7 Bucket List Items for UM Students

There’s more to college than lectures, homework, and simple house parties. Especially when it comes to Missoula. There is so much to offer in the town and the surrounding area that you just need to know where to look. Well, here’s a start:

Float the Clark Fork

Grab a tube, a 6 pack, your friends, and hit the river. Sitting on the Clark Fork, sipping on a cold Summer Honey, and just relaxing with your friends is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. Hell, you may even make some new friends on the journey down the river! One piece of advice I would offer: don’t forget the sunscreen or the float will be a red and painful memory!

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Spontaneous Road Trip

If it’s just a day trip up to Flathead Lake, driving to Coeur d’Alene to go to Silverwood, playing a road of golf in Ronan, or whatever floats your boat, make some memories. I can honestly say some of the best times I have had in college are when my friends and I just hopped in the car and started driving. Ending up at the Raven Bar and swing dancing after a few beers is a memory I will never forget. So get your friends, get in your car and go!

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Missoula Brewfest

Choose one or two or three or all of them! You don’t have a chance to sample some of the best beers Montana has to offer in one spot. I mean where else can you sample Bayern, KettleHouse, Lewis & Clark, Great Northern Brewery, and so many more for $20?

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Themed Party

While this is not just a UM thing obviously, it is still a necessity. Throw a Christmas Party where everyone wears their Christmas best, a Tight and Bright Party, or a Beer Olympics and have everyone wear the attire of the country of their choice (A kilt with Ireland is a must). Where else are you going to see people sitting on Santas lap taking a shot of peppermint schnapps with a chocolate syrup chaser?

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Hike Blue Mountain

Playing a round of folf or not, the view is truly amazing. No matter the season it is always guaranteed to be a hike you will want to do again and again. Hitting the trails with your friends is one of the best ways to get a breathtaking view of Missoula.

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Downtown pub crawl

Missoula has such a wide variety of bars that experiencing them all (or most) in one night should be done before your college career is done. If you get the chance, try the Craft Beer Cup. A mini putt/pub crawl through downtown Missoula. Experience some of Montanas best beers while playing a round with your friends!

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Griz Cat at Washington Grizzly Stadium

The Brawl of the Wild, winner takes home The Great Divide Trophy for at least one more year. If you don’t spend at least one game in the student section in Washington Grizzly Stadium you are missing out on greatness. From Monte and Mo, to the fans doing a MONTANA…GRIZZLIES chant back and forth, to the mighty North End Zone, it is possibly the biggest event in Montana. Don’t miss out!

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While there are so many different and exciting events in Missoula that a true bucket list could reach triple digits, these are a few that I believe every college student should experience before they graduate and head out into the real world. So get going, college goes faster than you think!

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10 Struggles Every College Senior Knows to Be True

By Katie Sears


It’s that time of year: College graduation. For three and half years all you’ve wanted to do is get as far away from campus and school-related responsibilities as possible;  now you’re crying yourself to sleep worried that the ‘real world’ might be a little bit too real for you. Staying focused in school while simultaneously trying to figure out the rest of your life seems damn near impossible, and no amount of ‘You can do it!’s from mom will help.

If it makes you feel any better, we’re all in the same rickety boat.


  1. Finding a job is a Catch 22.
    You’re trying to find a job so that you can make money, but you need money to get to the job. Moving out, storing your stuff, and finding a new place to live all require a significant amount of cash..cash that you probably should have started saving as a freshman, but instead blew on BeatsByDre headphones and 3am Taco Bell runs.
    confused
  2.  Student loans have to be paid back. Like, now.
    Financial aid is great while you’re in school, but the day you graduate marks the day you will forever be indebted to the government and to your university.
    bullcrap
  3. You realize you may never, ever see your college friends again.
    It seems like everyone you know is moving to a far-away state, country or continent. The friendships you’ve fostered over the last four years will abruptly end, and it’s one of the saddest things about being a senior.
    cryingg
  4. Senioritis.
    Imagine the senioritis you felt in high school and multiply it by ten million. Then add 40. I wouldn’t wish the last five weeks of senior semester on my worst enemy.
    living life
  5. Final Exams.I’m not just talking about the exams during finals week that cover the last semester; I’m talking about CapStone classes, major field tests and other exams that will likely determine the rest of your life, like the MCAT, PCAT and the bar exam. It’s even worse when the test costs money. I thought paying to take a test in a classroom was called tuition?
    hate everything
  1. Not being confident about your degree.
    That moment you realize you actually hate your degree and it’s not what you really want to do. And then the moment you realize you are really passionate about your degree and don’t want to work in any other field. The daily back-and-forth is exhausting.
    exhausting
  1. You have a lot of stuff. And only one car.
    While you’ve spent the last three years decorating your home to better resemble the one you left behind, you never really considered the massive amount of space these things take up. Combine that with the fact that you only have one car, and moving becomes a lot more daunting than it already was.
    imdone
  2. Your dream job most likely won’t be your first job.
    You start accepting that your dream of changing the world and becoming one of Forbes’ 40 under 40 might have to wait a couple of years. Suddenly, just being an assistant doesn’t sound so bad if it means you’ll have a paycheck at the end of the month.
    pay day pickitup
  1. Time is running out.
    There are still a million things you haven’t done on campus/in town/ in your state and suddenly you want -no NEED- to do all of them, like that popular hike you passed up on because you were hungover or that weird restaurant that sells avocado-flavored ice cream. FOMO starts to seriously set in at this point.
    nap
  1. We see articles like this:
    Why Millenials Have a Tough Time Landing Jobs – CNBC
    Millenials Have Nothing to Celebrate When it Comes to Employment – Forbes
    40% of Unevmployed Workers are Millenials – MarketWatch
    drinking

