Florida State University: From an Outsider’s Point of View

I was ecstatic when I found out I had been accepted into Florida State University. I was over the moon and counting down the days till move-in. FSU was my top choice, located in a beautiful city with an outstanding reputation. Coming from Texas, I’m a first generation Seminole whose only idea of what FSU was like came from Google searches. I was completely clueless as to the traditions that take place on campus. So as your resident out-of-stater, here’s what it’s like to experience FSU for the first time.


  1. Doak Campbell Stadium

There is nothing quite like Doak. It’s not only huge but is incredibly beautiful and surrounded by palm trees and greenery.


Courtesy: Reddit


2. The Warchant

There is no comparison to nearly 80,000 people all doing the chop and War Chant simultaneously. It’s practically indescribable and such a surreal feeling.


Courtesy: Giphy


3. The Campus

The picturesque campus is best summed by the following gif.


Courtesy: Giphy


4. Osceola and Renegade

Once again, nothing compares to this. The tradition of watching Osceola riding onto the field, with a lighted spear and impaling the field before each home game is beyond words. It’s quite the experience.


Courtesy: Giphy


5. The Marching Chiefs

There’s a reason they’re award-winning. FSU’s marching band travels around campus each night before a home game getting students pumped up before the big day. It’s definitely an added bonus to living in a dorm.


Courtesy: Giphy


6. Ring Dunk Ceremony

While I have heard of a ring dunk ceremony before, FSU’s is significantly different. The tradition of graduating students dipping their new ring into the Westcott fountain at 6:51 p.m. (1851 in military time) is to honor the year the school was founded. It’s easily a representation of how proud students are of the university’s history.

Courtesy: FSU News


7. Birthday Ceremony

Arguably one of the most anticipated traditions in Tallahassee is the infamous act of getting thrown into Westcott on the midnight of your twenty-first birthday.


Courtesy: McKenzie Ozment


8. Garnet and Gold Guys

Hands down, my personal favorite tradition, that is entirely unique to Florida State University, is that of the Garnet and Gold guys. Two students involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry are selected to completely cover themselves in paint and glitter before each important event. The tradition began in 1998 when two students covered themselves in glitter as encouragement for fans to cheer. Having heard about them previously, I totally fangirled at the opportunity to get a picture with them at the first home game.


Courtesy: McKenzie Ozment


9. FSU Homecoming

One of the more unique traditions to FSU is that of Homecoming week. Beginning in 1948, Homecoming has become an annual tradition on campus filled with events for an entire week. Events like Pow Wow bring a popular comedian to perform for students while Warchant night is for an artist to perform, all of which is free to students at FSU. Previous performers such as Chance the Rapper and Zac Brown Band helped to build the notorious reputation of FSU Homecoming. It’s a fantastic thing to brag about to my friends back home in Texas, especially since they don’t have anything similar at their university.


Courtesy: FSU News


10. Seminole Spirit

This is hands down entirely distinct to FSU. Sure other schools may have spirit, but nothing resembles that of the Seminoles. The pride each student displays wearing the garnet and gold is inherently visible. Built in 2003, the unconquered statue serves as a physical representation of this spirit on campus. 


Courtesy: Giphy


11. Burt Reynolds

In honor of a true great’s passing, it’s only right that I recognize how much he did for FSU. After playing football at FSU, Reynolds continued to give back to the school for numerous years. Donating money back to the football program, mentoring FSU film students, including the school colors on his television show “Evening Shade” in the 1990s, and even having Bowden himself appear as a guest on the show. He was so proud of his alma mater, he even donated money in the early 1980s for a new dorm to be built across the street from the stadium, known as “Reynolds Hall.” He also helped Bobby Bowden design the gold helmets with an arrow that you see football players wear today.


Courtesy: Tallahassee Democrat