LiveBIG Staff, May 10, 2019

Summer is upon us, and we know that probably the last thing you want to think about is the school year. But, whether you?re a seasoned senior or an incoming freshman, it is never too late – or too early – to brush up on all that your Big Ten university has to offer.

So, we asked the experts from all fourteen universities to round up a list of can't-miss items, from cool locations to creative programs, which students would be remiss in missing out on. Consider it your collegiate bucket list. If these are news to you, we hope you're inspired to adventure. If you've already checked off a few of these, also great; please let us know in the comments below.

Kicking things off are our Hawkeye Heroes, the wonderful folks from the University of Iowa.


Attend a reading hosted by the Writers? Workshop, the country?s most renowned creative writing program


You don?t have to be enrolled in Iowa?s prestigious writing program to participate in Iowa City?s outstanding literary community. The written word is essential to life in the  University of Iowa?s hometown. Iowa City was the first UNESCO City of Literature in the U.S., with excerpts by celebrated authors and poets literally etched into the sidewalks. Visit the iconic Prairie Lights bookstore, catch a reading with a decorated author, and check out numerous writing-focused community events like the Iowa City Book Festival and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.


Attend a performance at Hancher Performing Arts Center or Voxman Music Building


The University of Iowa?s world-class performing arts venues host amazing performances and lectures throughout the year. From touring Broadway shows to symphony concerts, from the hip and avant-garde to timeless classics, these venues offer diverse arts experiences for Iowans near and far. Both venues are also dedicated educational facilities for students, boasting classrooms, practice rooms, and stages. College student tickets for most Hancher performances are available for just $10.


Participate in University of Iowa Dance Marathon


The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is the largest student organization on campus and one of the largest in the U.S. The group provides year-round support to youth cancer patients and their families through events, philanthropy, and other resources. Every year, more than 2,500 students participate in The Big Event, a 24-hour dance party with a unique cover charge: Each attendee must have raised at least $500 for pediatric cancer research at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children?s Hospital. To date, University of Iowa Dance Marathon has raised over $27 million for the kids!


Register to be a test driver at Iowa?s advanced simulator 


The University of Iowa?s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is the only driving simulator of its size and scope in the world. This immersive virtual environment helped test safety features that have become standard in cars today and continues to support the work of making our roadways safer. Registered test drivers get to interact with this advanced simulator first-hand, testing features that may help lessen the mortality of automotive accidents, one of the most common causes of death in the U.S. Register online to participate in driving studies at the University of Iowa test facility:


?The Hawkeye Wave?


When the University of Iowa Stead Family Children?s Hospital was built, the top floor was set aside to create a quiet space and viewing room overlooking Kinnick Stadium, home of Hawkeye football. After the first quarter of every home game, fans and players turn to the hospital and wave to the pediatric patients and their families as they enjoy a birds-eye view of the action from the top-floor mezzanine. This simple gesture has touched the lives of many families and been recognized as one of the best new traditions in sports. Videos of ?The Wave? are powerful, but participating in person is a truly unforgettable experience.


– University of Iowa Office of Strategic Communication