Every school and its students are unique in their own way, and UMD definitely isn’t an exception. As a student body, we’re the strangest of the strangest, even though nobody realizes it. Since everyone acts the same way, we accept our pattern of weirdness as an everyday routine. To thoroughly embrace our abnormalities, we at The Black Sheep have complied a list of the most unnatural UMD student behaviors:
5). Using the Chapel’s Bells to Determine Tardiness:
It’s no secret that college students are among some the busiest human beings in the world, and because of this, we often don’t even have time to check the time; we don’t even know what time is! College is all one big blur of coffee, sleep deprivation, exams, and alcohol. So the chapel bells loudly chiming at noon are really our only sense of reality. Most people have a rather mundane, if any, reaction to bells ringing, but at UMD it has the shock of a full moon. No, the students are not literally running for their life; yes, the bikers will run you over.
4). Rubbing a Bronze Turtle’s Nose for Good Luck:
Testudo has been the mascot at the University of Maryland for years, but at other schools, rubbing the mascot’s nose isn’t exactly a common occurrence—especially in the case where they are real people. Testudo is not just a mascot though—he is our turtle god full of magic. The majority of students pray to him every night and leave offerings on his alter in hopes of good grades. In past years, there have been offerings such as traffic cones, TVs, and even a car has been parked there. Are we just that desperate for an A? Maybe. But either way, walking past a giant bronze turtle statue and rubbing its nose and/or leaving it with a few of your belonging is weird AF. You just gotta go with it and thank yourself later.
3). Swimming in Public Fountains:
At UMD they say it is tradition to swim in the fountain before you graduate. That’s great and all, but students aren’t worried about jumping into the huge fountain on McKeldin Mall just once in their collegiate years—we jump in there whenever we please. You will often find people splashing around in the water on hot days, and building snowmen when it’s empty in the winter. The fountain is a place to embrace the child in you and is also the most popular drunken destination of choice. As students, we often fail to realize how damn lucky we are to have the only fountain in the world where you don’t have to worry about getting arrested.
2). Living in Hammocks:
Tired of doing your homework in the grass with all the ants? UMD students have a solution to your problem! Get a hammock, hang it up between some nice-looking trees, and live happily ever after in UMD Hammock City. You can chill with friends or just hide from society in the confines of your lovely hammock with no judgment. We are obviously greener than any other university since students cover every inch of every tree on the mall and then reuse those trees’ trunks the next day. Yay for hammocking!
1). Talking to Squirrels:
Yes, we at UMD talk. To. Squirrels. We are absolutely infatuated with them! There is both a Twitter and Facebook page dedicated to them and a “Gossip Squirrel” on UMD Yik Yak. The squirrels are every bit as much as students as we are, so there’s obviously no other choice than to integrate them into society; although, we can’t quite figure out how they get away without paying tuition. So don’t be surprised if you see a student exhibiting strange behavior towards a squirrel (i.e eating lunch with them, playing hide n go seek in trash cans, or playing chase); in fact, we encourage you make friends with them.
Overall, UMD is a really, really weird school. But what makes us weird is what also makes us the best! Like who else in the entire collegiate world can say they’re best friends with the squirrel population or that they rub a turtle’s nose on the daily? There is no one else. Keep this in mind when if you’re questioning students’ behavior (if you are then you are not a true Terp) and remember: EMBRACE YOUR TERPNESS BECAUSE WE ARE AMAZING.