Terps get perks.
But there are some things that Terps must know in UMD.
Also some things in UMD really made a good impression.


First-Look Fair : Sports, Clubs and Societies

This day is where clubs set up booths to attract new members. You’ll find some interesting clubs promoting themselves.

Don’t forget to take free loot.

Setting up clubs, getting funding, and joining them is a really easy process in UMD. As such, it is not strange to find esoteric clubs with very niche interests such as beekeeping and juggling. It was entertaining to walk past the juggling club while they practice on the way to some of my classes.


Mental Health Fair : Pet the Doggos

Bouncy castles and therapy dogs for all to enjoy for a day.

The only reason for me to touch grass.

This handsome boy is named Samuel L. Jackson. Contrary to expectations, he is very docile and allows even the most active kids to pet him.

Homecoming : Fight for Scarf

A special day where alumni return to UMD to celebrate the Terp spirit. More opportunities to grab more freebies such as an annual homecoming scarf given only to 400 people on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Enjoy the Terp Carnival and celebrate what it means to be a Terp. Go Terp!

Weird spots

There are rumours of haunted areas in school, but I won’t talk about those. Here’s a Ghost map of the school if you are interested in that kind of thing. The following spots are what interests me more than ghost stories though.

Point of Failure

Image from https://foursquare.com/v/point-of-failure/5214ed9211d28a0314f2161d

This unassuming area of the school near the Shoemaker building has a devastating past. In the history of UMD, there was a great fire in 1912, which ravaged all buildings except for Morrill Hall.

This compass was the center of the campus when this fire took place. The lines each point at a building which was destroyed during the fire.

The point of intersection of the lines is known as the Point of Failure. Legend has it that those who step on this point will not graduate in four years.

Not sure if exchange students are exempted from this.

Journal bench

feat. Siu Chu (‘24), Sam Karkowski (‘23), Jane Mendez (‘24) (or a group of kaypoh Americans reading other people’s suicide notes)

This bench right outside the chapel contains a journal tucked at the bottom. Anyone can sit at the bench and enjoy the peace and quiet, and pen down any thoughts.

You can find people’s doodles, rants, confessions and suicide notes if you flip through the pages.

Perks and Impressive Efforts

Health services

UMD has a health centre right in campus. You can make appointments in their portal or walk-in and get accessible healthcare whenever, with no need to go outside campus for non-emergency issues.

Aside from medical needs and consultations, the health center offers other paid services such as massages and acupuncture. Though I did not pay for them, knowing the option exists right in campus is honestly impressive.

Free menstrual products

Menstrual product dispensers are found at every female toilet in all the academic buildings that I had visited.

Not only are menstrual products accessible, they are recognised as a necessity and given out free with just the push of a button.

Given that I will be very willing to give a few cents to salvage an emergency, I am really impressed with UMD’s efforts.


Composting and recycling

Wherever I go, three different bins are always nearby: landfill, recycling, and compost. Composting is something I hardly see in Singapore, so knowing that such an extensive composting effort exists here is really interesting.

To add on, most grocery bags are made of paper, and most takeaway packaging are also compostable. Instead of styrofoam and plastic that we see a lot in Singapore, I see a lot of effort into making as much single-use products compostable as possible.

ADS note-taking

At the beginning of the semester, my HASS course instructor put out an email to the class saying someone in class has a special need and is requesting for note-takers. I have never seen such an initiative before. The website for this service and more is here: https://counseling.umd.edu/ads. They provide students with disabilities and accessibility difficulties with accommodations.

They provide a small sum of compensation to note-takers who volunteer to upload notes to the portal. I volunteered to take notes and upload them regularly for my HASS subject. While I did not take compensation, I was still really impressed with this service and I feel that this is a great initiative to help those in need.

I am glad to be of help for someone in need for just one semester.


That’s it for stuff to know about being a Terp, and things that really made a lasting impression on me.

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