10 Things I Miss About the University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT is a rural farm town home to the Basketball Capital of the World. With a combined 13 National Basketball Championships over the last 25 years and being the only school to have both their men’s and women’s teams win in the same year, let alone do it TWO TIMES, it’s hard to not absolutely fucking love this school. Four years here means you probably have seen multiple national championships, riots, couch burnings, and nickels, as well as some of the hardest classes you will encounter on any college campus. Hey, if UConn taught us anything, it was how to balance our schedules. Giving us the best years of our lives, I’m sure all my fellow Huskies would agree that there are a multitude of things to miss once you’re gone.

1. Basketball. Need I say more. I can’t even find a word to describe how fucking amazing it is to be at Gampel surrounded by the Dog Pound cheering on Kemba or Shabazz (yeah, I was there for both) or even just going to First Night to pump up the season. The second greatest feeling is raging at Huskies and watching the game with an entirely packed bar, not to mention the insanity that ensues after winning (beer in the air, screaming, hugging strangers, generally loving any and every person associated with this amazing fucking school). Huskies rage harder than anyone I know. Yeah, Arizona might have burned things after they lost, but Huskies burnt everything in sight and even climbed on/broke light posts back in 2011 when they won. Win or lose, we will still destroy the campus, which is probably why the tuition is so damn high. But whatevs. It’s all for tradition.

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Storm Gampel, storm the center of campus, burn everything.

2. Secondly, the football tailgates. Basketball, we come to win. Football, we come to tailgate. Yeah, the Huskies might not be good at every sport, but we’re still the best at drinking at them. There’s nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn to get to the Rent and start your daydrinking at 8 am. Frat flags raised high, DJ’s in full swing, you can bounce from tailgate to tailgate over in the back “I, J, K…” lot, never buying a football ticket and still having a crazy good time. The invention of Tilt has made this so much easier, too. For $15, students get a bus ride to and from the game over in East Hartford, food and alcohol and never have to worry about a sober ride. Plus the busses leave before the game even starts, so that’s a win, since most of us aren’t going in anyway.

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This amazingness got onto TFM, just saying.

3. Self Proclaimed “Best Bar on Campus”, Huskies is a force to be reckoned with. When you first go to Nickel nights on Thursdays/Saturdays, you think shit, $6 cover?!?! So annoying, now I have to go to Sam’s and use the ATM… But then you get into the real world and realize there is literally no where else on Earth you can pay $1 for 4 drinks, and if you’re smart, you go to free cover, $1 drinks on Friday nights. If you’re a girl, you’re probably paying about $7 total on nickel nights and getting completely blasted. Sometimes hated on because (honestly) it’s where you can find almost every member of Greek life “over 21”, I still crown Huskies as the best bar on campus hands down. Buzz is a boss, the bouncers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and you’ll only notice the derpy Husky logo once you’re 10 drinks deep (WHY, JUST WHY). If you were under 21, you were sure to watch out for Ackell since the guy has an insanely photographic memory and knows whether or not you’re trying to fake your way in… actually shoutout to Ackell (and former beloved bouncer, Scaplen), who are staples of Huskies, and if you never got to know them you really missed out.

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The one and only true love of your life, Buzz.

4. If you’re not a Huskies fan, you’ll most likely to be found at Ted’s. Known more as the “chill bar” where you can wear a sweater and not get judged, karaoke nights, Friday night live bands, beavers and pizza dominate this scene. Determined to keep it’s students drunk, Karaoke Wednesdays pull students from their comas in Homer Babbidge, giving them excuses to do their work later and pack the (relatively small) house completely full… because beavers are more fun anyway. For those who don’t know what a beaver is (and God, if you graduated from here you better), it’s a magical mixture of all the alcohols that tastes like a fricken ice slushee syrup, guaranteed to get you completely shitfaced. Ryan, the owner, gets a huge shoutout here for the time he was definitely drunk and gave all my girlfriends free shots/squirted water at all of us. You’re the man, Ryan. I’m just going to throw Thirsty’s in here as a quick reference, because yeah, I’ve been a few times and it was fun when I had a select group of friends, but you’ve really got to be a Thirsty’s person to love it.

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5. If you were in Greek Life, it’s probably one of the aspects of this school that you’ll miss the most. Yeah, chapters could be annoying in the moment, but you fucking miss them now because every week you got together with your brothers/sisters and got to see people you sometimes hadn’t seen in a while, making it easy to reconnect and know what’s going on in their lives. Plus Homecoming was one of the best/most stressful weeks (okay, months including prep) of your life, but WINNING MAKES IT SO WORTH IT. You probably spent half your nights at W Lot, working through sweat and tears while dancing to “Look at Me Now” and thinking “I’M GOING TO FAIL THIS TEST.” Yet, you got to bond with your sisters and frats, and those are nights that you’ll never forget, especially because they created bonds that last a lifetime. You’re probably an EXPERT pomper (if you know, you know) as well as crafter. Those big/little baskets got pricey, so you crafted your life away to give your amazing, beautiful, perfect little everything she wanted and deserved. You know you fucking loved throwing up your sign and bragging about how your organization was the best (for you of course, everyone finds their place) and even loved the Hell week we called “Recruitment” (which you find out is so much worse behind the scenes than when you’re going through). HuskyThon, philanthropies, Founder’s Day, all of the good stuff that was used to justify your weekend partying and 18+ bar nights, there’ll never be anything quite like it again.