All. The. Time.

Growing Up: 21 Things I’m Still Working On

At 21, I’ve learned some really good lessons so far! But there are also a lot of things that are still uncertain, or that I simply don’t know. I’m workin’ on them; here are a few…

1. Going to bed early.

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I try so hard every night. It never happens. 2016 maybe?

2. How to talk to people.

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I’m not going to say I am THE awkward penguin, but making conversation with someone can definitely stress me out.

3. What good wine is.

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They’re all delicious and heighten my hopes and dreams…Am I missing out on some big secret?

4. Laundry.

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Let’s get real. Do I really have to separate my darks and my whites?

5. Why are there different kinds of forks at a nice meal?

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One is enough isn’t it??

6. What is stock and how do I do this thing called investing?

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Thank god I learned Hot Cross Buns on the recorder and how to locate a library book using the card catalogue system though…whew.

7. How to spend money on things that matter.

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Should I buy those boots that I don’t need and look strikingly similar to ones I already have? LOL probably.

Which brings me to my next point…

8. How to save money.

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Is there maybe a formula someone could give me? That’d be great.

9. How to say no.

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This is a hard one for me. What can I say; I’m a people pleaser.

10. What my political viewpoint is yet.

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Growing up in a lower middle class family, and then being taught and molded by (mostly) wealthy business professors tends to pull you in opposite directions…

11. Who I am.

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Ok. I know this may sound a little cheesy, but I really don’t know all there is to know about myself yet. What makes me tick? What stresses me out most? What kind of ice cream is my favorite??

12. How to be flexible.

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Nuff’ said Lorelai.

13. What my strengths/weaknesses are.

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You can’t really Google this one yet…

14. How I have become so much like my parents in so many ways??

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Seriously tho. How did this happen?

15. To love the parts of myself that no one claps for.

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Still learning this one.

16. Taxes.

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How do I even…?

17. How to stay positive and look for the good.

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This line made me rethink my entire existence.

18. Accepting disappointment.

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Disappointment is such an uncomfortable feeling for me; I often let it get in the way of my moving forward.

19. Letting go of control.

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Let’s just say Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is basically my spirit animal.

20. Putting myself first.

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People pleasers generally struggle with this.

21. Eating Well.

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Kit Kats and ice cream are wonders of this world and why can I not eat them all the time?!!

Did you like this?? Check out my first post: 21 Things I do know to be true

Sports Comebacks You Probably Never Heard About

In the sports world everyone loves to hear about a comeback, the miracle play, a team going against all of the odds and getting the win. We have all heard about the Red Sox coming back against the Yankees in 2004 to win the ALCS, and the Steelers and Giants Super Bowl winning drives. Here are a few comebacks you probably never heard about.

Capital High School v. Billings West High School

After a first half that saw Capital chasing the West offense up and down the field, Capital came out guns blazing in the second half. Starting with a 15 yard pass from Matt Reyant to Matt Miller, Capital dropped the lead to 14. Capital tacked on another touchdown with a 15 yard run by Matt Miller giving Capital hope. As time expired in the 4th quarter quarterback Matt Reyant found receiver Josh Dirks in the corner of the end zone. 20-21. Capital coach Pat Murphy has been known for being ambitious which he showed by going for 2 instead of kicking the PAT. Reyant takes the snap, fakes the give to Matt Miller, and takes off. The outcome? It’s good! Capital got the win and kept the perfect season alive with a 22-21 final score.

