Written by: Austin Sandmeyer

Congratulations! By some stuck of luck and fortune, you are lucky enough to call the Fargo-Moorhead region home for the next four years. Let me be one of the first to welcome you to this amazing area where college students are plentiful, fall is beautiful, and winter is just an excuse to drink more coffee to stay warm.

I’ve been able to call this place home for four years now, and I’m just now understanding all of the amazing pieces it can offer. So, with that in mind, I want to share six things you must do your freshmen year:

Explore your Campus


This is probably where you’ll be calling home for the next four years. Explore your campus, whether that’s NDSU, Concordia, MSUM, or anywhere else. As an NDSU student the babbling brook is definitely a tourist trap but every so often you might need it to unwind and relax. I recommend grabbing some green space by the High Rises Volleyball court. If you’re calling Concordia home, watch out for the Bell Tower and enjoy one of the most scenic campuses in the area.

Check out the Market

You might not have a kitchen to do that much cooking in, but you can always pretend. The Red River Market is a classic farmers market with some of the best twists including delicious food vendors, sweets, and of course, vegetables and fruit. As with most Farmers Markets, the best stuff goes first – so get there early!

Attend 1 Million Cups

Get ready for some piping hot coffee and an inspiring talk with leaders from the community. 1 Million Cups is every Wednesday mornings 9:15–10:15 at the Stage at Island Park. Developed by the Kauffman Foundation and focusing on the notion of driving meaningful connections over delicious coffee, this event is incredibly fun. Bring a friend and your own mug because they’re pouring Twenty Below coffee!

Take a walk Downtown

If you love the outdoors or even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy the riverwalk downtown. I personally recommend starting the river walk at Dike East and heading south. Take it in early fall, and you’ll get all the benefits of walking northern Minnesota without having to climb any mountains. Grab a friend, grab a coffee, and enjoy the afternoon.

Find “your” Coffee Spot

As the early mornings and late nights begin to make you cranky, you might want to try some coffee. And as luck would have it, you’re in the coffee capital of the area (unofficial). From Babb’s Coffee House Downtown Fargo to Moxie Java in Moorhead, there is a whole list of coffee shops ready to help you find your favorite brew. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of just some in the area: Atomic Coffee, Stumbeano’s, Twenty Below, Young Blood Coffee, Red Raven Espresso Parlor, Starbucks, Caribou, and so many others. Believe me, you’ll find something you like.

Attend a Football game

This is a major event and you better prepare yourself. Since I attended NDSU, I have a passion for a nice crisp fall morning, running to Stumbeano’s Coffee, grabbing some Sandy’s donuts from downtown, and meeting my friends to be one of the first ones in when the students rush the Dome. I haven’t had the pleasure of attending any Concordia or Dragon games yet, but you can’t go wrong with college football in the Fall. Don’t forget to explore the tailgating areas!

It should be said that this list doesn’t include the obvious ones, like go to class and call the parents. Check these out and you’re bound to be calling Fargo-Moorhead home in no time.

Emerging Prairie