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Accepting Traditions and Rituals for the Newcomers

Every university is different, they all have different characteristics, levels of teaching, range of majors, subjects, clubs. Moreover, every college or university has own spirit. You may notice that there is always something in common between people who are studying or have graduated from the same place. This spirit is created by millions of small things, but traditions play a huge role in that process. Quite often, after all the excitement about getting accepted, worries about new life and its upcoming difficulties, arriving to the campus and getting ready to the school year, one more thing is waiting for freshmen. Many universities have accepting traditions: certain rituals newcomers must go through in order to finally call him/herself a student of this particular university. Here are some of those traditions.


Folder on your head

There is quite a strange tradition in one of the Portuguese universities. Freshmen are expected to bend their knees on the grass in front of the university, put their head on the ground and cover it with a folder. After that, an older student walks around all the bended young people and tells them some kinds of perceptions and pieces of advice. It’s interesting, what is the story behind this unusual tradition? You would probably have to go to Portugal and find out!

Fair and pub crawl

In Finland a big celebration takes place, congratulating young people on becoming students. The day starts with a great fair, but there is something very special about it – you are not able to use money. To get something you need to exchange it on your good or product. What a great idea for improving communication skills and meeting new people! There are a lot of games and competitions at that fair, including a computer game championship and a tug-of-war. In the evening it is time for a costume carnival, where students take part in a quest, moving from one point to another (most of those points are situated in pubs and clubs) and performing various fun tasks. The big celebration ends with a great concert of popular bands. Seems like something you would love to be a part of, isn’t it? Students in Finland are so lucky!

Raisins and shaving foam

In one of the Scottish universities there was an old tradition, according to which freshmen were supposed to get some raisins for the elder students. If you wouldn’t agree on that, you would be thrown into a fountain. The tradition has transformed through the years. Today the elder students would be glad to receive a bottle of wine and everyone is having loads of fun covering each other with shaving foam. Quite an unusual way to start getting your higher education, isn’t it?

Show your underwear and dress up

In one of the American universities there is a tradition that freshmen have to undress and stay only in their underwear (of course that happens after the official part is over). In the other one everything happens in the opposite way – freshmen are offered to try on Masters’ uniform, with vests and bow-ties, so that they can feel from the very beginning what it is like – to be a graduate.

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