Tips for Grads: Take your degree and run with it!

By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student

I type the following words with utter disbelief: We are mere days away from the start of the fall 2022 semester! While I am slightly unnerved by how quickly the summer went, I welcome the new academic year and look forward to all it has to offer.

If you’re like me, you’ve got a checklist going of everything you need to do before classes start next Wednesday. The first thing on my list? The Degree Dash! With the option to choose the 1.94- or 5.07-mile race route, receive giveaways, and gather with the graduate education community before the start of classes, I am so excited to hit the ground running, literally, on September 2!

Here are four reasons you should join me for the Degree Dash:

  • You can see the campus at its most beautiful: Coming from someone who usually tries very hard not to be places at 8 in the morning, believe me when I say there’s nothing like the view of the UW–Madison campus on a summer morning. Both race routes trace along Lake Mendota, and begin and end at Library Mall.
  • You don’t have to be an athlete: Know how I know? Because I most certainly am not an athlete, and I will be there! All are welcome to run, jog, or walk the race route. And yes, you can be a doctoral student and run the Master’s Mile, or be a master’s student and run the Doctoral Derby. Which is great news for me, a PhD student, who does not plan to run more than 2 miles at this time.
  • You can bring everyone: The race route is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and the Degree Dash is open to all graduate students, faculty, staff, and their families. You can go it alone or bring your friends and family for a beautiful morning to celebrate the start of the new semester!
  • You’re doing something good for you: From every angle, this event checks a lot of boxes. Whether you’re looking to spend more time outside, meet new people, or just invest more time in your personal wellness, the Degree Dash is perfect!

Registration for this free event is required and closes at 3 pm on Thursday, September 1.

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.