by Cecilia Demoski ’23
The start of a new semester can be filled with new things to try, as well as a lot of firsts. Everything will be new and exciting, and maybe even a little nerve-racking during this time of transition. If it’s your first or even your fourth year here at UT, there are plenty of traditions and adventures to explore and experience during your year here on Rocky Top! Check out this bucket list for more!
Go to a football game
There really is nothing like a home football game in Neyland Stadium. Campus seems to come alive with students, alumni, and fans on Saturdays in the fall. Even if football isn’t your thing, going to a home game as a student is something that everyone should try at least once. So wear some orange, grab your shaker, and get ready to sing Rocky Top at the top of your lungs with the rest of the student section!
Be sure to check out ticketing information from BigOrangeTix and prepare to witness one of the best atmospheres in all of college football!
Stop by the Student Engagement Fair
Joining a student organization during your first year is a great way to make new friends, strengthen your skills, and find new hobbies or passions. Finding a group of students that you can rely on during your undergraduate career can reward you in many ways: you can establish a support system for yourself, develop new leadership skills, enjoy a new or favorite hobby, and find out what you’re passionate about.
Late night at Hodges
Staying up way past your bedtime with all your friends on the third floor of Hodges Library is simply a right of passage for UT students and should be on every Vols bucket list. You’ll never forget your first late-night study session, (fueled by Starbucks and some P.O.D. Market snacks, of course) with all your new friends! Creating a solid study group that can meet throughout the semester is a great way to bond with classmates and stay focused on your classes. Having that academic support system will also help you in the long run as you get further into your major, especially during finals!!
Find where to use your Volcard
Cumberland Avenue, or the Strip, is full of local and chain restaurants within walking distance from the resident halls. And, did you know that you can use pay with your Volcard at numerous locations along the Strip? With the Off-Campus Merchant Program, you can use your Volcard at participating businesses. So, grab some cookies from Insomnia Cookies or a sandwich from Firehouse Subs, and enjoy trying all the places that accept VolCard as a form of payment!
Visit Market Square
Downtown Knoxville is a vibrant, unique urban landscape that is quite literally the campus’s backyard! A trip downtown wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Market Square, which is just a few blocks away from campus and a popular place frequented by students. Full of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, this outdoor space is a great place to spend time with friends and get to know the city of Knoxville. Side note: parking at the Market Square Garage is free every day after 6 p.m.!
Paint the Rock
Participate in one of the campus’s most creative traditions and paint the Rock! The 97.5-ton piece of Knoxville dolomite is an iconic landmark that has been serving as the campus’s canvas for several decades now. Not much of a creative person? Don’t worry; there are plenty of other traditions to take part in. Show some love for our University’s colors and wear orange on Big Orange Fridays, or try and find all ten of the Smoky statues across campus. Remember to live by the Torchbearer’s Creed, and most importantly: Don’t step on the Seal!
Make Your Own Bucket List!
Congratulations on becoming a Volunteer! You are going to have an amazing experience here at the University of Tennessee, and we really hope you make Rocky Top your home sweet home. I hope this bucket list gives you a place to start. But also want you to create your own bucket list to create your own unique experience! Transitioning into college can be tough, but you have an entire community on your side. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your resident assistant, a faculty member, or your own personal support system for help. There are plenty of resources available on campus, and we are here for you. Here’s to a fantastic year and go Vols!
Cecilia is a senior from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism and electronic media. She has a passion for writing and social media and her favorite thing about UT is all the fun traditions. She plans on pursuing a career in public relations and creative communications after graduation.