Flashback Friday: Unofficial (St. Patrick’s Day)

Despite having an amazing evening (sushi and wine!) with a new friend last night, I woke up to gloomy weather and a heavy heart. It took a bit of time before I realized exactly what my heart was missing…college! Facebook quickly told me that today was Unofficial at the University of Illinois. It sounds totally silly but some school traditions leave such an impact on your life that you can’t help but miss them every time.

You can check out some of my old Flashback Friday posts here:
2007 High School Prom
2007 High School Turnabout Dance
The Love of my Life {HP}
2011 Dominican Republic Vacation
Ghosts of New Year’s Eve Past
Winter Holidays 2011

Thanksgiving 2011
Smell
The (High School) Student
2006 Paris Trip

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For outsiders, Unofficial seems to be just another crazy college tradition that offers another excuse to day-drink. But don’t be fooled, the University of Illinois Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day celebration is infamous across the Midwest. Interestingly, the “holiday” was created back in 1996 by the U of I bar owners who didn’t want to miss out on all the profits that would’ve come from St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Unfortunately, the official St. Patty’s Day fell during the university’s spring break…and so the Unofficial St. Patty’s Day was born (and celebrated about a week before the real holiday).

Unofficial

Authorities and university staff have been trying to crack down on the festivities every single year, but it’s always been a fruitless effort. Every year without fail, the college students wake up at 7AM to start partying. Classes are ditched, green beer and eggs are eaten for breakfast, bar lines run around the block, and day drinking progresses into night drinking without breaks. It’s incredible.

Freshman Year:

2008

2008

2008

(My first Unofficial definitely lived up to all the hype surrounding the celebration. I started at breakfast and continued through the rest of the day. My friends from high school even drove down to share the experience with us! It was cold and icy but we didn’t care…)

Sophomore Year:

2009

2009

(The second time around, my two roommates and I didn’t start celebrating until slightly later in the day. As a college student, there was just something so naughty about being tipsy before noon. As a real-life adult that would simply be alcoholism…or Saturday brunch in NYC).

Junior Year:

2010

2010

2010

(Unofficial started a bit differently my Junior year – I had an 8AM interview and pretty much blew it due to lack of interviewing experience. Let me just tell you, there’s no better way to get over your sorrows than by washing them away on the biggest party day of the year. My friends and I celebrated all morning, separated for a few hours to nap, and continued the festivities well into the night.)

Senior Year:

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

(Senior year Unofficial was by far the best one yet! My bestie Anya drove down for the weekend and we went all-out. It was the perfect way to wave goodbye to my beloved college years. Check out the full recap post here!)

And so as I sit here at my big-girl job, I once again find myself longing to let loose and celebrate my alma mater’s epic ode to St. Patrick’s Day with all the other careless college students. Good thing us adults can still look forward to celebrating the real St. Patty’s Day!

♥ Irina

4 Comments

    • March 9, 2014 / 8:27 pm

      Hopefully you still get to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in some way or another!

  1. March 7, 2014 / 8:33 pm

    I remember the grad students at U of C telling us that St. Patty’s Day festivities are HUGE in Chicago! Glad to see you were able to enjoy the festivities throughout college without fail 😉

    • March 9, 2014 / 8:29 pm

      Yesss they are!! The Chicago River is dyed green and everyone is out and about all day through the night. It’s so much fun! I hope you get to experience it one day 🙂