A girl looking out over Winona from Garvin Heights at night

My friends and I go to Garvin Heights at night all the time and every student needs to check it out at least once.

I came to Winona State not knowing what to expect out of college, and boy was I in for a surprise. Over the past four years I have experienced some of the most joyous and most difficult days of my life. I met my best friends, became involved in the WSU community and tried my best to take advantage of all that college had to offer. As the countdown to graduation steadily ticks days away, I’ve had time to sit back and reflect on all of my experiences. This is a list of things that I think each student needs to do before graduating from WSU and leaving Winona (Freshmen, take notes).

  1. Go to the lookout atop Garvin Heights at night.
  2. Thank your professors, because honestly no matter how annoyed you are of the assignments you aren’t going to make it through without them.
  3. Hike Sugar Loaf.
  4. Meet your best friends.
  5. Take (many) walks or bike rides around the lakes.
  6. Be spontaneous. Get your friends together, jump in a car and go somewhere–ANYWHERE.
  7. Pull an all-nighter just because you can (studying or not).
  8. Get 12 hours of sleep in one night.
  9. Mend your bridges; you don’t want to leave on a bad note.
  10. Take a picture with Wazoo.
  11. Check out the Astronomy Observatory in Minne. You can follow @WSUAstronomy on Twitter to see when it’s open.
  12. Get decked out in purple and attend a WSU sporting event.
  13. If you live/lived on West Campus: reminisce on the West Campus shuttle as an upperclassman.
  14. Take advantage of free food at club events. ALWAYS accept free food in college.
  15. Find what you’re good at and stick with it! That will most likely turn into your career.
  16. Eat 3 Bloedow’s donuts (a.k.a The Best Donuts in Minnesota) in one sitting.
  17. Try that “Winona Only” restaurant (Jeffersons, Betty Jo’s, The Boathouse, Mugby Junction)
  18. When you’re an upperclassman find a freshman to swipe you into the caf. This is probably the biggest all-you-can-eat buffet you’ll ever experience.
  19. Get serenaded at Mango’s for your birthday.
  20. Ask to jump in on a campus tour. Who knows, you might see WSU in a new light.
  21. Get your friends together and make a four-course meal. The more people, the more food!
  22. Write an article for the Winonan or a post for the WSU blogs. It’s not every day that you see your name published.
  23. Check out the Farmers Market down on 2nd street (opens May 3rd).
  24. Jump off the high platform at the rope swing.
  25. Go paddle-boarding, kayaking or canoeing on Lake Winona.
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Katlyn Plourde

Katlyn graduated in 2014 with a BA in Marketing. She is from Woodbury, MN and her interests include catching up on her latest TV obsession, hanging out with friends, playing piano, listening to music or playing around on Adobe Photoshop.