1. The Mirror Lake Jump
Although this tradition is not a University sponsored or endorsed event, it dates back to as far as 1969 and undoubtedly puts a smile on any Buckeye’s face as they remember that one time that they jumped (along with 4,000 of their peers) into a freezing cold lake to show their Buckeye pride against that school up North. This tradition is truly one of Ohio State’s weirdest traditions, occurring the Tuesday before “The Game” as well as Thanksgiving Break, and bringing the student body together as they hold hands and jump in a frozen lake in a manner unlike any other school in the nation.
2. Taking the Long Stroll
The Long Stroll is one of Ohio State’s more selective traditions, as it is geared towards those in love. The Long Stroll refers to the Ohio State red brick path leading from the school crest, at the front of the Oval, to the statue of President Orton, at the opposite end of the Oval. If you hold hands with your sweetheart and walk that path, with no crossing your path or walking in front of you both, for the entire walkway, the two of you will be together forever and are destined for marriage. It is not uncommon to see couples, which have successfully made the Long Stroll, form an engagement at the site of the statue.
3. Carrying your “Pocket Buckeye”
It is common knowledge that the token of Ohio State University is the Buckeye, a small poisonous brown nut, and common to the area. It is not a commonly known fact, however, that upon your arrival to campus freshman year, you will be given a Buckeye, called a “Pocket Buckeye.” This will allegedly provide you with good luck and success during not only your time at Ohio State, but throughout your life. This tradition is something that all Buckeye alum’s hold in common, they have their “Pocket Buckeye,” and they have it proudly.
4. Attending the Skull Session
This tradition absolutely makes the list of Ohio State’s weirdest traditions due to its unique-ness to Ohio State. Before each home game, all Buckeye’s- geared up in their finest Scarlett and Grey, march themselves to St. John’s arena to hear the TBDITL (The Best Damn Band In The Land) perform one last practice session immediately before a football game. The cheerleaders will cheer and Skull Session turns into what resembles a pep rally like one that you have never seen before.
5. Partying with the Prez
Until this past academic year, when Dr. Michael Drake took over the largest role on The Ohio State University’s campus: President, Dr. Gordon E. Gee held the position. Dr. Gordon E. Gee (a name that no Buckeye would dare to shorten) made a habit of attending off- campus parties of his fellow Buckeyes. It was a common occurrence to see the President playing beer pong, singing Carmen Ohio, and taking photos with students at their apartments and houses during parties. This quickly became a favorite Buckeye tradition, partying with a little man in a suit and bow tie.
6. Senior Crawl
Cinco de Mayo, 2015: This is a day that, in all honesty, many Buckeyes across the country, recently graduated, do not remember very much of. Why? Because Senior Crawl, that’s why. Senior Crawl, with its own website (osuseniorcrawl.com) and having the self- declared title of “One of OSU’s Greatest Traditions,” is a bar crawl that occurs on the last day of Finals week every year. During this magical day, graduating seniors wake up with a child- like excitement. They put on their white t-shirts and grab their red Sharpie markers and embark on the journey of a lifetime. This bar crawl begins on what is known as North Campus and makes it’s way (slowly) towards the South Campus Gateway area. This 21- and over event I characterized by everyone signing their names, notes, pictures, and farewells on the white t- shirts of the graduating seniors. This send- off is certainly one of Ohio State’s finest traditions as it undoubtedly sends OSU seniors out with a bang.
7. Taking the Freshman on a Haunted Ohio State Tour
The Ohio State University is actually one of the most haunted sites in the state of Ohio. From horror stories of burning elevators, to suicides in dorm rooms, there is no doubt that some frightening stuff has occurred on the OSU campus. That being said, what better way to utilize this information than to frighten the incoming class of freshman? At freshman orientation each year, those brave enough to venture out of their dorm rooms are taken on a haunted tour of the campus after nightfall. This tradition stays with all freshmen until, one day, they eventually pass the buck onto the next incoming class, and with the stories developing more and more each year as years go by and folk tales evolve.
