“We’re technically not even supposed to talk about it on tours,” says Sophie Kline, a freshman from Gulf Breeze, Florida, who serves as an ambassador for the university. Almost none of the things that Kline speaks of is reflected on the “Freshman Bucket List.” The seven items on the list are outdated, and the ambassadors are not allowed to mention it on tours because students could potentially get arrested for completing the list, as several items are physically impossible to attempt. Clearly, it is time to forego the confusion and create a new, updated, and University-approved Freshman Bucket List.
In August 2016, students Zoe McDonald and McKenna Wierman wrote an article for The Daily Mississippian—a message to freshmen from two seniors. The article, “An Ole Miss Senior’s guide to Freshman Year,” began by stating that it’s no big deal if you cannot complete the Bucket List, or even if you don’t participate at all. Some students, like McDonald and Wierman, find themselves turning up as seniors and having taken four years to only complete a couple of the items.
Climbing the Phi Mu fountain, sneaking onto the football field, climbing onto the top of the library and visiting the Oxford tunnels are just a few of the items found on the list. Of these, two are impossible: the tunnels have been sealed, and the library’s roof entrances are blocked. If caught, a student found sneaking into Vaught-Hemingway will result in a foot chase and handcuffing from the University Police Department.
Another item on the list, “take a shot on Faulkner’s Grave,” incorporates the history of Oxford and Ole Miss into the list, but not in the most legal or safe way. Students should definitely visit William Faulkner’s grave, but a freshman under the age of 21 cannot legally take a shot with ye ole Faulkner.
Instead, Kline recommends a trip to Faulkner’s home. “Everyone should definitely go to Rowan Oak,” she says. “I mean, it’s free so why not?”
It is a reasonable list item for freshmen to visit Rowan Oak over taking a shot on Faulkner’s grave because the visit to Rowan Oak will not only be adventurous but also educational rather than illegal.
Another student ambassador, Shamessia “Meme” Lee, came up with a more romantic idea: a kiss on the Delta Gamma steps of Paris-Yates Chapel.
“Paris-Yates has this beautiful love story about this couple that were of two different religions, Jewish and Christian faith, and they got married on the Delta Gamma steps,” said Lee. Mississippi law forbade them to be married because their religions differed, but the University allowed them to wed.
“So you could put ‘kiss on the Delta Gamma steps of Paris-Yates Chapel’ on the Bucket List,” Lee said. “That’s still sort of daring, but you wouldn’t get in trouble for it.”
While the current Bucket List has its fun items, like “eat chicken on a stick, and see the doorknob to the universe,” others need to face change. The university is always undergoing some type of change, be that a new tennis facility, a new fraternity house, or a new core class requirement, so why not spread the love to the recreational things Ole Miss students love to do in their free time. There surely is no better example of what Ole Miss Rebels do than a list compiling the current students’ favorite traditions into a Bucket List welcoming the freshmen into the student body.
This article was originally written for The Ole Miss 2017: “Mississippi Magnolia”. The yearbook will be released on April 24, 2017.