By Vanessa Herrera
It’s a beautiful Friday morning and you’re ready to begin your day. You step outside and suddenly you are greeted by waves of green and college students laughing and partying while you’re on your way to class. You see people’s faces glowing and flushed, a sign that they have been drinking. It’s officially Unofficial.
Unofficial has become a tradition at the University of Illinois. It began in 1996 when students realized the beloved holiday St. Patrick’s Day landed right in the middle of spring break, which meant no excessive drinking with friends on campus. So what do the students begin to do? Celebrate it early of course! Thanks to the manager of The Clybourne, one of the popular campus bars, Unofficial has become a widely known celebration.
The tradition is to drink the entire day—in class, at work, walking down the street, at 8 a.m.—and see if you can last the entire day. From green beer to green pancakes, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an ocean of green attire and intoxicated students on this U of I holiday. With so many drunk people around, you are likely to not only have memories that will last a lifetime, but also comical stories to tell your friends back home. Let the stories begin!
Students Owned by Professor and the Undying spirit of Unofficial
“I don’t usually start drinking early in the morning, I go to my classes sober on Unofficial. You see, some students think they’re slick, thinking they can fool the professor. Well let me tell you, I had a professor that was no fool. I remember it like yesterday, because no one would be able to forget a bad ass professor that did what my professor did.
The class began with the professor asking students to raise their water bottles. I’m sitting there confused, thinking maybe the professor was drunk. She then asked the students to drink from their water bottle. I’m still sitting there confused as hell but then realized what was going on. A girl next to me sipped from the bottle and did the most disgusted face. I was [surprised]–like who makes a face from just drinking water? But when others made the same face, I did a face palm. Their water bottles didn’t have water, but [were filled with] alcohol.
The professor then continued her lecture but would stop once in a while to ask the students to drink from their water bottle. [I tried] sitting in class without laughing. At the end, some students walked out wobbling. I’m never going to forget that one.”
“And another one? This girl fell flat on her butt walking out from Pizza Hut. She then got right back up with red and purple bruises yelling ‘UNOFFICIAL!’ Now that’s dedication.” –“Batman”
Photo Courtesy of mgflip.com
Finding Love on a Green Day
“Funny unofficial stories? I don’t have any except one, but I think it’s only funny to me. I went to a party one time where I met my ex-boyfriend. The thing is, he had girlfriend at the moment, but left her for me. I don’t know why but I still giggle about it till this day.” –“Sally the Penguin”
Bromance with Strangers
“Oh god, Unofficial was a blur. I remember drinking with this guy who I had never seen. I drank for 15 seconds of Vodka with him after talking like we were bros for life. Apparently I started singing my heart out and was clingy with this new guy friend. Then I saw him slip on ice, cracking his head. He got stitches but I never saw him again.” –“Romeo”
Kiss ‘n Tell: Misleading Shirts
“I don’t wear shirts that say ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’ or stuff like that because something always happens when I see people wearing them. I was at this party, sipping my beer and chatting with my friends when some girl was wearing a shirt that said something like ‘Kiss me, not Irish’. A guy comes up to her asking her if anyone had taken up the offer, she replied no. Well this guy starts leaning in to kiss her when her boyfriend shows up [and] it was not pretty. Let’s just say it left the kissing guy with a black eye and an unhappy girl” –“Jackie”
Bad girls bad girls, whatcha gonna do when they come for you
“I remember my first unofficial as a freshman. I was on my way to my friend’s apartment sober when I slipped on a slice of pizza. I arrived at the apartment with a bloody knee and ripped leggings–people must have thought I was already drunk!
Everything was going fine at the party when some guy outside fell down and was unconscious. Of course, I freaked out for him but I was more freaked out when the cops showed up. Cops were getting reports from people [about] what happened, [and] the older people [at the party] asked us to hide in the bathroom in case the cops came in. Oh my God, I was panicking so hard while my friend was so chill about it. [My friend] was like ‘I’ve been through this before, we’ll be fine’.
Sure, I was freaking out thinking how my education was ruined or what my parents would say while she was calm. And then the older drunks started yelling that they had underage drinkers! At that moment, I knew I was dead and started crying, [and] then I heard someone tell us it was okay to come out.” –“Wonder Woman”
Photo Courtesy of vintagebasement.com
There There Snow, don’t die on me
“Unofficial was a beautiful sunny day with snow still piled high in some areas. I was on the bus with my friend heading to lunch, and the bus, of course, has two exits but I got off at the front one because the second opened to a pile of snow. What sane person would want to go through that?
A drunk one.
A drunk girl decided to take the challenge and jump over the snow. The snow was piled high, and one of her legs got stuck in the pile. She then proceeded to climb over the snow which was like watching a baby who can’t walk trying to stand up. She somehow managed to get up, but then she began to pat the snow and soothing it, saying everything would be okay.
She taught all of us on the bus a valuable lesson that day: if you ever land on snow, please apologize to it and make it feel better because it might be hurting.” –” Vanessa”
*Names of storytellers have been changed and stories have been edited and condensed
**Feature image photo courtesy of www.news-gazette.com