Top Five Ways to Fail at Tenting


At Juniata, we just finished another year of tenting – the tradition of waiting in line (and going so far as to tent in that line for a week) for a prized table at our winter formal dinner and dance. You love it or you hate it. So, what are some mistakes that rookies make and what can you keep in mind for next year, if you decide that you want to pitch in on the fun?

  1. Having a noncommittal group: Even if you aren’t taking it seriously, tenting is a commitment. You want to have people that are really involved. Make sure you aren’t the only one organizing your group, making a sleep schedule, and getting up for role calls.
  2. Not actually sleeping: This is a big mistake, especially if you are going to be out for the majority of the week. Friday night is typically the most fun, but it is also the night that you get the least sleep. If you aren’t sleeping during the week, not only are classes going to suck, Friday night is going to be a struggle.
  3. Being way too serious: Tenting is one of the great traditions that makes Juniata Juniata. I still have alumni who talk to me about it, because it is fun. Being too competitive or vindictive doesn’t reflect the Juniata spirit and doesn’t make good memories.
  4. Waiting until the last minute to organize money: A lot of people, in the hype of tenting, forget that you actually have to pay for Madrigal tickets at the end. This can mean some money scrambles at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning or begging the one person in the group with a checkbook to pay for the group. If you organize the money earlier on in the week, it will save a lot of stress later.
  5. Sleeping in a cardboard box: You may laugh, but when I was a naïve freshman, my group of friends and I were tent-less. So, we thought that this would be a great idea. It wasn’t. People still remember this act four years later.  Trust me on that one, just don’t do it. Find a tent.



I'm a senior at Juniata College studying social work. My passions include sign language, traveling, thrifting, reading, and writing. I blog over at and am getting ready for my professional semester!

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