Whether it’s the UP Lantern Parade or the UST Paskuhan, every university has a tradition all students even those who have already graduated look forward to. Whether you’re a freshman or someone who graduated five years ago, there is always something that will bring you back to your school.
But college traditions don’t always have to mean something imposed by the university; tradition can be found even in the smallest things, things that will make your college life unique and memorable, and something to look back years or even decades later:
1. Lining up for readings
Sure, most professors these days will save you time, energy, and paper by sending you a link to their readings (read: an assigned article or chapter for you, future college students), which you can easily download on your tablet or laptop for reading. But there will always be one professor who will tell you to go to a specific photocopier within the school to get your required materials for their class.
This may seem trivial, but this act of lining up for readings is one of the hallmarks of college life; it is the start of independence on your part, especially since college professors are not known for coddling students. You might even get the wrong readings at first, because your professor has multiple classes and you end up reading something for a 200-level class, but once you get the hang of it (and get to know the photocopier’s name), lining up for readings is one tradition you might look back with fondness.
2. Your unofficial tambayan
College organizations have assigned tambayan or meeting places; they range from small offices inside the building or simple tables beside the cafeteria with their names on it. Nevertheless, these places are where a lot of memories are made. You will see people hanging out, taking naps, talking, organizing events, studying, or just killing time, as the name suggests.
But if you’re a lone wolf who doesn’t prefer joining an organization or a club, there are tons of other places for you to make (unofficially) your own. It can be a specific spot in your library, the third bench across your favorite canteen, the quiet hallway no one really uses but has an open socket that you can use, or even the specific patch of grass underneath a tree where you get shade and warmth at the same time. Even if it doesn’t have your name on it, you’ll make these places your own with your memories.
3. Hell Week
Hell Week is the last three weeks or so of the semester, where all deadlines are looming and all exams are somehow within just hours of each other. The library is quieter because everyone is internally panicking while studying, and outside you can hear groans of frustrations from your fellow students. Faculty lounges and offices are busier with students asking for deadline extensions, special exams, and other requirements.
Hell Week is the final boss of the semester, the last hurdle to get through before the break. Getting through it is a feat and your victory will be sweet.
The memories of this tradition (which you will experience a whopping 8 times in a regular 4-year course) will forever stay with you, and will always be a constant reminder of how you can survive the world when you finally graduate.
College traditions don’t always have to mean bright parades and loud events; they don’t have to mean drinking your weight in beer or partying until the sun comes up. Sometimes traditions are hard, small, or trivial. But when you look back, these are the things that you will remember, and these are the things that will matter.