The readers at Hammer and Rails put together their top 25 list of things to do at Purdue a few years ago, you can read it here. Of course, all the things like eat at Triple X and go to Mackey are there so I put together my own list of things, some out of the box, that weren’t included. Feel free to give me yours in the comments.
Go to piano bar/cactus Thursdays:
When the cactus closed after Covid I think a part of my nostalgia of Purdue died with it. Purdue just isn’t Purdue without Cactus Thursday, so I was ecstatic to see them get it back open. Singing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs along with all your fellow Boilers is just an experience you have to take in. Yes, the line is usually long but it’s well worth it. I still have the big plastic cups and I remember me and my friends trying to collect every color. SOCIAL!
Stop at Discount Den
Well, they moved Discount Den now but walking by Chauncey to and from classes and stopping for den pops was a weekly thing. The “sorostitute” still has a choke hold on me. From their tacky clothes for dirt cheap and all the little memorabilia, it’s always a fun stop.
Go to BGR
This is for the freshman. You get to go off to college a week early and roam campus. Yes, some of the events are a little cheesy but it’s a great way to meet fellow freshman and get ready for the school year to start.
Go to Happy Hollow park
If you don’t like the outdoors or walking/running this may not be something you enjoy but it’s one of the prettiest places to take an afternoon jog. The trails are nice and paved or you can venture down a dirt one. You will likely see other students getting some exercise there too.
Do the Great Indoorsman during Senior week
Nothing says tradition like the Great Indoorsman; a 16 hour sit-in at Harry’s Chocolate shop from open to close. Bring friends, bring cards, bring lots of money and try not to get kicked out by the end of the night. No, that definitely didn’t happen to me.
Stay for summer break
Okay Purdue is the summer is such a vibe. I went home after my freshman year but then stayed on campus for the next few summers. Campus and bars are dead, and you can take or in my case retake (French was hard) classes you’re struggling in. With fewer students you get more one on one time with TA’s and campus in the summer is beautiful.
Go to Halloween parties
Halloween on a college campus? Yes, please. And don’t just put on a dress and pair of animal ears and call it a day. Anyone can do that but it takes real personality to come up with something ironic and funny.
Don’t take 7 am classes
I know you are going to be studious this semester. You’re an early bird. You can take all your classes early and be done by afternoon. No. Just don’t. Future you will thank yourself when you aren’t going out in freezing cold temps trekking to class at 6:30 am. You’ll hit snooze more than you should and you’ll stay out late more than you planned. And while we’re at it, avoid those 7pm classes too.
Get a job on campus
This may not be feasible for some of the workloads of majors but my major wasn’t all that time consuming. I worked at Bdubs on the levy and honestly some of my favorite times were staying after hours with coworkers, working games, and becoming friends with people you may never meet in your normal social group. These are also the people I would hang out with during summer break when most of my friends went home.