My time at SMU has been filled with amazing people and experiences.
Here are the Top Four things that that I recommend students try at SMU before graduating.
Attend a Tate Lecture
1) This almost seems like a given seeing as how popular the Tate Lecture Series is in Dallas, but you would be surprised at how many students don’t take advantage of this opportunity. Whether you decide to see a popular public figure like Katie Couric or a field expert, take the time to go check out at least one lecture. They are free to students and are usually preceded by an afternoon Q&A exclusively held for SMU. I had the privilege of seeing the Dali Lama when he came to campus. It was such a memorable event and SMU does a great job of snagging a variety of celebrities year after year.
2) Boulevard with the Family
Boulevarding is a no brainer when it comes to SMU traditions. This gigantic festivity defines what it means to be an SMU student. It can be hard explaining just how insanely different Boulevarding is from tailgating. That’s why I recommend bringing along parents and/or siblings to experience this event. Whenever people ask me why I chose SMU I just want to take them out to a Boulevarding event because I know that will answer all their questions. Bringing a loved one will only make the experience ten times more fun because you will actually feel closer to SMU when showing them around. This is your school and these are your people. The food, the music, the boulevard itself, Boulevarding at SMU is all about the Texas charm.
3) Run for a position on a student organization
Coming to SMU I did not know anyone. The best thing I ever did my first year was run for Community Service chair of my residence hall. Running for a position helped me make friends and get to know people fast. I was able to talk to people about my passion for community service and also learned about all the major events and organizations on campus. Fortunately, I won and was able to help make a difference in my hall, but even just the act of putting yourself out there can be reward enough.
Get published! It does not matter what the topic is. As long as you are passionate about it and it is relevant to SMU, you will have a good chance of getting your work printed in the student newspaper. This is just a good piece of work to have for your resume, but it also is so important to speak up for what you care about. I wrote a mini biography about Peruna and there was something really special about seeing my name on the byline. I am no journalist, but getting my work printed in the paper was definitely one of the coolest things I remember.
Here are just a few general tips and ideas as well from my four years at this amazing university.
- Sit in the front row of class for a semester.
- Attend the Celebration of Lights with your best friend.
- Study at all of the libraries on campus at least once.
- Take a class you never thought you would take. (For me that was Personal Defense)
- Bike across campus.
- Take a picture with Peruna.
- Count how many free Thanksgiving meals you can get from different student organizations, SMU administered events, the cafeteria etc. before Thanksgiving break! (This is actually a good indicator of how involved you are with the campus community. Don’t mooch)
There are no doubt a hundred things I could add to this list, but these are just a few that have really shaped my experience here that are a little less obvious to the average student. What are your recommendations?