Signs You Went to Michigan State University at the Turn of the Century

Recently, Buzzfeed published a piece titled 23 Signs you Went to Michigan State University.  I saw it countless times in my Facebook newsfeed as friends and family shared and reshared.  But aside from a couple “Oh, huh. I guess I remember that” moments, neither Mr. Sammich nor I could relate to over half the things on that list.

Turns out, most of those things were either too general to elicit a strong reaction or happened well beyond our time at MSU.  (There was no Noodles and Co. when we wandered campus, for example.)  So I decided (at Mr. Sammich’s suggestion) to write a piece that both dates us and makes us wish College Student were a professional career. (And if you went to MSU in the late ’90s or early ’00s, I’ll bet you get all nostalgic-like thinking about a few of the items on this list, too.)

So here’s to all my 30-something Spartans: Signs You Went to Michigan State University at the Turn of the Century

1. There was no Trowbridge on campus.  Just one giant wasteland to walk through between Holden Hall and F Lot.

2. Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) was still a campus frat. Wine night, anyone?

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3. You could secure your football tailgating spot well before 7 a.m.  Who doesn’t love a little liquor at dawn?

4. There was no “open container” ordinance on campus, even on weekdays.  Once your feet hit Spartan soil, you could legally crack that beer (if you were 21, of course).

5. House parties were still a thing, and the mighty keg stood at the center.  Sure, the cops came once in a while, but no “keg laws” kept the crowds and Solo cups at bay.

6. You remember Cedar Village the night the men’s basketball team won the NCAA Championship game. We may or may not have lost a couple cold ones in the middle of Grand River.

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7. You had to pay a monthly fee to have that land line telephone in your dorm hooked up for use.  And strangely enough, you actually used it.

8. You remember going to the basement of your dorm to use the computer lab and print your work on the dot matrix.  Wasn’t tearing those little thingies off the sides the worst?

9. You remember when somebody ran into the Asian House with his or her car — TWICE.  True story.

10. You remember the Asian House.  It really was delicious.

11. You waited in line after midnight at the Taco Bell on Grand River with 57 other inebriated night owls.  Sometimes you had to have mystery meat.

12. You went to Bell’s after bar closing only when the line was too long and you didn’t have enough cash for Georgio’s.  Ahh, Georgio’s. Hands down best pizza EVER.

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13. You submitted a research project containing information you obtained from microfiche or the stacks.  Nobody will ever research like that again.  (Also, I don’t know what went on in those stacks, but murder comes to mind.  Creepy.)

14. Third floor of the library was less a place to study and more a social gathering with books instead of booze.  If you wanted to get any actual work done, you had to head for another floor and hide next to a bookshelf.

15. Blockbuster was a campus staple.  I think it’s now a credit union.

16. You remember when Troppo was the new bar in town.  And no, not the one in Lansing.

17. You at one point or another dodged tear gas and police in riot gear as you innocently (or maybe not so much) made your way through the rocking cars and smoldering couches to the safety of your dorm room or house.  Things got a little out of hand back then.  God, this is SO EMBARRASSING.

18. There was no Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to track your daily adventures.  And you’ve never been more grateful for something in your whole life.

19. You remember the Dirty Dollar. Gah. Gross.

20. You have no idea who Willy the Can Man is but distinctly remember the one who looked like Santa Claus (and was reportedly a millionaire once).  God rest his soul.

21. You literally partied like it was 1999.  Because it was.

22. Not all dorms had Ethernet.  Yes, dial-up was still the thing.

23. The tennis courts were THE PLACE TO BE for tailgating on football Saturdays.  Unless you were in a frat.  Then it was the rock.

24. Sparty to Go (takeout cafeteria food) was the brand new thing and was available only at certain locations.  Wilson Hall ring a bell?

25. You went to Acapulco for spring break 2001.  Along with every other person on campus.

26. The Izzone was a force to be reckoned with.  People actually watched the games and made a fuss (you wouldn’t be caught dead on a device during game time).

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27. You went to the Peanut Barrel between (or instead of) classes.  There’s just something cathartic about being able to throw your trash on the floor.

28. As soon as it hit 60 degrees, students headed outside to “study”.  If by study, I mean listen to Eminem’s My Name Is on full blast.

29. Harper’s had that one man band. They might still, but there’s no way he’s as good as he was then.

30. You waited all week for Burgerama at The Riv! I’m sure that’s still a thing, but It.Was.Awesome back in the day.

31. Parking structures didn’t abound.  It was either the Gerbil Cage or that one structure that says “Park” followed by the arrow.  You know, the one across from 7-11 on Albert.

gerbil cage msu
Photo Credit: DR4WARD on Flickr

32. You had a class in Vet Med and 1.) didn’t know where the hell that was, and 2.) thought you were for sure going to die from exposure once you found out where the hell that was.  You didn’t.  Die, that is.

33. You remember the dead body they found in the basement of Wonders Hall.  Google it.  That shit’s real.  (I lived in Wonders Hall!)

34. You could still have couches outside.  Because nothing screams classy like couches on the porch.

35. You did your shopping at Country Markett.  They may not have had the best deals in town, but man were they convenient.

36. You remember the Spartan Sports Den before it became a Mexican restaurant.  Overpriced, but it’d do in a pinch.

What other signs you went to Michigan State University at the turn of the century did I miss?

Check out the newly updated Signs You Went to Michigan State: The Follow Up.  Includes all comments readers left here.