6 of the Coolest End-of-School Traditions from Universities Across the Country

As children, our last days of school were marked by numerous activities: in-class parties, water gun fights with neighbors, first-day-of-summer barbecues. However, as time goes on, the end of the spring semester means completing a pile of final assignments and tests before you can enjoy your three months of freedom. The fun-filled activities from your childhood are replaced by stress-inducing tasks, and you dream of the annual trip you used to take to the water park on the last day of school. Some universities, however, understand that there’s no reason for the merry traditions of our childhood to end just because we’re legal adults.


A brief but unique celebration at the University of Texas at Austin is the perfect way to say sayonara to classmates for the summer. This school celebrates the end of the spring semester with a student body sword fight- seriously. On “Foam Sword Friday”, students are given foam swords and assemble on either side of the campus main street before charging at one another while dodging any cars which may cross their paths.


Unsuspecting bystanders may be thoroughly startled by this wacky tradition at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. For over a decade, students have been participating in a “BB Run” on the last day of classes, where they shed their clothing and streak through campus in bras and boxers (hence the title “BB”). However, this tradition contributes more to society than a few minutes of laughter and some much-needed stress relief. Most participants donate their now-removed clothing to Goodwill Arizona following the event.


As the school year draws to a close at Reed University, students gear up for Renn Fayre. This end-of-school celebration is complete with music, food, and games. The festival also includes some less-traditional components such as a skate ramp, students wearing nothing but blue paint and a giant bonfire where seniors burn all of their thesis notes.


Since the early 1900s, juniors at the University of Pennsylvania have congregated at Locust Walk (a path running through the middle of campus) following the last day of classes. Thousands of students confidently stride through the path donning red shirts, canes, and matching hats. This marks a celebration of the junior class assuming their positions as the new seniors.


Have you ever looked out the window on a beautiful spring day, praying your professors will cancel classes so you can spend the day relaxing outside? If you’re a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, you may be in luck. The exact date of “Spree Day” (which changes each year) is kept a secret from students by administrators until the lucky day when all classes are canceled and students spend the day outside listening to live music and participating in fun activities. It’s a dream come true!


Of course, no list would be complete without our very own Mother So Dear. Here at Wake Forest University, it’s a tradition for seniors to proceed to the bell tower in Wait Chapel to see a unique view of the school and sign their names inside on the woodwork. Through this tradition, students can leave their final mark on the school—literally—before going forth to make their mark on the world.