Graduating? How to make the most of your last weeks at UCR


For many of us, UCR has been our home for several years. We entered the campus blissfully unaware of our futures, and now we will be leaving changed for the better with a new perspective on life. And through many upsets and late-night cram sessions we’ve gotten to familiarize ourselves with the campus not just as an institution, but as a safe space to test our intellectual grit and network with like-minded individuals. Good endings should have a sense of finality while also providing a sense of what’s to come. For graduating seniors, these next few weeks are a period where we can reflect on how to end this chapter of our lives and make sure the prelude to the finale is worth it.

Exploring Downtown R’Side:

Many students, particularly those who live on campus, have hardly explored all that Riverside has to offer. Downtown Riverside is very overlooked and has a bevy of places for young adults to entertain themselves. You can visit the wonderful Mission Inn, which has remarkable architecture and even better food. There’s also the restaurant Heroes which is a lovely place to eat king-sized meals with your pals and enjoy the lively ruckus of Riverside. Beyond that, there’s also interesting clubs to visit like Sevilla and AV that’ll be sure to please anyone looking for a decent night out on the town. And considering how close UCR is to downtown, there’s really no reason not to explore the area even if you have to take the bus (which is free with our R’cards in case anyone forgot).

Having some nooner fun:

Additionally, students who normally walk through the Wednesday nooners should take a few minutes out of their day to check them out. Not only is school spirit at its peak since a large amount of clubs are lined up around the perimeter contributing to the ambience, the events themselves are often orchestrated by cultural organizations. Sitting down and watching cultural performances and lesser known artists allows you to revel in the diversity and talent our school has to offer. The best part about them? They’re absolutely free. And there’s usually vendors that are also club-run who sell great food if you’re craving a quick bite to eat. Diversity is still slowly becoming widespread in many institutions so it’s cool to appreciate the melting pot of our campus while we still can.

Thursday Night merriment:

Another event soon-to-be graduates should check out is the Thursday Night Live shows hosted by the HUB and KUCR. As a bartender stands nearby serving drinks, live bands, who often take requests or play musical gems from several generations, light up the evening. For seniors 21 and over, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a tiring session of classes or studying in the library. Although the drinks can be fairly pricey, the cocktails and alcohol-to-chaser ratio is stellar, so you feel as though you’re getting a good bang for your buck. Various school staff and community members with their kids make up the crowd, enjoying tunes and chatting it up. And perhaps best of all, there’s an appetizer list featuring food from La Fiamma to accompany the drinks and conversation.

These last few weeks on campus will be filled with all kinds of emotions. One day you’ll feel as though the moment you walk across the stage can’t come any sooner, and other days you’ll lament graduation because it’s one huge leap into the bleakness of adulthood. Leaving this campus isn’t as simple as driving off into the opposite horizon with your degree in hand. Luckily, if you’ve yet to make vivid memories, there are tons of hidden gems on and off campus to explore before we reach that final mark.

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