10 campus traditions every freshman should participate in


Daily Illini File Photo

Students in Block cheer on athletes during a football game.

By Claire Hettinger, News editor

Hettinger, Claire

Freshman year is a wonderful time to spread your wings and try new things. But some of these new things that every freshman should try have been around for generations of Illini.

These are 10 of the ways you can participate in the countless campus traditions that all new students should enjoy.

Go to Quad day and sign up for too many clubs

This is one of the first steps for getting involved on campus. Quad day takes place the Sunday before school starts and is a major event. Almost every club had a booth set up to answer questions and sign people up for the newsletters. And yes you’ll still get the ballroom dancing emails three years later but you never know, you might go one of these times and you might love it.

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Participate in the dorky dorm events

I know you’re trying to be cool, you’re fresh out of high school and you’re in the big league now. The dorm events seem dorky, and they kind of are, but it’s a good way to meet people. And even if the people you meet at, for example, Allen Hall friendship speed dating, don’t end up in your wedding, you might find someone to sit by at lunch or to get notes from in class. It’s worth a try and you won’t regret it.

Try out the bar scene

Ride the rail at legend’s, go to wine night at the clybourne, get a fishbowl at firehaus, and of course drink a blue guy from Kam’s. Even if you don’t drink much, the campus nightlife takes place at these fine establishments. So once you turn 19 hit the town and see what you think.

Rub Abraham Lincoln’s nose in Lincoln Hall

   This statue is hard to miss with a shiny gold spot for a nose. The tradition goes that students should rub lincoln’s nose for good luck and you should. Whether you get good luck or not during finals week you’ll need all the help you can get.

Sit in the Block I at a football game

Keep an eye out on your email because Block-I tickets usually go on sale over the summer and you can get them much cheaper now than in the fall. This year especially, the football team should be good with the new head coach Lovie Smith. But even if the team sucks and doesn’t win a game, sitting in Block-I and getting to participate in the traditions of making the pictures and singing the songs isn’t something students should not miss out on. The music is loud and the cheering is louder whether or not the team scores a point.

Celebrate Unofficial: the official drinking holiday of the student population

The day is filled with fun and memories despite the sometimes bad reputation. As long as you stay safe and don’t be a drunken fool in front of the police you should have a great time.


Get a picture by Alma Mater

Get a picture freshman year and then pose again senior year and at graduation to compare how you’ve changed during your time on campus. Alma Mater is an important campus tradition that represents the education you receive and the successful completion of your degree.

Attend an event at Krannert

The Krannert Center for Performing Arts will have many wonderful events throughout your time here on campus. It’s a world class performing center that offers student tickets to almost every show. From Supreme court justices, to the Elnora guitar festival, Krannert is a great place you’ll want to take advantage of during your time on campus.

Do homework on the Quad

Nothing feels more like college than sitting on the Quad and doing homework. Take a minute and appreciate all that campus has to offer by sitting back and enjoying the view from the Main Quad. Whether it be in the summer, as the leaves drop in the fall or to participate in a snowball fight in the winter, make sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful landscape around you.

4_eternal flame

Kiss someone by the eternal flame

This is the cheesy part of the campus tour that points out the little bench between the English Building and Lincoln Hall and says to kiss someone by the light post.

It’s funny to purposely kiss someone by a flame that used to be eternal but now flickers on and off but hey, what can you expect it’s college. Either way it’s fun to participate in the tradition and you never know if it will make your dreams come true.

Claire is a senior in Media.

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