Posts Tagged ‘campus life’

Colleges with Weird Traditions or Festivals

Every college has its own culture, and with that, strange traditions that rise out of the curious things that can seemingly only happen on a college campus.

These idiosyncratic festivities make up the overall experience and feeling of college and keep the fabric of a college’s community woven together. Plus, they help balance the stress of school with some highly needed fun and general weirdness.

Here are colleges with some of the weirdest and most fun traditions:

Mount Olive College
Mount Olive College, located in Mount Olive, North Carolina, takes to the streets on the last week of April to celebrate the fermented cucumber more commonly known as the pickle. The Pickle Fest, as it’s called, involves copious amounts of pickle eating (of course), canned food drives, a Tour De Pickle, and other fun rides and activities. Whether you consider it a side dish, a snack, or a salty dessert, the pickle is getting the praise it deserves in Mount Olive. We just feel kind of bad for the olive.

College of William and Mary
In a J.K. Rowling-esque tone, the students of William and Mary take part in an annual Yule Log Ceremony just before they scatter for winter break. It’s the holiday tradition where the entire student body gathers in Wren Courtyard as cressets surrounding the area provide light and warmth for the students. Students listen to live holiday music, speakers share holiday traditions, and the college president gives a requisite reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Finals and How the Grinch Stole Christmas while wearing a Santa costume.

Smith College
Since 1877, the women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts has taken part in a strange but lovely tradition called Mountain Day. On an unannounced beautiful fall day, Smith College’s president rings the college bells to give students an unexpected but welcomed break from classes so that they can hike up the Mountain and pick apples.

Reed College
Reed College truly honors education with their tradition called Paideia. The Greek word roughly translates to “education”. So about ten days before Reed’s spring semester begins, the campus takes part in Paideia–a time to enjoy education without academic pressures. Members of the college, from students to faculty to alumni, offer non-credit, informal courses and lectures on an array of topics. It’s learning without the pressure! True paideia.

Carleton College
A bust of German poet Friedrich Von Schiller that has flown on Air Force One, been dangled from a helicopter, signed by former President Bill Clinton, and most impressively made a cameo on the Colbert Report, is part of a long-running tradition at Carleton College. Since 1957, the students at Carleton take turns “stealing” and displaying the bust around campus. There are few rules to the game, but if the keeper of the Schiller bust is touched while holding the bust, he or she must immediately relinquish ownership without struggle. If you ever come across the bust, you know you’ve been “Schillered”.

Carleton College is just ripe with weird and great traditions. There’s also the baking cookies at Dacie’s tradition, where Carleton students honor the long-time Carleton employee, Dacie Moses’s, legacy of inviting students to her house for cookies and conversation. Dacie donated the house to  Carleton College on the condition that it be used in continuing her cookies and a chat institution. What a yummy tradition.

Scripps College
The highly ranked progressive women’s college knows how to keep that old school touch alive with their tradition of afternoon tea. Every Wednesday afternoon during the school year, Scripps hold afternoon tea in the beautiful Seal Court. Surrounded by a fountain and mosaic murals, the Scripps students can relax, chat, and even have one-on-one discussions with professors while sipping on some tea.

Oak Hills Christian College
Aptly named The Man and the Lake, the Oak Hills tradition follows that after a classmate’s engagement, the groom-to-be is thrown by his classmates into the campus lake. Friends of the betrothed carry him from his dorm to the dock and ask him two questions: “Do you love her?” and “Is she worth it?”.  Say “yes” to both and your friends will most lovingly toss you into the cold Minnesota lake.

Pomona College
A surf and turf tradition known as Ski-Beach takes the students of Pomona College to opposite paradises in the same day. The Ski-Beach tradition takes a busload of Pomona students wearing serious winter gear up to the slops of Mountain High resort in the AM. By the afternoon, the students get back on the bus and head for the beach for a cookout, some swimming, and good old fashion beach time.

Does your school have a tradition we can add to the list? Leave a comment below to share!

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7 College Campus Stereotypes

Categories: College Life

I bet you all the spare change on my desk that when you get to college, you will come across at least five of the seven stereotypes I’m about to explore.

Nobody likes to be grouped into a stereotype, but sometimes, the truth just speaks for itself, and definitely in the case of a college campus. I’m not sure if it’s something in the soft serve of the dorm cafeterias or what, but there’s something about a college campus that universally produces these stereotypes in sleeper cells who, before entering college, showed little to no sign of the following stereotypes until after they fully move into their dorms and say ‘goodbye’ to their parents:

1. Library Sleepover Guy/Girl
This character is the one who strangely prefers the claustrophobic space under a desk in the university library over the down comfortable and padded mattress of their own bed. Why would this be? Good question, and it’s fairly difficult to answer, coming from a pro-bed disposition, but I believe it has something to do with the cozy atmosphere of a library, especially if you’ve been in there for hours. The soft whispers, the fall-leaf crinkle of pages turning, the hypnotic melody of your peers typing term papers, the asbestos in the walls, you know. It’s certainly enough to get you to doze off–not to mention that you’ve been in there for 29 hours already and have just gone mad and are confusing the library for your bedroom.

2. Guy Who says “Work hard; play hard” Way Too Often
This phrase should’ve burnt out with the 80s, but unfortunately, it’s going strong among a small population. This person likes to, well, work hard, and then play hard. They’re usually the ones somehow able to function with a level 5 hangover. Allowing them to, you know, workhardplayhard.

