Activities for the Bored Nanook

One thing I’ve noticed that students from outside of Alaska tend to have a hard time with is the cold, dark isolation. Fairbanks is in the middle of the coldest state, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still ways to stay warm and have fun. Seasonal Affective Disorder (sometimes called SAD) is something that affects a number of students at UAF. The Health and Counseling Center is a great resource for being able to talk with someone or check out a full spectrum vitamin D light.

With all the cold and dark days throughout the latter half of the fall semester and beginning part of the spring semester, it’s helpful to have a variety of events to keep students active throughout the year. In the Wood Center there are a number of offices to keep students engaged such as the Associated Students of UAF (ASUAF) or the Student Activities Office (SAO) or the Leadership Involvement Volunteer Experience (LIVE) offices. The Student Rec Center (SRC) also has a number of ways to stay active. Yes, we like our acronyms.

The Associated Student of UAF (ASUAF) office encompasses the student newspaper the Sun Star, the student radio station KSUA 91.5 FM, the Concert Board, and Student Government. You can take advantage of these great services by helping the Sun Star out as a freelance writer or photographer. You can also host your own radio show and share great music with the UAF and Fairbanks community. The concert board brings guest artists up to campus each year. Big names we’ve been fortunate enough to have perform include Matt & Kim, Macklemore, and Walk the Moon.

The Student Activities Office (SAO) puts on a number of events each semester to keep students engaged and social throughout the year. There are three main Nanook Traditions events that have been around for decades and some smaller events that offer UAF students the chance to make friends, break outside their comfort zone, and enjoy their time here in Fairbanks. Bonfires, food, sledding, outdoor ice skating, laser tag, ice dodgeball, movie nights in the pool, mud volleyball, open mic nights, and dancing are just a portion of what students can expect from SAO each year. 

LIVE handles our student clubs and organizations on campus. They host a student org fair each year to help the many different UAF clubs promote their group to the rest of campus. There are two kinds of clubs: academic clubs and special interest clubs. Academic clubs are generally related to a degree program here at UAF, such as the Spanish Club, Great Alaskan Accounting People, Active and Innovative Minds, Society for Women Engineers, or Alaska Native Education Student Association (ANESA). Special interest clubs are more of a hobby or activity that many students care about. Some examples of this might include Chess Club, Arctic Bronies, Quidich Club, and Fencing Club.  

It's okay to feel lonely, intimidated, or bored when you first come to UAF, but after a little while you'll find there are plenty of activities in place to keep students active and happy. My suggestion: attend new student orientation, talk to strangers, make friends, follow UAF departments on Facebook, and attend events. You never know what you may end up enjoying. 

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