1. Drink from the Old Well on FDOC: legend has it that if you drink from the Old Well on FDOC, you will receive a 4.0 that semester. Plus, sometimes there’s people giving out freebies if you head over in the morning! If there’s a possibility of it being true, are you really going to risk it?
2. Fall Fest: Think of a job fair, but with clubs, free food, and free entertainment. And not super nerve-wracking. Pretty much every club and organization on campus will be found there, vying for your attention. Even if you have no interest in clubs, it’s a tradition to always head on out.
3. Go to hell Duke: Now, if you read the Alma Mater, it ends with “ra, ra, Carolina,” but that’s nonsense. There’s not a single fan or student who ends it that way. You always, always, always yell “go to hell Duke” at the end. Always, without fail. Yell extra loud if we just beat them!
4. Davis Streakers: At midnight on the night before the first exams, a group (you’re welcome to join) of students congregate at the top of Davis Library to strip down and run through every floor, and across the pit to the UL where they sing the Alma Mater. You’re welcome to join or to watch, but it’s a tradition that, although strange, everyone always enjoys.
5. Late Night with Roy: To kick off the basketball season, everyone goes to the Dean Dome to watch skits, dances, songs, and a scrimmage. It’s basically a preview of all to come with our Tar Heels (which are the national champs, as you will be reminded a million times over).
6. Gimghoul Castle: Out past the east side of campus by Battle Park and the Forest Theatre there is a castle that nobody knows too much about. It’s supposedly owned by the Order of the Gimghoul, some secret organization tied to UNC. You can’t get inside, but it’s pretty spooky to see. The lore is well-known on campus: it involves love, a death match, and a rock.
7. Halloween on Franklin: By the time you arrive every fall, people will already be talking about their Halloween costumes. Halloween on Franklin Street is no joke-people take it very seriously, including the local police. They shut down the road for a few hours for people to roam the streets and show off the very best costumes. Prepare to have your mind blown.
8. Rushing Franklin: Speaking of shutting down Franklin Street, whenever UNC has a big game win (or a handful of other events according to the documentation) everyone will run (literally run) to Franklin Street and party. Last year after we won the championship the road was packed to capacity, with bonfires, fireworks, and people at the very top of trees and lighting posts.
9. Late Night at Lenoir: For one or two days every exam week, late night moves to Lenoir instead of Ram’s Head (Chase). You can expect breakfast cereal mascots, actually good food, a DJ who plays too loud, and an ENTIRE CANDY/SWEETS BAR. Expect the line to be out the door, so come early or extra late.
10. Climbing the Bell Tower: Your senior year, you are given the chance to climb the Bell Tower and sign your name on the walls inside. Don’t pass it up- it’ll be there forever!
11. Protest: It’s no secret UNC is a liberal and socially/politically active school. There’s plenty of protests, and participating in one is practically a rite of passage. Anything that we might be unhappy about will almost certainly have 5 protests organized on Facebook within the hour.
12. Bricks: The first time you walk on campus, you’ll notice the bricks immediately. You will trip on them at least 10 times during your time at UNC. However, the tradition here is stealing one: if you pay attention, you’ll notice lots of missing ones that people have taken to keep in their rooms.
13. YoPo: Down the road from campus is a hole-in-the-wall frozen yogurt shop called The Yogurt Pump. It becomes a social imperative to fall in love with it quickly, as it will be constantly offered up as the go-to meet up. Expect long lines, cheap prices, and lots of yummy rotating flavors. Tar Heels have been going there for years, and it’s unlikely to change any time soon.
14. Tradition of Superstition: Everyone knows that UNC is very big about superstition. If there is anything that you did specifically on a day we won, twice in a row, you do it every game. If you do something more than once and we lose, you never do it again. Break that and prepare to be single-handedly blamed for every loss for the rest of eternity.
15. Graduation/Commencement: The ultimate tradition at UNC: graduating. Of all our traditions, this one has the largest participation rate. 🙂