Student Life

The Wackiest College Traditions

Wait…they do what now?

Student Contributor, Piper Megellas

June 10, 2024

The Wackiest College Traditions
College is more than just cramming for exams and studying. Your college experience is defined by the friends you make, the extracurriculars you participate in, and the traditions that surround you. Lots of colleges share common traditions, like Halloween parties and a pre-finals primal scream. Some colleges, however, get a little creative with their traditions.

Weird College Traditions

Here are some of the weirdest college traditions that still exist today.

North Carolina State Krispy Kreme Challenge

If your idea of perfect is a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, this might be the greatest tradition for you! That is, if you’re also stoked about the idea of running five miles. In NC State’s Krispy Kreme challenge, students run two and a half miles to the nearest Krispy Kreme, devour twelve donuts, and run back to campus, all within an hour. The tradition is also a fundraiser that has raised over $2 million since its conception in 2004.

Cornell University's Dragon Day

One of the oldest traditions on this list, Dragon Day can be traced back over a century. During the tradition, students from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning construct a large dragon and parade it across the quad where it will meet - and battle an opposing phoenix, representing students at the College of Engineering.

Swarthmore’s Screw Your Roommate

The “Screw your Roommate” tradition from Swarthmore is a slightly different take on blind dating. In this tradition, students set their roommate up with another student and arrange for them to have matching costumes.
Past costumes include Romeo and Juliet, batteries and the Energizer Bunny, and a dog and a fire hydrant. Then, the two lovebirds-to-be head to the dining hall to hunt down their match (and hope that the night is a success and not downright awkward).

Brown University’s Fictional Professor

Who says that your favorite professor needs to be real? Not students at Brown, who have been spinning stories about fictional professor Josiah S. Carberry for almost a hundred years. The fabled professor is an expert in the field of psychoceramics - the study of cracked pots.

Elon University’s Festivus

Festivus is a student-ran tradition at Elon University that was established in 2003. Taking place at student apartments, students during Festivus cover the ground in water and play and wrestle in the mud. The tradition soon turned into a full party, with hundreds of attendees each year.

Barnard College’s Big Sub

Once a year, students at Barnard College work to create the largest sub sandwich that they can. In 2022, the sandwich was 750 feet long and weighed nearly a ton. Dig in, I guess?

UC Davis’s Picnic Day

The UC Davis Picnic Day is an annual field day event that consists of a variety of vendors, games, and activities. Common activities include a dachshund race and milking cows. These creative forms of entertainment are sure to keep students on their toes.

University of Chicago’s Kuvia

Kuvia, short for Kuviasungnerk, the Inuit word for “pursuit of happiness,” is an early-winter festival intended to get students moving despite the harsh Chicago winter. This tradition is not for the night owls. During Kuvia, students take classes on different forms of movement, like dance and yoga, at 6 am for a week. The week ends with a cold plunge into Lake Michigan.

Notre Dame’s Run of the Gingers

What better time to celebrate your ginger friends than St. Patrick’s Day? This is certainly the option at Notre Dame University, where redheads gather each March to complete a traditional run. Ginger students at the school even train for the event each year.

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