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Best of Campus: Obscure Edition

Forget the quidditch club fact and the gopher-shaped Coffman Union tidbit you learn when you tour the University. Here’s a comprehensive list of the best places and situations for your obscure campus needs.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

When you tour the University of Minnesota’s campus for the first time, tour guides will be sure to tell you about the campus quidditch club (a club I haven’t heard anyone actually attend) and how Coffman Union looks like a gopher. That’s cute, but wouldn’t you rather hear about the liminal space vibes of the Gopher Way or the best classes for sneaking peeks at dramatic text conversations?

We’re giving you all the best of campus — but make it obscure. From the best campus for meeting a crypto bae to the best bathroom to cry in, we’ve got it all.

Best place to romanticize life: Walking west on the right side of Washington Avenue Bridge during sunset
Main character syndrome never felt this good!

Best spot to meet a sugar daddy/mommy: Hanson Hall Caribou Coffee
We see you, finance majors.

Best spot for meeting a camping/outdoor exploring buddy: The St. Paul campus 121 bus stop
Find a CFANS friend while waiting to go back to the mainland (East Bank). A match made in Teva heaven.

Best spot for finding the next cryptocurrency developer: Keller Hall
Hey CSE kids.

Best place to overhear gossip: Dinkytown Starbucks
Pair your pumpkin cream cold brew with some good, old fashioned overheard dirt.

Best lecture/class to read juicy conversations off of others’ laptops: Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics
The West Bank’s larger-than-life lecture halls bode well for plenty of distraction, from lengthy text convos to Shein perusing.

Best bathrooms to cry in: The Graduate and Northrop’s third floor bathroom
If you’re going to ugly cry, why not do it in a gorgeous bathroom?

Best view of the Minneapolis city skyline on campus: University Avenue (between 14th and 13th Avenue over train tracks at sunset)
Picture this: You’re heading down University Avenue towards your apartment in Marcy-Holmes, minding your business when you look to your left and downtown Minneapolis is shining back at you. Well, you don’t need to picture it because that view exists and you should check it out.

Best liminal space: The Gopher Way
If you think this underground transitway is only for avoiding the cold, think again.

Best library for cramming: Walter Library
The building with its cool ceilings and studious aura permeate academia vibes.

Best library for online shopping: Wilson Library
In the words of Joe Biden: “Guess what? It grows the economy. Benefits everybody. Hurts nobody.”

Best campus influencer: Butter the Chemistry Corgi
Nothing says influence quite like a scientific campus hound.

Best spot for having an unexpected mental breakdown: fountain behind Murphy Hall
Hidden between Murphy Hall and Vincent Hall on the East Bank, the water fountain surrounded by bike racks and oddly shaped benches offers hideable shelter to shield yourself from other students while the noise of the water covers any much-needed screams — this advice comes from personal experience.

Best spot for an existential crisis: window seat of Campus Connector by way of St. Paul
Something about the University of Minnesota Transitway and some sad music (“Liability” by Lorde) blasting in your headphones on our beloved gopher chariot makes me deeply existential.

Best place to watch a break-up unfold: Bordertown Coffee
Preferably in one of the cubbies by the fireplace.

Best random campus staple: Washington Avenue Bridge shoe tree
Every college campus has its quirks and charm, and at the University, one of those staples is located on the southwest end of the Washington Avenue bridge. At least one hundred pairs of weather-worn sneakers dangle from the branches of a barren tree. A little strange? Maybe. A University staple? Absolutely.

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