10 Things Every Cornell Student Should Do Before Graduation


If you’re new to Cornell, you probably don’t know what to expect. Either way, college is the time to create memories that will last you a lifetime; you’re going to want to live it up and make the most of it! Luckily, there’s a lot to do near Cornell off-campus housing and the city of Ithaca to make your college years ones to remember.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We did a little research and settled on ten things that every Cornellian should do during their years at the University.

1. Attend the Cornell-Harvard men’s hockey game and throw fish on the ice

Everyone knows this rivalry dates back for decades. Students pour into Lynah Rink with a variety of seafood in hand, ready to create some chaos on the ice. Take aim and see how many Harvard players you can piss off!

2. Bury a bottle of Bacardi on the Slope and dig it up on Slope Day.

For over a century now, Cornell has put on a big spring celebration known as Slope Day. In recent years, Slope Day has drawn in several musical performances including Kendrick Lamar to The Wailers.

To make it a real party, join in on the tradition—bury your booze ahead of time and dig it up for the event.

Bonus: Another fun thing to do on the Slope is sledding down it during a snowstorm!

3. Play a game of tag in the Kroch Library stacks

Or play any game for that matter! Live a little and take a break from those studies. Have some fun, but watch out for the librarians. How long can you make it before getting caught?

4. Talk your way out of a University parking ticket

Living in Ithaca, you basically get two or three months of warm weather during the school year, so driving during the winter is almost necessary. There’s just one little problem; parking near Cornell is a nightmare!

Every year, on campus, officers hand out tens of thousands of parking tickets—what are 30,000 students supposed to do when there are only about 10,000 parking spots? When it comes time to pay that ticket, work some magic and try to appeal it.

5. Ignore any and all “No Winter Maintenance” signs

The sun hasn’t shined in months, and everyone in your class is sniffling and coughing. Winter is here, and it’s here to stay for what seems like an eternity. Walking around campus, you’ll do anything to get out of the cold, even if that means breaking the rules and taking the icy stairs or sliding down the railing.

6. Sign-up for co-ed intramural inner tube water polo

Inner tube. Water polo. Need we say more? Gather up a gang of 7 (at least three girls) and compete in a water polo league atop a bouncy inner tube. Trust us; it’s as fun as it sounds.

Stay up-to-date on all the Cornell intramural games here.

7. Get tapped for a secret society

Cornell has a long history of secret societies on campus. Do you have what it takes to join those among the Spinx Head, Order of Omega, or Quill and Dagger?

Time will only tell if you make the cut. Who knows, maybe there are more secret societies out there because “shhh,” they’re a secret.

8. Explore Ezra’s Tunnel

Ever notice the graffiti-covered dam on the bridge between North and West? Take the trail on West Campus behind Sigma Nu to the cliff where you can climb down. Once you get past the cliff, you can head into the tunnel. But beware! It’s dark and a little spooky at first.

You’ll have choices, too. Go left to climb the dam to the edge of Ithaca Falls, or go right to the small waterfall and swimming hole. Choose your adventure!

9. Buy beer at Jason’s with your City Bucks

For those of you who don’t know what City Bucks are, they’re part of Cornell’s meal plan system that allows you to use your card on and off-campus for dining purchases. For the broke college kids living off the meal plan, City Bucks can come in handy.

They’re even better on a Friday night when you can hack the system and use your card at Jason’s Grocery & Deli to buy some adult beverages for your party!

10. Kiss on the Suspension Bridge at midnight

Voted one of Cornell’s most romantic date spots, rumor has it that if a guy asks a girl for a kiss on the Suspension Bridge at midnight and she says no, the bridge will fall into the gorge. Since the bridge is still intact, it’s safe to say there’s been a lot of smooching going on.

Before you leave Cornell, bring your crush to the bridge and ask for a kiss when the clock strikes 12—cross your fingers you don’t get snubbed!

Know of any other good Cornell traditions? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Chips and salsa aficionado, Ali Bartmer joined the Rent College Pads team in the fall of 2016 as the Operations Assistant and has since become a Content crafter. Cat mom of one, Ali prides herself in being a Bloody Mary connoisseur and with her Masters from Hogwarts there’s nothing Ali can’t do.

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