Homecoming is important for a lot of reasons. 1.) Regardless of where you go to school it’s a universally wild time 2.) the weekend will supply you with greaaat stories to tell your grandchildren 3.) but most of all, it’s an entire weekend dedicated to friendship, traditions and camaraderie you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
This year, as I was pushing a bed down a street and running faster than I have since chasing boys on the playground, I realized something:
This is really weird.
An experience of a lifetime, or not, college homecomings have some of the craziest traditions I’ve ever heard of in my life. Almost every school has something that made me go, “…you do WHAT?”
But which schools go above and beyond? Check out some of the wildest college homecoming traditions I found that bring alumni running back to campuses all across the country.
University of Missouri
As the credited “inventors” of college homecoming, you know Mizzou goes all out. In addition to hosting the nation’s largest multi-day blood drive during homecoming week, their homecoming parade also puts all others to shame. You can even find a map of where to find “Campus Decorations,” huge boards decorated by Greek life, food vendors, and participating organizations.
University of Central Florida
They definitely know how to take advantage of the warm weather down south. Every homecoming week starts off with a “Duck Splash” or “Spirit Splash” which is as fun as it sounds. Students all rush the gigantic fountain at the center of campus and jump in. Obviously a huge party ensues afterwards. This event is so popular, the National Association for Campus awarded it Best Campus Tradition in 2011.
Brigham Young University
Always wanted to scale a mountain? How about in the dark? Then you’re in luck! One of Brigham Young’s most noted homecoming traditions is for students to hike to the top of the “Y” mountain with light bulbs. Students who make it to the top have the honor of lighting up the 380 foot high Y with over 200 light bulbs.
Kent State University
While perhaps not the craziest tradition of them all, this has got to be one of the cutest. During homecoming week, Kent State has an annual “Kiss on the K” where alumni couples and current students gather on the giant K in the plaza to all kiss their significant other at the same time. Talk about relationship goals.
South Dakota State University
Want an excuse to wear that old pair of sweatpants your roommates keep saying you need to throw out? SDSU’s homecoming week culminates in Hobo Day, where students dress up as hobos and compete in related activities such as the Hobo Olympics. The event has gathered so much attention; during past election years politicians have competed to be able to march in the Hobo Day parade.
Ball State University
I’m a little biased, but Ball State’s Homecoming is definitely my favorite. The best part is that it’s not just for fraternities and sororities, but for all student organizations on campus. One of Ball State’s craziest competitions is Air Jam, a lip-syncing competition that sells out an over-3000 seat auditorium. Not enough for you? Well then there’s also Bed Races…which is exactly what it sounds like. Teams of 5 (4 to push and 1 to ride) gather to race beds down one of the main campus roads. It’s taken incredibly seriously. Just watch the video below if you want proof.