Regardless of the uncertainties that we face heading into the fall semester, we are one of the fortunate universities to have adapted a hybrid delivery of classes — meaning we still get to utilize the beautiful, energetic city we all know and love (as safely as possible). If these are your first couple of weeks on campus, there are still so many reasons to get excited for the next four years. Although this fall may not consist of the typical game day seas of red or breezy nights at the terrace, here are some ideas of how you can start to take advantage of everything this city has to offer, safely and socially distanced!
4. Rent E-bikes and get to know the different parts of campus and the Madison area.
Staying outside is a healthy way to curb the spread of the virus, and can also help you stay sane during the pandemic. Electric bike stations are all over campus — on Langdon & Park street, in Library Mall and on State St & Hawthorne Court — and they are a cheap, fun way to get outside and enjoy the first days of fall. Ride to the Henry Vilas Zoo, Picnic Point, UW-Madison’s Eagle Heights community gardens or the beautiful Monona Terrace, all reasonable distances away from campus. You can download the B-Cycle app and buy a day pass for $15, or ride for $5 every 30 minutes. If you are a freshman, you get a free subscription for a year!
2. Start your four-year food tour of some of Madison’s best restaurants.
Madison students go crazy for the food here, and there are so many good spots to try that have either adapted seating service or takeout services during the pandemic. Try Mickie’s Dairy Bar if you’re craving 50s- style breakfast diner food (takeout & cash only), Gotham Bagels when you need a bagel sandwich (takeout only), Casetta Kitchen for subs (takeout only), Ha Long Bay for the best Asian Fusion food (takeout only), Salvatores for great pizzas (dine-in or takeout) or Luchador for specialty tacos — and so much more!
3. Try these study spots to switch up your routine.
Although the libraries are currently available by reservation only, there are lots of buildings on campus with quiet study spots. Go to the Law Library for a super silent study session, the Education building for pretty lake views or the Microbial Science building for a modern aesthetic. Make sure you look up each building’s hours and policies before you pop in.
As we all adjust, frustrations can arise especially if you are adjusting to campus life for the first time. Remember to relax, practice social-distancing guidelines to keep yourself and others safe and go out and explore!