I just graduated from Florida State University (FSU), and I’m not going to lie, I am SAD. As my time in Tallahassee wraps up, I’m reflecting on what made my years here so great, and I thought about my FSU bucket list. When I decided to become a Seminole, I looked up FSU traditions and created a list of things I needed to do before graduation. I’m proud to say I’ve done everything on my list, and I wanted to share some of the items with other students who still have some time left in Tally. If you’re wondering what traditions or fun things you need to participate in while you’re still an FSU student, look no further!
1. Get Thrown Into Westcott Fountain on Your 21st Birthday
To me, this is one of the most iconic traditions at FSU. At midnight on your 21st birthday, it’s a rite of passage for two of your friends to toss you into Westcott Fountain as a christening of sorts. And if it’s not too cold outside, you’re supposed to swim a lap around the bottom of the fountain. My birthday is in January, so I was a little worried about getting hypothermia, but luckily it was a warm night in Tally when I got tossed in.
2. Take a Picture With the Garnet and Gold Guys
This is another well-known tradition at Florida State that students have no excuse not to participate in. The Garnet and Gold Guys are two members of the FSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry that are known for being covered head to toe in garnet and gold glitter paint. They make an appearance at every home football game and many other on-campus events like tailgates, Dance Marathon, homecoming week and more, so make sure to snag a picture with them in the fall!
3. Watch a Midnight Movie at the Student Life Cinema
During my freshman year, my friends and I practically lived at the Student Life Cinema (SLC). For those that don’t know, the SLC is a movie theater right on campus, and FSU students get in for FREE! They play movies of all different genres and have showings pretty much every night of the week. My favorite experiences were always the midnight showings when the theater was packed with fellow students (and my favorite visit overall was the midnight showing of Sky High).
4. Attend a Concert Thrown by Club Downunder
One of the coolest parts of being an FSU student is having access to events thrown by Club Downunder. This organization hosts performances by musical artists usually at The Wilbury, a bar and restaurant near campus. They’ve had artists like Beach Bunny, Quinn XCII and even Aly and AJ. In October 2019, I got to see one of my favorite bands, The Band CAMINO, through Club Downunder, and it’s one of my favorite Tallahassee memories.
5. Catch a Flying High Circus Performance
The FSU Flying High Circus is one of two collegiate circuses in the U.S., and it is world-renowned as they have performed in Europe, Canada, the Bahamas and the West Indies. If this doesn’t convince you to go to one of their shows, I don’t know what will! The circus normally has two sets of shows per year—the Halloween shows and the spring shows. My big was a circus performer, so going to their shows was even more fun for me because I got to cheer her on. (Love you, Nicole!) But, whether you know a performer or not, you have to go to a circus performance as an FSU student!
6. Go To the President’s Ice Cream Social
Every year, the president of Florida State hosts an ice cream social for students on Landis Green. This is a long-standing tradition that has been passed down from president to president, and I have no doubt that it will live on after President Thrasher leaves this year. (I’m not crying; you’re crying.) The president and his wife, as well as other FSU staff members, serve ice cream to hundreds of FSU students, and I think it is one of the most wholesome traditions at the university.
7. Follow the Campus Crawl
If you’re a Marching Chiefs fanatic like me, this item will definitely stick out. Every year, on the night before one of the home football games, the FSU Marching Chiefs walk around and perform songs like the War Chant and the Fight Song at different spots on campus. They usually gain a pretty big following of students, and it’s the perfect way to get hyped up for a big game the next day.
8. Complete a Monthly Challenge at Madison Social
This item isn’t affiliated with FSU directly, but the owners of Madison Social are FSU alumni, so it might as well be. Every month, Madison Social, a restaurant/bar right off campus comes up with a new drink challenge. To complete the challenge, you have to drink the six drinks on the list for the month in which you participate. If you fill out your punch card, you get a free t-shirt or tank top! I did a wine-themed challenge in February 2020 and one based on childhood drinks like Kool-Aid and Capri Suns this past August.
9. Watch the Sunset on Top Of the Pensacola Street Garage
Out of all the items on this list, I honestly might miss this one the most. It’s probably the easiest one to complete, but I have a lot of tender memories on top of the Pensacola Street Garage at sunset. The top of the garage overlooks Doak Campbell Stadium, giving you a perfect view to put on your Instagram story. I definitely think more students should try to check this off their list!
10. Learn the FSU Fight Song in Its Entirety
If you don’t know the entire fight song by heart, I’m sorry, but you’re not a real FSU student. Nothing beats the feeling of singing the words along to the sound of the Marching Chiefs at a football game (And don’t forget the hand motions!). If you don’t know it, you can look up the lyrics online or practice the next time you’re in Doak with your friends. Either way, this item is a must-do at FSU!
Hopefully, this list will make your experience at FSU even better. I know it did for me! Have fun checking these items off your bucket list, and, as always, GO NOLES!