first stopped by the metaphysical shop on Court St. in Downtown Binghamton, where I was instantly mesmerized by its stock of crystals, fairy statues and mood rings. It’s uniquely charming inside with its lovely jewelry selection. When I first went, I bought a small stone with a dragonfly engraving that represented change. It became my good luck charm, and I used to keep it in my pocket whenever I needed a confidence boost. It’s a magically fantastical shop, and I promised myself one last visit before I graduated.

Go bowling

I’ve never bowled in my life, but I think now’s the perfect time to give it a whirl. The go-to place for some downtime would have to be the The Lanes in the Undergrounds. It’s a cool, free experience for any enrolled student to try their hand at some bowling. Plus, it’s a perfect way to take a breather from the stress of finals, and try something new for a change.

Visit the Farmer’s Market

As I’ve been experimenting more with cooking, I would love to check out the Broome County Farmers Market on Upper Front St., which is open every Saturday, year-round. With its wide selection of fresh produce and baked goods, I know the food is of high quality compared to elsewhere. There are also other worthwhile markets I saw in the area, like the Downtown Binghamton Courtyard Farmers Market open through July-October, and the Vestal Farmers Market open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Watch the deer at night

I remember the first time I explored campus late at night, and my absolute shock at the deer exiting the woods like they were some sort of terrifying wendigos. In the daytime, the campus is for the students, but come dusk, it’s deer territory. As I walked up to Hillside, my roommate begged me not to lock eyes with the deer, as if that would cause them to attack. However, they’re gentle and quiet, and surprisingly comfortable being so close to people. We’re both from Long Island, so this is not something we would typically see, which has made for some unique moments here at Bing.

Stargaze at Kopernik Observatory

Last year, one of my friends texted me on a random Saturday night, “I know a place.” A self-proclaimed know-it-all of the best places in the area wished to recommend one of his favorite places. Turns out it was the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, and he was correct – it was the place of places. Coming from downstate, I barely see the stars at night. To see a sky overflowing with stars was startling and awe-inspiring. For people who live in areas without much visibility of stars, it’s important to take advantage of these moments here at Binghamton, and the Observatory is a great place to experience it.

Wave at Baxter one last time

Baxter the Bearcat – part bear, part cat, part Pantone 342, a mascot worth remembering for the ages. Perhaps the most important item on this list, waving goodbye to Baxter would be a crucial goal before leaving Binghamton. Found at most sporting events, or if you’re lucky, strolling about campus, it’s certainly worthwhile to interact with Baxter one last time for the memories. P.S.: I know who’s secretly Baxter, but you’ll never get the truth from me.

To all those graduating, just remember that feeling sad about the change is completely normal and relatable. While it’s understandable to be afraid of heading towards an unknown future, there is beauty in the unknown. There are so many new memories and people waiting for you in the future, and it’s important to trust that you’re on your own unique journey.

Lauren Woodring is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a senior double majoring in English and psychology. She’s looking forward to starting her career after graduation, and she can be found playing board games with friends, earning her cat’s love with treats and writing poetry in her spare time.

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