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Thursday, February 29, 2024

As summer has come and gone and the new school year approaches, there are many things that need to be done before classes start on Sept. 4. Moving into a new place and figuring out who is bringing what, getting your school supplies and returning to the school mindset again. 

The perfect Badger checklist for the perfect school year

The Daily Cardinal Life and Style writers came together with the essential checklist to ensure an idyllic 2019-’20 school year in Madison. Ranging from top local food places to the Badger must-haves for a traditional Sconnie experience, this list will help you gear up for school and make the most of your Madison experience. 

Study spots and coffee shops

Madison is the perfect college town. The transition from campus to city that happens between Bascom and State Street is the perfect way to view our isthmus town. Here are a few places I’ve found to help me study, have a change of scenery and help me accomplish my studying goals.

1. Barriques Coffee on West Washington. Off-campus hideaway.

2. Fair Trade Coffee House. Ethically sourced, great-quality coffee.

3. Michelangelo’s Coffee House. State Street wonder.

4. Poindexter Coffee. Cozy Sconnie hideout.

5. Indie Coffee. Did someone say all-day waffles too?

Take it from a foodie

Having just spent a summer interning for local food delivery service EatStreet and being a born-and-bred Madisonian, Katie Arneson knows a thing or two about the best food finds in Madison. 

6. Casetta. Ready for a life-changing sandwich? Head to West Washington for it.

7. Prairie Café and Bakery. Brunch people, unite! Colectivo coffee and snacks – yes. 

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8. El Grito Taqueria. It’s time to get serious about food trucks with these street tacos.

9. Hong Kong Café. I am what one would now consider a regular – you will be too.

10. Download EatStreet. I may be biased, and this isn’t a hidden gem, but it’s a necessity.

Make freshman year a success

These things on Allie Sprink’s must-have list made this big university feel like home her freshman year. While it feels like you’re removed from everything familiar, here is how you, too, can make Madison feel like home in no time. 

11. Eat Strada pizza on the Terrace. Don’t let the long line discourage you.

12. Go to the Capitol at night. Visit our neighbor down State Street.

13. Paint at Memorial Union. Indulge in your creative side and take a break.

14. Go bowling at Union South. Strikes, spares and splits, oh my!

15. Join the Cheese Club. Indulge in the Wisconsin way of life.

“Wisconsin traditions are a great place to start” - Elena Cata

From singing “Varsity” at your first game to rubbing Abe’s foot before heading to your finals, there are many traditions that, while sometimes cheesy, are what make being a Badger so much fun. Here are the traditions you are going to love to take part in:  

16. Go swimming in Mendota. Don’t miss this chance while the weather is still warm!

17. Visit Picnic Point. For a barbecue, picnic, bonfire or a run – stop on by.

18. Pull an all-nighter in College Library. If you have to cram, do it in style.

19. Beat Michigan in football. While not entirely in our control, we can hope for the best.

20. Try every flavor of Daily Scoop ice cream. There are a lot, brace yourself.

21. Make it up Bascom without losing your breath. Many have tried, and few succeed.

Madison, Madison and more Madison

Just when you think a town like Madison couldn’t possibly have more things to do, Cara Suplee gives us even more activities that are sure to make your year a success.

22. Hot Yoga. Madison has a bunch of hot yoga spots: Dragonfly, Inner Fire and more! De-stress and find your zen around campus.

23. The Farmers Market. Three words that make your Saturday amazing: Spicy. Cheesy. Bread. 

24. The Lakes. We are an isthmus, after all, so rent paddle boards on Mendota or Monona. Don’t forget to keep them in mind in winter for ice skating. 

25. Brats. The staple for UW-Madison, and the perfect food for after classes.

26. Music scene. From local to big-name stars, from a capella to DJ Khaled, indulge in the music that pours in and out of State Street at the Orpheum, Sylvee or on the street. 

It’s all about learning and growth, after all

There are many things to do and places to see in Madison; however, there are other professional opportunities to pursue as well. At UW-Madison, you are surrounded by brilliant individuals and chances to network. Here is a list of professional must-haves Emily Kroseberg says are essential for getting ahead.

27. Attend the career fair. Companies across the nation come, so should you.

28. Attend the student organization fair. Aside from grades, extracurriculars matter too; join a club.

29. Career advisors are your best friend. Come prepared and update your resume.

30. Network, network, network. Connect with past, present and future Badgers and utilize the Badger network. Develop your LinkedIn, Handshake and Indeed. 

Welcome home!

This is a short list of many other things you ought to do this school year. The best thing that you can do is be yourself and enjoy you time here. Regardless of what you choose to partake in, it’s going to be the best time of your life. Welcome back to school, and On, Wisconsin! 

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