Unofficial at U of I: From the Inside

So apparently I am an insider.

Well it is Sunday night, signaling the end of Unofficial Weekend. And thankfully, I am still alive.

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For those that aren’t in the know, Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day at the University of Illinois started in 1996, when local campus bar owners were dismayed by the fact that the University’s spring break often coincided with St. Patrick’s Day. Headed by bar owner Steve Cochran, who owns 10 campus bars, Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day was born.

And a good time it was.

unofficial42As tradition goes, drinking begins at 8 AM. The tradition of going to classes intoxicated dampened a bit last year when the University announced that all students coming to class will be recommended for expulsion. As funny as it would have been to show up to my philosophy class drunk, I thought better of myself (plus, I haven’t been to my philosophy class in almost two weeks, I wouldn’t have been able to find it anyways).

There is something to be said about walking around the streets in the wee hours of the morning and seeing thousands of college students celebrating a holiday that makes a mockery of a holiday that makes a mockery of a culture and country.

Even still, Unofficial stands for much more.

It’s about the college spirit. Sure, we can’t get up for 8 AM lectures, but get a keg of green beer, and we’re there. You haven’t lived before you’ve blacked out before lunch.

It’s about spending a day you will never remember with people you will never forget.

It’s about taking a mid-afternoon nap, only to get awaken by loud chants of “show your tits!” with the occasional raucous cheer.

It’s about seeing people passed out on the streets on your way to apartment party #2342332.

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It’s about having your friends from other schools come to stay in your apartment, only to get so drunk that they piss and poo all over your apartment (like I said, a good time it was).

It’s about students believing that it is awesome to piss the f*ck out of the police.

It’s about students saying that it’s really, really fun to get really, really drunk.

Like I said, I walked away from my first Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day without any major injuries or any sort of citation/ticket from the police, only a day’s worth of good times that I will always remember (sort of).

Others, however, weren’t so fortunate. One guy even fell off a balcony.

And despite the efforts of the Champaign Police Department, the high spirits and good times of Unofficial roll on.

Countdown to next year’s Unofficial: 363 days.

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