Capital High Billings West
Capital High v. Billings West

 

Watford v. Leicester

What’s on the line? The winner goes to the FA Cup final at the Wembley Stadium. It was the 96th minute with only 4 minutes supposed to be added on but a penalty kick for Leicester kept the clock rolling. Leicester was losing 2-1 but because they won the first game 1-0 AND had the away goal rule on their side, (The away goals rule is a method of breaking ties in soccer and other sports when teams play each other twice, once at each team’s home ground. By the away goals rule, the team that has scored more goals “away from home” will win if scores are otherwise equal), they would advance whether they made or missed the penalty. Anthony Knockaert steps up and takes the shot…save by the keeper Almunia! The rebound shot…SAVE BY ALMUNIA! With a stadium erupting from the outcome of the penalty Watford started their counter. Watford pushed the ball down the right side of the field. A cross comes into the box, the ball is headed back into the middle where it meets the foot of Watford striker Troy Deeney. The result? Absolutely pandemonium. The ball is smashed into the back of the net and fans storm field, Watford players and coaches celebrating their monumental comeback, and Leicester wondering how they let the opportunity to play in the FA Cup final in Wembley slip through their hands.

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Watford v. Leicester, FA Cup

 

Montana Grizzlies v. South Dakota State Jackrabbits

An absolutely awful, and I mean AWFUL, first half almost lead to an early exit by the Griz faithful. I was there and I considered calling it a day with how bad it was. Down 27 points with 5:40 left in the 3rd quarter things started clicking for the Griz as Marc Mariani took a kickoff back 98 yards started a comeback for the ages. 48-27, the Griz start the 4th quarter with a 15 yard pass from Andrew Selle to Mariani, the score now 48-34. 7 minutes left, Chase Reynolds looks for a hole up the middle but is forced outside where he scrambles to the corner for a Montana touchdown. A miracle looks possible now with the score 48-41. Only 3 minutes later Reynolds runs it in from 4 yards, which along with an extra point TIES the score 48-48. With only a minute left, quarterback Andrew Selle fakes the handoff to Reynolds, rolls out to the left and finds a wide open Mariani for a Montana touchdown. The Griz down by 27 at one point now LEADS 55-48, but that isn’t the end of the story. SDSU had one more drive….which was shut down by an interception by Griz lineman Severin Campbell who turned that into 6 points. The final score: Montana Grizzlies 61 South Dakota State Jackrabbits 48.

Montana Grizzlies v. South Dakota State Jackrabbits 2009
Montana Grizzlies v. South Dakota State Jackrabbits 2009

 

Clinton LumberKings v. Burlington Bees

When you think of a baseball comeback you probably think about 5, 6, maybe 7 runs. Well the Clinton LumberKings made a 16 run miracle. 16 RUNS!!! Top of the 6th inning, Clinton down 17-1 are able to find 6 runs to at least make a probable loss look a little less worse. With the help of some quality pitching and 5 runs in both the 8th and 9th innings, Clinton was able to send a game that should have been over, into extra innings. After a scoreless 10th and 11th inning for both teams, Kyle Seager of the LumberKings was able to get the go ahead run in the top of the 12th. Shutting out Burlington in the 12th gave Clinton a 20-17 win. “That’s one for the ages for me, for sure,” Burlington manager Bill Richardson said, according to The Hawk Eye newspaper. “You just give credit to your opponent for flipping the game on us. We just gave them a little life in that sixth, and they kept running.”

Clinton LumberKings v. Burlington Bees 2014
Clinton LumberKings v. Burlington Bees 2014

Duke Blue Devils v. Maryland Terrapins

The Miracle Minute. A comeback that most Duke fans consider the famous minute in Duke history. Maryland leading 90-80, Duke guard Jason Williams finished a layup to shave the lead to 8. Maryland inbounded the ball which was then stolen by Williams who put up a 3 pointer to trim Maryland’s lead to 5 with 48 seconds left. Duke foul Maryland on the inbound who were in double bonus. Drew Nicholas of Maryland misses the first free throw…and then the second. Duke takes the ball down the court where Williams sinks another 3 leaving 40 seconds on the clock. In a matter of 20 seconds Duke cut Maryland’s lead from 10 to 2. Maryland inbound the ball, Duke put on the trap and strip the ball away giving them 34 seconds on the clock, the ball, and a shot at the win. Duke put up a 3, no good, but they get the rebound and are fouled on the put back. With 21 seconds, Nate James steps up to the line for 2 shots. The first….good. The second….GOOD. The game was sent into overtime where Duke would prevail 98-96. Leave it to Coach K to pull off the impossible.

