At UCLA, there is a myriad of fun traditions that showcase our unity and Bruin spirit on the campus. One of my favorites is the Midnight Yell that takes place throughout every finals week, starting Sunday. This is the week at the end of each quarter during which students are feeling pressured and apprehensive about finals; however, instead of channeling this accumulation of energy negatively, we muster all that stress each day and let it out at precisely midnight. There is an almost delicate pause in the night at 11:59:59 when the quiet murmur of pedestrians and passing cars yields to a burst of yells and screams right when the clock strikes twelve. A friend of mine recently confessed to me that he unleashes his inner opera singer and belts the Nessun Dorma (fittingly, “None Shall Sleep”) aria from Puccini’s Turandot.
I have participated in the Midnight Yell several times, and needless to say, it was yet another way to unite with my peers and participate in something greater than ourselves. These Bruin traditions that have been set by students who graduated even before I was born always fascinate me as I discover and participate in more and more of them; there is a feeling that we are somehow connected to every member of our extensive alumni network–the largest in the nation–through these unspoken rules that every freshman somehow picks up, and every exchange student takes back with them to wherever they came from. It is one of the many ways in which we collectively de-stress whilst, at the same time, express Bruin spirit.