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Fall semester UMN/Minnesota bucket list

"The best things in life are the people we love, the places we've been, and the memories we've made along the way".

UMN Twin Cities is an amazing place to receive a world-class education, interact with a wide variety of people from all over the world, experience new things and make lasting memories. As a graduating senior, here is a list of things I have done (and would recommend experiencing) during fall semester at the U. 

1. Watch a Golden Gopher football game

American football is a huge part of college life, and the school spirit is contagious as fans in the student section cheer on the football team into victory. Not to mention the amazing marching band performance and Goldy the Gopher turning his head on the football field! Even if you don't understand football, this is an amazing experience you would not want to miss!

This is a picture of me and Ambassador Wangzhen at a recent football game! It was freezing outside but we had fun

2. Experience the Minnesota State Fair

I have gone with friends to this Great Minnesota get-together for four consecutive years, and each year is fun in its own way. In the state fair, you get to sample a wide variety of iconic MN state fair foods, the popular ones being cheese curds, Sweet Martha's cookies, to name a few. Besides, you also get to pet cute animals and go on roller coaster rides. It is a really good experience to say the least. 

3. Participate in Homecoming Week

Homecoming is an American tradition of welcoming back former students and celebrating an organization's existence. In UMN, each year during fall there will be a week dedicated to homecoming, and many events will take place, including Blood Drive, Corn Roast, Homecoming Concert, football game and the parade. If you are free, definitely check out some of these events as they are also fun to experience. Below is a picture of me and Ambassadors Sharu, Sabrina, and Rigo watching the homecoming parade 2018.

4. Participate in a fall-related activity

Fall is a beautiful albeit short season at Minnesota. Walking to class, sometimes I am mesmerized by the beauty of autumn and had to stop and take pictures of the fall foliage or just to simply admire it. A fall-themed activity I did this year was pumpkin carving with other ambassadors. It was my first time doing this and it was a lot more fun than I had anticipated. Other fall-related activities to try could be pumpkin painting, apple-picking, and visiting pumpkin patch just to name a few. Would you be able to tell what I carved? 

5. Celebrate Thanksgiving and Black Friday

My friends and I went to the Twin Cities Premium Outlets to do some Black Friday shopping last year. Although you may not plan on buying anything, it's still a good experience to see what the hype is all about. We also did "Friendsgiving" in which we made a huge Thanksgiving meal and ate together. 

6. Go to the College of Science and Engineering Winter Light show

"The CSE Winter Light Show is a student-designed 3D outdoor experience featuring more than 250,000 LED lights set to music, some of which is written and recorded by University of Minnesota students." I would highly recommend going to this light show as it puts you in a festive mood and it's also fun to see the lights blinking to the rhythm of music. 

7. Check out the University of Minnesota Farmers' Market

The UMN farmers market runs from July to the end of September near the McNamara Alumni Center. Twin Cities vendors came here to sell fresh seasonal produce including berries, tomatoes and apples. The farmers market also features produce from Cornercopia, a UMN student-managed organic farm. 


8. Participate in the Cross-Cultural Leadership Retreat by ISSS

According to the website description, "This retreat is for international undergraduate students who want to learn to become more effective in international environments. This highly interactive, high-energy retreat becomes a living laboratory of what it takes to work with people from vastly different cultures. You will meet other students, begin friendships with people from all over the world, and discover your own leadership potential."  

I signed up for this retreat during the fall semester of junior year. It certainly improved my cross-cultural communication skills as I got to interact with many students from a wide variety of background. This retreat is also free and offered in the spring semester as well.

9. Check out the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

My friends and I got to go to the MN Renaissance Festival this year and it was an interesting experience. This festival is an interactive outdoor event which focuses on recreating the look and feel of a fictional 16th Century "England-like" fantasy kingdom. The only thing is that the event is in Shakopee, MN so if you do plan to go, plan for transport accordingly.

10. Last but not least, enjoy the semester while it lasts!

This is not a specific activity but rather a state of mind or how you approach this semester. Give it your best in classes, spend time with friends, say yes to experiences, and make every moment count. Because before you know it, this semester will be over.