By Dominique Wald
See the bears
We got bears, yes we do. We got bears, how ’bout you? The bears are probably one of the most interesting — and cutest — attractions WSU has to offer. As part of the WSU School of the Environment, the bears are there for university research on nutrition, physiology, behavior, learning and memory. If you find yourself with nothing to do on a Saturday, grab a friend and take a stroll down to the Bear Research and Conservation Center on Grimes Way. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to see a cub hanging out on a tire swing. Trust me.
Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe
One of the tastiest benefits of being a WSU student is, without a doubt, visiting Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe. They’ve got ice cream, they’ve got cheese — all made at the university’s very own creamery. Ferdinand’s features old fashioned ice cream and soda fountain treats, exclusive ice cream flavors (like Apple Cup Crisp and Huckleberry), gourmet coffee and the legendary award-winning Cougar Gold Cheese. I’m not kidding, this stuff will make you see stars. Grab a tin of Cougar Gold Cheese and bring it home for the holidays. Your family will wonder why on Earth you’re bringing cheese that’s in a tin can, but all questions will be answered with one taste. Cougar Gold was even featured in a BuzzFeed video, making it the most famous cheese you’ll probably ever consume.
Fall on ice
It’s all fun and games until you lose your balance and fall on ice. Come winter, walking to campus becomes a treacherous adventure no one could have prepared you for. Just accept the fact that during your college years, you’ll fall on ice once or twice, or in my experience eight times. The experience of falling on ice makes you a better and stronger person. Besides, what doesn’t kill you forces you to buy shoes with better traction.
Earn those Cougar calves
If you’re new to the Pullman campus, one thing you’ve probably noticed is that everything is uphill. The climb up B Street alone rivals that of Everest, I’m sure. After a while you’ll notice your calves are getting stronger and the walks are getting (a little) easier. Those just aren’t any calves you’re toning, those are Cougar calves and you should wear them with pride. You should also strategize your commute and take a path that’s less steep. If there’s a way to avoid walking up that hill you have nightmares about, do it.
Ain’t no zone like the CRIMZONE
The CRIMZONE, located directly behind the end zone in Martin Stadium, is home to the loudest and most passionate Coug fans you’ll ever meet. So why not join the fun and get in the zone? You also receive free stuff like T-shirts, flags and sometimes even a WSU cape. Introduced this past football season, the CRIMZONE is for those students who think face painting and chanting is for amateurs. These fans go above and beyond at each home game and show what Cougar pride is all about. Since CRIMZONE passes are handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis at 8 a.m. on Mondays before home football games, the lines to receive them at the athletic ticket office by Martin Stadium usually starts earlier. If you want that worm, you’re going to have to be an early bird.
Spend a day at the Dunes
When the weather permits, you can usually spot a giant flock of students packing their cars and making their way to the Dunes. It’s about a 30 minute drive southwest of Pullman and is located across the Lower Granite Dam. It’s typically a hotspot for students hanging out in Pullman during the summer, but it is frequently visited during the school year and before the frostbiting winter comes rolling into town.
Put your name on the wall
Once you’re of age and grab a drink at the Coug, you’ll notice the walls are covered with various signatures. If you find yourself with a sharpie, feel free to write your name along with an inspirational quote by Ghandi – unless you’re like me, who wrote “I love pizza.”
Take a hipster Instagram picture at the graffiti wall
WSU has a little hidden secret, and it’s called the Zen Stairwell in the Fine Arts Building. Rumor is that years ago the stairwell served as a solution to the vandalism and graffiti problem on campus. Individuals with an artistic itch to scratch and a can of spray paint in hand were allegedly directed to unleash their masterpiece in the stairwell. The result? A seven-story stairwell covered in graffiti art. It’s one of those places you have to see to believe.
Have you had the best burger of your life yet? If you answered “yes” but haven’t paid a visit to Cougar Country then your answer should be “no.” Cougar Country has been around for more than 40 years and has been serving some of the most delicious burgers and shakes on the Palouse ever since. You can’t go wrong with a Cougar Super Basket with extra fry sauce and a chocolate chip cookie dough Cyclone (it’s like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, only better) to wash it all down. Science says if you’re eating at a burger place that supports your university, the calories don’t count. Who are we to fight science?
Ring in your personal victories
Since 1892, the Victory Bell has been a staple on the WSU campus. It was originally purchased to sound the changing of classes. It was moved to the top of College Hall in 1930 to be rung at home football victories, but was restored in 1998 and moved to its permanent display at the Lewis Alumni Centre. WSU grads are encouraged to ring the bell for themselves after their graduation ceremony and to celebrate a Coug victory of their own. Ringing that bell at the end of your journey through WSU is a perfect way to close the chapter on a memorable four years – or five or six if you really took your time.