Duke v. Maryland 2001
Duke v. Maryland 2001

 

Miracles are the best part of sports. We love seeing a team make the seemingly impossible comeback by giving everything they have to get the win.

“It’s not whether you got knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi

Written by Zachary Clinch

The 5 Best Coffee Shops to Study at in Missoula

Whether you’re a student at the University of Montana, an entrepreneur working to get a proposal together, or a business professional who needs the perfect place to meet with clients, these are the 5 best places to get whatever it is you need to get done in Missoula. Based on quality of coffee, Wi-Fi, and overall environment: Is your favorite coffee shop on the list?

Liquid Planet

7:30am-9:00pm, Everyday

Picture of the Liquid Planet storefront in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Liquid Plant

The first place I ever “studied” at in Missoula was a wonderful place called Liquid Planet. I think the name speaks for itself, and while the Wi-Fi connection has thankfully increased in reliability and strength over the years, the beverage selection has always been top quality. Great coffee and tea for any taste bud, and a wide variety of other beverages to shop around for, all make Liquid Planet a must-frequent venue if you are a Missoulian. Plus, there is a secret area in the back corner you can reserve for meetings or for studying in peace.

Market on Front

7:00am-9:00pm, Monday-Saturday
8:00am-7:00pm, Sunday

A visual of the unique seating area in Market on Front
Photo Credit: Market on Front

Relatively new and closer to campus, the Market on Front offers more than just coffee and a place to sit. It’s a one-stop-shop with a little grocery section and delicious prepared foods. Great quality Wi-Fi with limited seating makes a fan of this place hope that they are looking to expand in the near future. If you are looking to impress a client from out of town, this is the place to do it. And if you’re lucky, the owner may be around to deliver your mouth watering Chicken Florentine sandwich to you within minutes of ordering (this has happened to me on more than one occasion.)

City Brew Coffee

5:30am-9:30pm, Monday-Saturday
6:00am-9:30pm, Sunday
Downtown location closes at 9:00pm

View from the outside of the City Brew Coffee downtown Missoula location
Photo Credit: City Brew Coffee

Before conducting my research, City Brew Coffee never crossed my mind as a place to study in Missoula because honestly I had never been there before. Considered one of the coffee shops with high quality of coffee, City Brew will literally keep your mind (and your taste buds) happy. The variety in seating, relaxing music, and calming decorative colors will keep you focused for hours. If you find that it is difficult to get a parking spot downtown, try their new location off of Brooks! Plenty of room to park and an amazing fire place to cozy up by. Not to mention a very friendly staff.

Break Espresso

6:00am-10:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of Break Espresso in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Sabrina Huang

This seems to be everyone’s favorite place to “get stuff done”. Break Espresso’s main selling point is not it’s coffee, but the seemingly unlimited amount of seating, reliable Wi-Fi, and baked goods are it’s irresistible combo. This place is always busy, so bring your headphones, grab a piece of pie, and get your productivity on!

Zootown Brew

8:00am-8:00pm, Monday-Friday
9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday
1:00pm-8:00pm, Sunday
Open until 10:00pm during Finals Week!

View of the outside of Zootown Brew in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Zootown Church

I went through a phase where I would only meet for group projects at Zootown Brew. There is plenty of seating (as well as comfy couches), and it’s so spacious that there is enough privacy to actually discuss your work with a group. Quality Wi-Fi and a hot coffee will keep you happy while you work. And when the caffeine finally runs out, you’ll have a perfectly comfy couch to go and relax on. After all that hard work you put in, you deserve it!

Honorable Mention: Florence Coffee Co.

6:00am-6:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of one of Florence Coffee's locations
Photo Credit: Florence Coffee Co.

Technically, you can’t sit at the drive through and do your homework. The person behind you may get mad when you don’t move after 5 minutes. But I couldn’t create a list of Missoula coffee shops without mentioning the best coffee in town. If you’d rather study at the library, at home, or at work, swing by one of Florence Coffee’s three locations in Missoula and get a coffee on the go. My suggestion for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth: The Heaven Latte. The name says it all.

 

Did I miss your favorite study spot? Let me know by commenting below. Now, go get stuff done!

Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic
Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic

 

A special thanks to everyone who provided their input in my research, and most especially: Jessie Rogers, Savannah Witt, Paytyn Wheeler, Katherine Vincent, Brooke Moody, and Joelle.