By Arianna Ingle ’11 and Cameron Tufino ’12

Memories of your college experience can quickly become a blur of classes, socializing, studying, part-time jobs and sleeping. The memories that stay with you for years to come are the college adventures that become treasured traditions.

After four years at UIW, the list of things we couldn’t miss out on became easier to identify. Hopefully you, as alumni, have experienced some of these must-do’s. They gave us worthwhile memories as studying Cardinals.

1. Chill at the Student Center

As new UIW freshmen, hanging out at Marian Hall Student Center was a good place to start your college years. Students lounge around chatting with friends, playing pool or foosball, and checking Facebook on their laptops. Getting to know your peers is important, and being at the heart of campus activity makes personal interaction so much easier. It’s also the perfect destination for socializing with students you meet in class. The Student Center also serves as a location for that precious and elusive thing all college students seek: sleep. Between classes or before work, a power nap on an empty couch provides a perfect boost.

2. Get involved

Remember what it was like being involved on campus? The hours it took to plan an event, especially if you were on the Campus Activities Board or Student Government Association? Though time-consuming, being a part of a student org is some of the most fun students can experience on campus. Being involved allows us to expand in ways we never thought possible. Mastering the technique of networking and using resources to help make the university more fun for students is only part of the student org experience. Those who were involved may also remember driving a golf-cart on campus and having a little too much fun on UIW’s hilly terrain.

3. Hold a work-study position

If you’re qualified for work-study, take advantage of the rewards of a job on campus. Students can soak up information from professionals and learn the importance of good employee qualities, such as being on time and staying organized. Any work-study position will help ease the transition from college student to working professional.

4. Study abroad

Those who love adventure can’t find an easier opportunity than studying abroad. If you had the chance to study in another country, you likely have memories that you’ll never forget and maybe even changed your life. The first step into that foreign country was a moment full of excitement and curiosity. Study Abroad offers an opportunity to expand your cultural understanding and see life from another perspective.

5. Visit the Blue Hole

Rich history lies all around UIW’s campus. Everyone has heard about the historical Blue Hole, and every student should take a trip out to the Headwaters of the San Antonio River. A few hours spent wandering around campus without purpose can result in a journey to see where the river begins and where early San Antonians settled. You can say, “I’ve seen the root of the river.”

6. Go ghost hunting

UIW has its share of other-worldly visitors, and a ghost hunt is a must to gain the full experience of attending Incarnate Word. You can even try to take pictures at night with the flash on in an attempt to sneak a ghostly glimpse. This remains a can’t-miss ritual, especially if you live on campus. The hot-spots are still the Administration Building and the Brackenridge Villa.

7. Try the Broadway Run

For those passionate, frequent runners, finding great routes can be difficult. Thankfully, UIW students have the Broadway Run as a perk. Beginning at Incarnate Word High School’s exiting stop sign, run to the Feik School of Pharmacy, and turn right on Devine Road. When you reach Basse Road, turn right, going past the Alamo Quarry. You’ll come to Broadway, where another right turn takes you all the way back to UIW. That six-plus mile run is challenging and strengthening, and a must for every athletic student.

8. Walk the stage

As graduation approaches, nostalgia begins to seep in. You begin to think of all the friends you haved met, the meaningful moments and your favorite professors. Before leaving UIW, you might sit under the tree at Westgate Plaza Circle with a mixture of emotions inside you. Looking back at the chapters of college life as you grew into an adult, you probably realize how precious your time was here. You finally get to walk to stage, the best thing on the must-do list. What an exhilarating feeling: finally completing the list at UIW.

Tell us your fondest memories of being a UIW Cardinal on the UIW Alumni Association Facebook group page. Join here!