Graduation day may still feel far off for some seniors, but for others, it feels like time is running out. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, many say their college experience wasn’t as full as they had wished. Since returning to campus, many have found themselves simply going from class to class without stopping to smell the roses.
We asked our seniors here at CSUN what they would like to check out on campus before graduating. We’ve included some of our own picks as well. So whether you’re a seasoned senior year student, green as grass, or anything in-between, we’ve compiled a list of top five things you should try before graduating. This is hardly an exhaustive list of things to do on campus, but it will help jump-start your CSUN Bucket List.
The Oasis Wellness Center at the University Student Union is a relaxing destination for students where you can sign up for a number of services, that include massage chairs, nap pods, and wellness programs. If you don’t want to use one of those, but still want to relax, the Oasis Center also has a meditation garden with soothing music and plenty of shaded seating. Also available is a guided walking meditation at the Oasis labyrinth. All you do is go to the entrance of the Labyrinth, scan the QR code with your mobile device, and let your guided meditation journey begin!
“I have always wanted to try their sleeping pods and the massage chairs. Especially the massage chairs,” said Jose Perez, a senior film student. “I pass by it all the time, but never seem to remember to make an appointment.”
If you’re more active, the Student Recreation Center (SRC) has plenty to offer. As you walk into the building you immediately can see the Ridge Rock Wall in the center of the entrance standing at 46 feet and 6 inches. There are classes to learn how to climb the Ridge Rockwall, but you can also make special reservations for private groups.
One of CSUN’s unique features is the five-acre orange orchard located near the Soraya. The orchard predates the university and pays homage to the long and important history of agriculture in the San Fernando Valley. Nestled in the center there is also a tranquil pond with turtles and ducks. But it’s not just a great place to visit. For example, the biology department tracks the turtle population, growth and birth rates. There is also an active research project on honey bee hives, and the Marilyn Magaram Center on campus makes Matador Marmalade from the oranges, just to name a few. Also located in the orchard are the two observatories, the Stellar Observatory and the the Solar Observatory, as well as a DC Solar Charging Station and picnic tables at the pond.
“I don’t come onto campus super often and I especially didn’t during the pandemic since all of my classes were online and I live kind of far away from campus,” said Melanie Martinez, who is majoring in broadcasting. “But it seems like such a nice place to maybe relax or read. I’ll have to go before I graduate.”
The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts has quickly become one of the cultural jewels of not only CSUN, but our community as a whole. The Soraya is an award-winning, 1,700-seat theater designed by HGA Architects and Engineers with lead design architect Kara Hill. It was cited by the Los Angeles Times as “a growing hub for live music, dance, drama, and other cultural events.”
“I’ve always wanted to see a show at the Soraya! I’ve heard of so many great shows that have taken place,” said Noor Sufi, a journalism student who graduates in Spring 2023. “I think that every student on campus should get to experience a show at the Soraya because of how good they are.”
Big Show is an annual event organized by Associated Students (AS). It began in 2000 and has featured big acts such as rapper Tyga, A$AP Ferg, DJ Dillon Francis, and rapper Blxst. Normally held in the fall on the University Lawn, last year’s was held in the Spring semester. This year’s Big Show is happening this spring, too. What doesn’t change however, is what is available to students at the festival. All types of food trucks wait to feed the hungry festival goers and booths dot the University Lawn often offering free merchandise. Free Big Show t-shirts are given out and there is also the option to buy t-shirts from the specific performer.
“I transferred here during the pandemic, but I had friends who came here before me. They would tell me how much fun the Big Show is, so it was something I always looked forward to. I wasn’t able to go last year, but this year for sure! I’m glad I graduate next Spring since they postponed it,” said Caesar Garcia, who is majoring in history.
The Creative Maker Studio is an exploratory space where students of any major can have access to hands-on multimedia design and production tools at no extra cost. Located at the University Library’s official Makerspace, the Creative Maker Studio provides all currently enrolled CSUN students with the resources and support needed for learning new technologies, prototyping, collaboration, and digital creation/modeling/editing. Available to students are things like a virtual reality room, a production room, an audio recording studio, and much more.
“Before I graduate this spring, I want to check out the Creative Maker Studio,” said journalism and public relations major Emily Ledesma. “They have tons of equipment and gadgets that I’m dying to try, like the 3D printer, the VR headsets, and even the sewing machines!”