The Columbia Tree Lighting Ceremony provides a welcome moment of respite amid the chaos of the end of the semester. If you’re tempted to take a break from Butler, here are some ways to make the most of this year’s edition of this tradition, whether it’s your first or your fourth.
1. Get there early
As you’ve probably heard, the ceremony is an optimal time for nabbing some free merch. None of us are doing laundry until finals are over anyway, so stock up on some free long-sleeve shirts and beanies with the Tree Lighting design on them. As a bonus, there will also be hot chocolate and apple cider for some extra coziness, as well as Krispy Kreme doughnuts (alongside gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher options).
In order to secure your hold on the free merchandise, plan to get to College Walk between 5:00 and 5:15 p.m., as lines open at 5:30 p.m. In fact, if you’re really adamant to score some freebies, you may want to head there even earlier.
2. Dress for the weather (or pretend to)
Even though it’s supposed to be 50 degrees out, take one for the team and bust out your Columbia sweatshirt, beanie, gloves, and all of the other Columbia gear that’s been sitting in the bottom of your dresser for months. We may not be known for our school spirit, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
3. Take some photos
If you’re in the market for a new profile picture, now is your chance. The trees are absolutely stunning when lit up, and they make for the perfect backdrop to any shot. Take some Instagram-worthy photos of you and your friends—if you’re lucky, you may have a friend with a DSLR who’s willing to take some quality shots.
4. Don’t miss the a cappella performances
We all got rejected from an a cappella group, so you may as well see the talent they picked instead. Six of Columbia’s a cappella groups will be showcasing their beautiful vocals at 6:00 p.m.—the Clefhangers, Jubilation!, Pizmon, Uptown Vocal, Nonsequitur, and Notes and Keys.
5. Make a night out of it
As cliché as it may sound, the truth is that college is a special time in all of our lives. Gather a bunch of your close friends and line up early, take some photos, eat some donuts, and make the most of your Thursday night.
To all those who say that Columbia has no school spirit, the Columbia Tree Lighting Ceremony is an occasion to celebrate the community that we have here. As Alex Cedar, CC ’19, the Columbia College Student Council vice president of campus life, put it to us, “Let your soul be warmed by all the school spirit and Columbia pride.”