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How BLUE are YOU?

OK, you've made it to the Promised Land: you're part of a fresh crop of Aggies beginning your experience just this semester, or you are returning for a visit after way too many years away. What should you do? Where should you go? And what should you know? We asked and you responded, so here we offer a list of 14 items (in no particular order) every Aggie should check-off — or at least witness — before leaving, or upon returning to campus. It's not meant to be all inclusive, or course; only a start. And we'd love to hear what more you might add. mageditor@usu.edu

Get the Scoop:
AGGIE ICE CREAM

Yup, other universities may have their own creameries, and yup, there will always be that misguided brother-in-law who wants to debate which is better. But here’s the thing: next time you are in charge of a family reunion, or a wedding reception or any social gathering at all, you can shut ’em all up lickety-split. Put out campus ice creams from all competitors and then sit back and watch your guests embrace the cold hard truth: Aggie Ice Cream will disappear first every time, usually before anyone even utters a word. And if you’re going big, you might as well go blue. Inside trackers know that Aggie Blue Mint is probably not only one of the most popular flavors, but buys you bonus points in Aggie heaven. Go Big Blue!

Pucker Up, True Aggie, PUCKER UP

Of course it’s on our list; it’s going to come up in every discussion for the rest of your life. As soon as you mention USU, somebody’s going to want to know if you are, indeed, a True Aggie. Our advice: might as well pucker up early on and get kissed on the “A” at midnight to remove all doubt. Just remember, True Aggiehood can only be granted from an already-True Aggie under a full moon. Or, if you are making the commitment and journeying to higher spheres together, make sure it happens on Homecoming in the fall, or on A-Day in the spring. Everything else is just for practice.

Own Your Own Verb On the QUAD

Study. Flirt. Nap. Play Ultimate Frisbee. Whatever. For Aggies of every age, the surprise realization one day comes that the Quad — and by extension, Old Main Hill — just “feels like home.” It’ll hit you while walking across those improbably broad sidewalks, or just after removing flip flops to rake your toes through the plenitudinous grass, but at some point, it will hit you: you’ve never belonged anywhere else like you do here. So embrace it now; amplify the nostalgia.

Channel Your Inner Strength Through
CHANTING

Get to the game, find your seat, and then roll up your sleeves and watch the hair on your arms stand up and dance like the Aggie Spirit Squad. There’s nothing more electrifying in all of college sports than USU’s vertically jumped “I Believe That We Will Win” chant. Period. In fact, once your central nervous system melts in overload that first time, you may be surprised how many more times your reflexes want to involuntarily help you relive it — board meetings, church, wherever. You just can’t shake this feeling. And it’s totally worth getting an extra game ticket for a friend who has never experienced it, because the video you’ll take in that precise moment they actually see the Aggie light is sure to go viral. “I Believe That We Will Win,” “I Believe That We Will Win,” “I Believe That We Will Win.” Dang. We’ll never get enough of that. See: www.usu.edu/ibelieve

Chew On It:
HAZEL’S SLICE OR MARV N’ JOE

An Aggie classic and — let’s be honest — not for the faint of carbs, but the likelihood of either you or a former roommate living on these thick slices of back-home-comfort for an entire semester is pretty good, isn’t it? Whether it’s a slice of Original Cinnamon and Raisin buckling under wheelbarrow dumps of melting honey butter, or the Marv n’ Joe — that goose-bump-blend simplicity of provolone, Parmesan, oil and vinegar, fresh tomatoes, garlic butter and salt — your tongue is sure to cramp up … just before it shouts, ‘Hey! Why don’t we do this again tomorrow.”

Rock Your Shorts and
FLIP FLOPS IN FEBRUARY

Makes no sense at all, defies all logic, and would, in fact, be panned by any self-respecting reality-show fashionista, but nothing says “I’m ready to redefine higher education” quicker than trudging through knee-deep snow in basketball shorts and flip flops. And the irony of that parka to complete the ensemble? Brilliant! We need reminding that at the core of our collective Aggie strength lies our cherished individuality. So thanks, O brave and frosted one. Thanks.

Purify Yourself at the PERFORMANCE HALL

It’s a living, fine-tuneable, jewel-box of a venue. Even the heating and air conditioning systems are suspended on rubber dampers and hidden behind concrete bastions to eliminate errant noise before it hits your ears. Then, of course, baffles and panels are fine-tuned to accommodate and expertly enhance specific performances, be they jazz, opera, piano, or the spoken word. For the purest of the pure experiences, nothing beats the Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall. Ahh.

Wail Away at
FINALS WEEK HOWL

You’ll feel as though you’re getting away with something, because you are. But if you get the chance to let a little steam off in a public place, and that place just happens to be the usually quiet and reserved Merrill-Cazier Library — right before your most stress-filled week — well, howl away dear Aggie. Howl away!

Take the
CAMPUS SCULPTURE TOUR

Younger Aggies will probably come up with names of their own for the artwork, but with 42 sculptures to see as of 2013, they’ll also love the chance to explore the entire Logan campus while perhaps being inspired to create something on their own. Actual names of the installations and information about the artists is available online, and the USU Wellness Center has mapped three different walking routes, too, making it easy to pick your stroll and your genre.

Make Time for a
LOGAN CANYON AUTUMN

Stage your own death via eye-candy overdose. Hit it just right and first you will gasp, then drool, then reach that impenetrable state of nirvana. It never lasts long, but there are years you won’t find any more mesmerizing fall colors on the planet than the ones we see in Logan Canyon and its surrounding areas. New England, Colorado, we mean it: you don’t get luxury tour buses photobombing frame after frame for nothing!

Live, Breathe,
SING THE SCOTSMAN

Any break, any game; it’s just what Aggies do. But if you’re going in, go all in, because if you happen to be the only one in the arena not swaying your arms at the right time, you’re going to end up with an elbow in your ear.  And bonus points for standing up and getting it started on the road, showing a true blooded Aggie, indeed!

Go to Town

USU is lucky enough to have great neighbors with big arts. Seriously, if you haven’t recently treated yourself to the theater, gallery showings, live music or myriad other offerings on Logan’s art-scene menu, you’re missing half the benefit of being an Aggie. This town somehow allows us all the opportunity to live far beyond our means. Yes, the university is a big part of that, launching singers, visual artists, musicians and actors into the steady flow of local and national talent, but Logan consistently and splendidly stages them all to earn top grades, for which we offer our sincere, art-felt thanks.

Memorize
USU’s LIST OF...

Regional campuses, distance education centers, two-year comprehensive colleges, and locations of classrooms that deliver the Aggie experience through interactive video conferencing.
No? OK, then just skip ahead to the part where you get a box of pushpins and a map of Utah and start to see and appreciate USU accessibility blossoming before your eyes. Go Aggies — everywhere!

STUDY AT THE AMPHITHEATER
During that Five-minute Spring

It’s true, we can’t wait to move up and down those stairs as soon as the ice breaks, and that means we pretty much reserve this one for special mornings and late evenings come summer. Still, we’re betting this year you’ll see at least three engagement/high school senior portraits staged there because hey, those arcing lines can’t be denied. But it’s the view that will lift your studies to new heights, so float on over and soak it in.