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TBT dancing in front of thousands of people when you have no skills

6. Special shoutout to old Grey House/now Casa, The Cave and The Dime. To a normal person, these names would make absolutely no sense. To you, they recall days of packed lawns and daydrinks, disgusting, dark, rave lighted basements that you didn’t notice left your feet completely covered in mud, ponds that you watched people rowing boats/falling into while simultaneously seeing guys breaking the seal into them, and shot stations of Dubra. You probably went to more theme parties than you could even count before you were 21, did the sorority squat and took a picture with all your girlfriends. Even the dudes at UConn went all out for theme parties, and most likely if the party was good enough, the basketball team was definitely showing up. I can’t imagine how annoyed they got with all of the girls asking for selfies. Then, at the end of the night you either stumbled into the driveway and begged for a sober ride from a pledge/brother or stumbled your way *cough cough* elsewhere… but ah, those were the days.

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We had mechanical bulls too, because why not.

7. Spring Weekend (RIP). I transferred to UConn the year Spring Weekend died, but I tried my damnedest to get into Carriage. I remember waking up with prickers in my legs from trying to evade the police barricade by walking through the woods (it didn’t work). Still, we all know the legends, and I imagine to be be like the National Championship on crack. Still, there were some great daydrinks (shoutout 18rAge and BEER OLYMPICS) and you’d be a fool to not have partied there back in the day. Now, we have Celeron (sort of), but nothing compares to the once golden glory of Carriage.

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Classic slip-n-slide and ice luge true love <3

8. Susan Herbst, Jay Hickey, and Buy or Sell UConn Tickets. With twitter accounts like ThanksSusan and the almighty God of Snow Jay Hickey (who I still believe to look like an abominable snowman), the administration at UConn was sure to give you a good laugh. Buy or Sell was either hilarious or depressing. I always admire the creativity of people desperate for basketball tickets, and get extremely annoyed with people who use it as a soapbox for their political agendas, but either way you always got super involved and HOOKED on the long chain messages of intense conversation taking place in this Facebook group. You probably prayed to Jay Hickey multiple times, and his magnanimous ways cancelled school for an inch of slush, delaying your final presentation (THANK YOU UCONN FOR HAVING SO MANY COMMUTERS). If only real life had a Jay Hickey…

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9. Horsebarn Hill. Every basic has a picture of/on/with the sign near Horsebarn Hill. The place is absolutely beautiful and it’s almost a rite of passage to get your photo taken here. If you were super artsy (or lived in the Vill/Towers), you definitely took a day to wake up before the sun rose and just bask in the glory of the rolling hills. The Dairy Bar was a bonus, and really what good is living in a farm town if they’re not making fresh ice cream?

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Basic “let’s pretend to be laughing while on this sign it took 10 minutes to climb on” photo

10. Finally, Formals/Semi Formals, (more appropriately named Shitshow Proms) were the highlights of the semester. Besides the terrifying aspect of asking someone to go with you, these were the greatest nights of the year, and were almost better when you weren’t going to your own. You knew (and prepared) to get hammered before you got on the bus (note: this never backfired for me, but it does… I recommend sneaking in nips and being discrete instead). Imagine prom in high school, but with people you actually liked and with lots of alcohol. Getting gorgeous to get wrecked and tell everyone how much you love them, thousands of Facebook/Instagram worthy pictures, and nights you’ll probably end up with fuzzy memories of was probably one of the best parts of college. Yeah, there was probably drama, but if you were smart you just stayed out of it and broke it down on the dance floor. Dresses were passed around from girl to girl, because who has the time or money to buy like 3 nice dresses a semester, and every girl screamed/cried/“sang” while holding their sisters when the DJ threw on the sorority song (“Youuuur love is MYYY love and MYYY love is YOUUUUR love”), giving you nights you’ll often reflect on and wish to come back for one last time.

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Friends, sisterhood, hiding alcohol for pictures…

There are a million things to miss about this place, but no matter what, for the rest of your life, you’ll always Bleed Blue… and if you’re crazy like me, you plan on forcing your children to attend this amazing, bumblefuck, public Ivy university as well and vicariously live through them. Students today, Huskies forever.

Alexxis Letizia

I'm a 23 year old graduate student studying Digital Media and Design at the University of Connecticut. I have an unparalleled love for coffee and currently spend my days balancing a social life and design work. Love to seek out mini adventures and make every day count. Follow me on Instagram! @alexxamberr

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