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21 Things To Do

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# 1. "Swim in Lake Superior" ranked first in a UMD student poll of top things to do before graduation.

UMD Students Create List of Top Experiences


skydiving university of minnesota duluth  
#8. Avixék Shah (with thumbs up), who graduated from UMD in 2012 with a major in Chemical Engineering, said, "Before you graduate, try skydiving." He took a plane out of the Bong Airport in Superior, Wis. for his first skydive.
  1. Swim in Lake Superior (70)
  2. Attend an athletic event (68)
  3. Eat at a new restaurant (61)
  4. Make a bonfire on the beach (59)
  5. Climb Enger Tower (55)
  6. Go camping (53)
  7. Take a midnight hike at Chester Bowl (46)
  8. Skydive (43)
  9. Go sea kayaking (43)
  10. Go hiking (43)
  11. Go sailing (42)
  12. Walk the entire Lake Walk (42)
  13. Explore downtown Duluth (39)
  14. Barbeque in the park (37)
  15. See stand-up comedy (35)
  16. See Split Rock Lighthouse (33)
  17. See a big city (32)
  18. Volunteer (32)
  19. Go to Glensheen (31)
  20. Go on the Alpine Coaster (30)
  21. Spend time with international students (29)
Numbers in parenthesis represent the number of votes received. There were 120 students who participated in the survey.

University of Minnesota Duluth students are finding a world of adventure in Duluth. They’re a part of a generation that’s all about one thing: experience. Generation X or Millennials are the current college generation. Clint Runge, co-founder and managing creative director of the youth marketing agency Archrival, says, “Having experiences is what sets Generation X apart from the rest."

According to Runge, one can build a self identity, not through purchases, but by claiming items on social media. It’s not about who owns the coolest car or the nicest couch because that’s what Pintrest is for. Have you traveled abroad? Have you jumped out of a plane? Have you been to the ocean? These are the kind of things that matter to Millennials.

An informal survey conducted by the Office of External Affairs asked 120 UMD students, “What would you tell a freshman to do before graduating?” Each student was asked to choose their top ten things to experience out of a list of 40. There was the option to add experiences to the list well.

The survey participants agreed about the importance of experiences to college students. So, what activities make the University of Minnesota Duluth experience? The results of the survey showed the top 21 activities to do in and around Duluth. Surprisingly, inexpensive activities were often chosen, making the list easy for anyone to follow.

#1. Swim in Lake Superior
Junior Holly Freeberg made swimming in Lake Superior her first UMD experience. “I went swimming in Lake Superior during Bulldog Welcome Week. My Rockstar [group leader] really wanted to get us out there. It was freezing,” she said. Freeberg swims in Lake Superior from time to time, mostly when she visits Duluth in the summer. She goes swimming on the beach at Park Point and also enjoys a rocky spot by the Rose Garden area. Freeberg advises that students go and experience things that they can only do in and around Duluth – like swimming in Lake Superior.

#2. Attend a Sporting Event
Showing school spirit and attending UMD sporting events was an experience most felt was a big part of going to UMD. Travis Lindberg, senior at UMD, has made going to sporting events a big priority. “I think that going to hockey games or just sporting events in general while in college is an amazing way to feel a part of the student body and also the community,” Lindberg said. “Coming together for one event, wearing UMD colors, and representing the mascot is a rush unlike any other.”

#3. Eat at a New Restaurant and Order a New Item
Most students found going to a new restaurant and trying a new food item was an important part of the UMD experience. UMD junior Rosy Bray had never been to the Japanese cuisine restaurant Hanabi before and had never tried sushi. “I am not a big fan of fish or seafood, so I decided to start with the seaweed salad and the veggie sushi rolls,” Bray said. “They were really good. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to go to a sushi restaurant just because you don’t like fish because there are other very good options.”

#4. Make a Bonfire on the Beach
Senior Brian Miller has enjoyed bonfires on the beach since his sophomore year. He finds it a great experience to share with friends. “Bonfires are cool, especially on Lake Superior, because you and your friends are circled around a warm fire,” Miller said. He recommends going to a bonfire in the fall when it is a little chillier, or on a nice summer night.

#5. Climb Enger Tower
It’s the highest point in Duluth. It’s a place where you can view the entire city. It’s a place where you can adventure. It’s a place where your future can change. Enger Tower can become a memorable place. For senior Shannon Kinley, Enger Tower is not only a go-to destination for experiences, but somewhere that will always have a special place in her heart. In November, Kinley was proposed to at Enger Tower. “Every time I drive by Enger Tower, I can’t help but stare at it and remember that night when he made me the happiest girl in the world,” she said. Whether it’s a place where there are adventures to be had or where lifelong memories are made, Enger Tower has something to offer for everyone.  

sports   Rosy - University of Minnesota Duluth

# 2. Attend an athletic event. Travis Lindberg said, "Going to hockey games ... is an amazing way to feel part of the student body"

  #3. Go to a restaurant you've never been to before. Here Rosy Bray, junior communication major, tries a seaweed salad at a Japanese restaurant.
bonfire - university of minnesota duluth   enger-tower University of Minnesota Duluth
#4 Make a bonfire on the beach. Brian Miller says it's cool to sit with friends in a circle around a fire.   # 5. Climb Enger Tower. Senior Shannon Kinley, sophomore Courtney Spraggins, and senior Brooke Weidendorf enjoy the sunshine.
UMD Those Who Can, Duluth

Story by Jessica Noor and Riley McLaughlin

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