8. Planting a Tree at the Buckeye Grove
Perhaps one of Ohio State University’s strangest traditions is the fact that we reward our All-American football stars with a tree. If an Ohio State football player is named an All- American, a Buckeye tree will be planted in their honor in what is known as Buckeye Grove, a plot of trees located next to Ohio Stadium, better known as “The Shoe.” This is considered of the highest honor that any football player can achieve, as these trees will forever remain a reminder of their days as a proud Buckeye.
9. Covering up all the M’s on campus during Michigan week
Walking to class during the week leading up to “The Game” one will see red tape “X’s” over every single “M” on the Ohio State campus. This is an incredibly time consuming task, as each and every building, sign, bus stop, billboard, and even lecture hall needs to be addressed and handled. Not one single M is left un-crossed. This is taken incredibly seriously. No upstanding Buckeye would even dare to say the “M” word, let alone write an “M.” Students and professors will go so far as to change their Facebook names, twitter handles, and even their email addresses and resumes. This is a Buckeye tradition that un-parallels all others due to the extant students will go to in order to show their Buckeye pride and keep the campus clean of all remnants, no matter how small, from that state up North.
10. Signing your name on the Orton Bell Tower
At the conclusion of spring semester each year, as the senior class prepares themselves for Commencement. During this incredibly exciting time on the Ohio State Campus, a select lucky few will have the honor of climbing the stairs into the Orton Bell Tower, home to the Ohio State Victory bell. These seniors will sign their names on one of the bricks on one of the oldest buildings on campus. This privilege becomes available to a select number of prestigious honor societies, orientation leaders, and other loyal and lucky Buckeyes.
11. Going to Beat the Clock and Toosday
Ohio State University students can be found in two places on any given Tuesday or Friday evening: The O Patio and Pub, or Too’s Under High. Every Friday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, the O Patio and Pub holds what is known as Beat The Clock. During this 21 and over event, beer is two dollars per pitcher at 2:00, three dollars at 3:00, and so forth. This Ohio State tradition is definitely one of the weirdest, as thousands of students flock each week to these two locations to form unforgettable memories of good friends, cheap beer, and buckeye pride.
12. Afro Duck
Afro Duck- The Duck, The Legend. This duck is not just any duck. This duck is unlike any duck out of all of the ducks, in any pond, in any school. This duck is not only an Ohio State tradition; he is an Ohio State celebrity. This duck is, truly, revered amongst the Greats, and will go down in history as such. Now that all that is out of the way… Afro Duck, with his own twitter handle and Facebook page, is a duck (if you haven’t gotten that yet) that resides in Mirror Lake. The Afro, of Afro Duck, has been discussed and hypothesized over by (presumably) thousands of students and faculty alike. The diagnosis? Perhaps Afro- Duck has a tumor, perhaps Afro- Duck has an awesome hairstylist, and perhaps Afro- Duck is simply declaring his dominance over all fellow residents of Mirror Lake. Regardless of the reason behind the Afro, all Buckeyes have been privileged to know this majestic creature.
13. Having a Donut at Buckeye Donuts
Buckeye Donuts is such an Ohio State staple that it would be impossible to discuss Ohio State’s weirdest traditions without including it. Buckeye Donuts, holding the same location on High Street for over 30 years, an offering each and every Ohio State Buckeye a familiar face and a warm donut. The tradition aspect of Buckeye Donuts comes into play when discussing Finals Week, the worst of times during any Buckeye’s time on campus. As if being pressed with finals isn’t bad enough, it can be unanimously agreed upon that the absolute worst part of Finals Week at Ohio State is upwards of 10,000 people all competing for spots to study at, a daunting task that can take hours. Buckeye Donuts, during Finals Week, is the one place on campus that will always have a spot to study, a warm meal, and free- Wi-Fi. The best part? Buckeye Donuts is open for business 24- hours a day.
14. Attending the Welcome Week Concert
Each year to kick off the start of another great year as a Buckeye, the Ohio Union Activities Board presents a free welcome week concert for Ohio State students. This concert brings in the hottest celebrities and stars of that year and brings thousands of students together, oftentimes for the first time. Past concerts have included Big Sean, Two- Chainz, and the Band Perry.