11. Columbia University: Orgo Night
The night before the organic chemistry final, the Columbia Marching Band busts into the school library and makes an absolute ruckus (perhaps to lower the curve on the exam?), then parades around campus playing.
10. Georgetown University: the Healy Howl
On Halloween, after watching The Exorcist – which was filmed at Georgetown – students meet near the cemetery by Healy Hall and ho(ooooo)wl at the moon.
9. University of Pennsylvania: Throwing Toast
UPenn fans toss toast onto their football field during during the third quarter. They used to take an alcoholic toast, but Prohibition had to go and ruin the fun as usual. Inspired by the Rocky Horror picture show, students tossed bread instead.
8. Stanford University: Full Moon on the Quad
This started as a cute way to welcome freshmen to campus – senior guys would line up and give freshman girls a kiss on the cheek and a rose. Now, it’s much more inclusive. Everyone kisses everyone! They offer mouthwash, which is nice.
7. University of Virginia: Streaking the Lawn
There are many disputed and discontinued collegiate naked running traditions (see Tufts, UNC, University of Michigan), but none of them boast a mid-run kiss on the behind of a statue of Homer. That is, except for UVA’s naked run – the true Odyssey, if you will.
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Pumpkin Drop
The Saturday before Halloween, pumpkins are dropped off of the tallest building on MIT campus (and in Cambridge) to the awe of huge crowds. You know, because of science and physics and stuff.
5. Dartmouth College: Polar Bear Swim
In February, students leap into a hole cut out of ice on the Occom Pond, and swim across it. Seems that winters in New Hampshire can mess with your self-preservation impulses.
4. Carleton College: Primal Scream
The night before finals, students all take a moment to “let out a collective unearthly wail of anguish and despair.” If that doesn’t perfectly describe finals, nothing does.
(Though you’ll feel less despair if you use Boundless online textbooks and study tools.)
3. California Institute of Technology: Ditch Day
It started simply – Caltech seniors all just took a day off. But the underclassmen started to prank senior rooms while they were gone, so seniors took some security measures; they made complicated puzzles that kept the underclassmen too busy to prank them.
2. Cornell University: Dragon Day
First-year architecture students build a giant dragon and parade it to the Arts Quad, where it is ceremoniously eaten by fire. Engineering students heckle the architecture students, because there’s a rivalry between them … okay, Cornell.
1. Pomona College: Ski/Beach Day
There is a simple explanation for this one: “only in Southern California.” Students go skiing in the morning, then travel to the beach for the afternoon. Cue the jealousy.
Does your school have an awesome tradition? Share it in the comments!