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10 Reasons to Wish You Were a UMD Student Right Now

By Karen Shih ’09

Top 10

Your memories of campus probably include sweltering with box fans in the dorms, surviving on a dining-hall diet of pizza and chicken tenders and having nowhere nice for your visiting parents to stay.

Current students? They have air conditioning, puppies and a Target within walking distance. Try not to be too jealous of all the awesome things on and off campus available to Terps today:

Food Truck
#1 Food, Right

Want Korean barbecue or Peruvian chicken by way of South Africa? Locally roasted coffee or veggies and herbs from UMD’s own Terp Farm? It’s easy to satisfy your craving for just about anything these days, whether it’s at the 251 North all-you-care-to-eat dining hall (offering a preview of this fall’s campus-wide switch), the Green Tidings food truck or the upcoming redevelopment of a garage into a restaurant, stage, culinary-education kitchen and more. Off campus, the new Nando’s Peri-Peri fast-casual restaurant, the alumni-owned Board and Brew board-game café and Target Express give students options to dine out or buy some groceries.

#2 Creature Comforts

What started as Puppy Palooza in 2011 has now morphed into Stress Less Week, hosted by Active Minds at Maryland. Not only do students get to snuggle with cute, cuddly dogs— there’s also free Rita’s Italian ice, a inflatable obstacle course and beanbag chairs on McKeldin Mall.

#3 Startup Central

While Kevin Plank ’96 started Under Armour in his grandmother’s basement, Terps today have resources throughout campus to help them get their ideas off the ground. Startup Shell provides space, workshops and supportive fellow students, where innovators can pursue their dreams of creating a no-crash coffee alternative or an inexpensive 3-D printer. The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship offers mentoring and competitions—with cash prizes—that connect students with successful business leaders. Hackathons like BitCamp and Technica bring students together to come up with creative computer-coding solutions to everyday problems and global issues in just a weekend.


#4 Free for Alls

Turtle PinMiss the free tees that dominated your college wardrobe? The swag’s gotten even better, from water bottles you can use at any of the 100 or so filling stations across campus, to President Wallace Loh’s famous turtle pins that he gives out at major campus events.

Study Room
#5 Dorm Decadence

Sweating your brains out on the eighth floor of a high-rise and navigating the halls in a towel with a shower caddy were rites of passage for generations of students. Today, residents of Oakland and Prince Frederick halls have not only air conditioning but suite-style living that puts just four students to a bathroom.

#6 Lovelier Lodging

Parents coming for Family Weekend, to cheer on the football team or just surprise their students will have nicer digs than ever with the opening of the Hotel at the University of Maryland in spring 2017. Located across from the main entrance of campus on Baltimore Avenue, the 297-room hotel will feature high-class dining from former “Top Chef” contestant Mike Isabella, a spa, plenty of meeting space and more.

#7 More Testudos

More Testudos: If rubbing Testudo’s nose brings good luck, current students are the luckiest of all: Six statues across campus, including the newest ones installed in front of Stamp Student Union and the Riggs Alumni Center, stand ready to help them pass exams, get a date to a formal or win an intramural softball tournament.

#8 Super Sports

Terps men’s basketball this year made its first Sweet Sixteen appearance in more than a decade—and that’s not the only sport UMD dominates. Since joining the Big Ten two years ago, Terps have claimed conference titles in men’s soccer, women’s basketball and field hockey. The addition of on-campus, school-sanctioned student tailgates in 2013 makes cheering for the Terps more fun than ever.

Art House

#9 More Arts to Applaud

In addition to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, new College Park spaces like Milkboy + ArtHouse on Baltimore Avenue, a coffee shop and wine bar from the owner of Plato’s Diner, and the coming arts-stage-food hub next to the Hotel offer more opportunities for students to perform throughout the city.

Purple Line

#10 Getting Around

It’s easier than ever to reach D.C., grab groceries a few miles away or get to an internship off campus. Besides Metro’s Green line (just a short walk or Shuttle-UM ride away), the introduction of Zipcar gives students without their own vehicles a new transportation option, and a new bike-share program launches in May. Construction will start later this year on the Purple Line, which will connect D.C.’s northern suburbs and include a stop right on campus.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.