3. Mr./Ms. Moocher
Whether it’s another precious Diet Coke from your mini fridge, or notes from American Culture 101, there is always somebody willing to catch a free ride. Sure, one Diet Coke is nothing. But soon, the Diet Cokes add up and eventually you’re basically helping your friend slide through class without lifting a finger–or buying the text book! Did that metaphor get mixed up? You get it.

4. The Unexpected Party Animal
This person was on 24-hour patrol by their parents before shipping off to college. The freedom is often jarring and catapults this usually in-bed-by-9pm type into crazy party animal behaviors. Don’t worry though, they’ll get the balance sooner or later.

5. Wait, They’ve Found Signs of Life Outside the Greek Bubble?
What’s most interesting is that even though nobody’s born into the Greek system, a certain group of people completely disregard the life they led before going Greek and treat non-Greek people as if they’re lost puppies without homes. Let them live in their little dream worlds. It’s cute and stupid. But mostly cute. And also stupid.

6. The Unassuming Genius
This is the best one. You’ll be asking a homework question to yourself out loud, like “Wait, so what’s the dif between diamond and graphite?” And your roommate who happens to be watching Real Housewives of Orange County because that’s what she does ALL day, says, “They are chemically identical–completely carbon-based– but their bonding patterns, graphite being held together like sheets, and diamond created from 4 incredibly strong covalent bonds result in completely different materials. The graphite in your pencil is writing this all down because the sheets can slide off easily since they’re only held be weaker Van der Waal bonds,” she says without looking away from the television. Kinda nice to have on tap.

7. Person Who Thinks That They’re the Only One in a Hard Class with A Lot of Work
This stereotype cannot get it through their heads that they are not the only ones on campus to be in a class that requires some hard work. It’s really annoying, but usually these types have a bunch of other redeeming qualities you can concentrate on. Usually.

Any stereotypes we’re missing? What would you be considered on campus? 

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College Football Top 20 Fun Facts

Categories: College Life

It’s that time of year where everyone’s catching the college football bug. Whether you’re a fan of the game, or just a fan of school spirit, you can’t help but get excited about all the “RA RA” on campuses across the country.

So without further ado, here’s a list of fun facts about the schools in college football’s top 20. If you visit or apply to any one of these school’s, you need not worry about what you’ll be doing on Saturdays:

1. University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)Fun fact-The Oklahoma administration prides itself on the aesthetic appeal of its 3,000 acre campus which has a lot of Native American influence.

2. University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Fun fact-Alabama’s mascot is “Big Al” the Elephant. His origins date back to 1930 when a sports writer heard a fan yell “Hold your horses, the elephants are coming!” as the first team ran onto the field.

3. Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Fun fact-The school was founded in 1853 as the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy.

4. Boise State University (Boise, ID)
Fun fact-Their football team plays on blue astroturf that is nicknamed “The Smurf Turf.”

5. Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
Fun fact-It was declared in 2010 to be a “Budget Ivy” university by the Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College.

6. Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
Fun fact-The College’s official name is The Leland Stanford Junior University and has an endowment of 13.8 billion dollars. Stanford also boasts having 16 Noble Prize winning graduates.

7. University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)Fun fact-The popular comedic news source “The Onion” was founded by Wisconsin students on campus in 1988.

8. Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
Fun fact-Historically renowned programs include its College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The College of Engineering is also internationally renowned in the fields of architecture and mechanical engineering.

9. Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)
Fun fact-A&M ranks in the top 20 American research institutes in terms of funding and has made notable contributions to such fields as animal cloning and petroleum engineering.

10. University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE)
Fun fact-As of 2009, the University’s cafeterias no longer provide trays to the students, a program implemented to reduce organic waste and save money.

11. University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC):
Fun fact-South Carolina has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its research and engagement,has received a Top-10 ranking from U.S. News & World Report for being “most promising and innovative,” and for decades has received annual recognition for its prestigious undergraduate and graduate International Business programs.

12. University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
Fun fact-UO is the home of the Oregon Bach Festival, a donor-supported program of the University and the only major music festival affiliated with an American university.

13. Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
Fun fact-Tech is one of the few public universities in the United States that maintains a corps of cadets.

14. University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
Fun fact-The University of Arkansas recently completed its “Campaign for the 21st Century,” in which the university raised more than $1 billion for the school, used in part to create a new Honors College and significantly increase the university’s endowment.

15. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
Fun fact-MSU pioneered the studies of packaging, hospitality business, telecommunication and music therapy. Today its study-abroad program is the largest of any single-campus university in the country, offering more than 200 programs in more than 60 countries on all continents including Antarctica.

16. University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
Fun fact-Florida was ranked second in Kiplinger’s 2009 “Best Buys of Education” (behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

17. Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
Fun fact-Students and alumni often refer to OSU as The Ohio State University. “The” is actually an acronym that stands for Tradition, Honor, and Excellence.

18. West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
Fun fact-A new Mountaineer Mascot is selected each year during the final two men’s home basketball games. The new Mountaineer receives a scholarship, a tailor-made buckskin suit with coonskin hat, and a period rifle and powder horn. The mascot travels with most sports teams throughout the academic year. While not required, male mascots traditionally grow a beard.

19. Baylor University (Waco, TX)
Fun fact-Baylor was originally founded as a Southern Baptist college by the first Baptist missionaries in Texas.

20. University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)
Fun fact-USF is one of the nation’s top centers for the advancement in research of treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

Have you been watching college football? Who are you rooting for?