5 Weird College Traditions


Whether you are getting UAB’s bachelors in information systems or a degree in nursing, a lot of colleges have strange and unusual traditions. Many of these traditions date back to different eras, to the beginnings of a schools’ founding – a time when traditions meant something. Sure, these days, traditions don’t mean as much in the grand scheme of things, but when you really think about it, it makes perfect sense for some to carry on in college.

Traditions boost morale, they can boost school spirit and they can enhance healthy social interaction. When you finally get to college, you may not want to balk at some of these traditions, because they could help you assimilate into your college. Indeed, if you don’t partake, it will be hard to make friends, because you will be seen as an outsider. Of course, these traditions are perfectly voluntary, so may want to explore some of the stranger ones before deciding. Here are five weird college traditions.

  1. Dooley Day at Emory University

On a certain day every year, James Dooley enters various classrooms and announces that school’s out for the entire university. This, of course, is Dooley Day at Emory University. While this doesn’t sound too strange, it actually is, because Dooley is a biology class skeleton that was brought to the campus in 1899. It’s one of those strange traditions that has lasted over 100 years.

  1. Rub the Toe at Yale University

Dwight Woolsey was the former president of Yale College in the 1800s. Today, his statue is located on campus. It is said that when you rub the toe of the statue, you will get good luck. Whenever there is an exam or final, you can find many students rubbing Woolsey’s toe.

  1. Birthday Dunk at Occidental College

You never know when you are going to get dunked in the fountain at Occidental College in Los Angeles. All you know is that sometime on your birthday, you will be dunked. It could be when you are fast asleep – your friends could wake you and drag you down to the fountain for a quick dip. While you hope the Birthday Dunk would happen when you are awake, you may not be so lucky this year.

  1. Sod Cemetery at Florida State Cemetery

Did you just mention a sod cemetery? This question gets asked a lot at Florida State. The answer is yes, there is a sod cemetery where actual pieces of sod are buried. Each burial site has its own headstone. The sod usually comes from their football team’s away games and is supposed to bring good luck. Each time the team comes back from a game, the captain brings a piece of the opponent’s sod.

  1. Serenades at Vassar College

The Serenades at Vassar College started innocently enough. It went from the tradition of the freshman singing to the seniors to the freshman baiting the seniors with song and the seniors returning with water balloons. Before food items were thrown, but now there is a strict policy. In the end, the Serenades at Vassar College are one of the more fun traditions, but weird nonetheless.