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Andrea Crowley: 6 reasons why I miss Drake Relays

They're baaaack.

If you're not familiar with Relays, it's like Christmas for Drake students. A week-long holiday filled with world-famous races, paint in your hair and most importantly: the Peggy's tent. As a fresh alum, it's no surprise I'm feeling insanely nostalgic. Here are the things I miss most, now that I'm on the other side.

Street Painting — Because who wouldn't want to get a little boozy and throw paint at your best friends' faces? This Friday afternoon tradition on painted street is the official kickoff to Relays. What we create that day is displayed for the world (ahem, campus) to see and walk proudly on for the rest of the year. Come summer, paint may still be stuck in your hair: just call it a little ode to a favorite Drake memory.

The Peggy's Tent — Ain't no party like a Peggy's party. The itty-bitty bar opens up its back door and pops a tent for students, alumni and race-lovers to celebrate under. All you need for the joyous occasion: your crewneck and Peggy's mug.

Court Avenue Night — This night is especially fun for those under-agers. They get a taste of what life is like outside the four corners and get to rock out to a free concert. The coolest to headline in my four years? Hoodie Allen. (They're obviously still working on bringing Drake to Drake.)

The Races — Drake breaks out of its square-shaped bubble and steps into national spotlight, thanks to appearances by Olympian rock stars like Lolo Jones, who come back every year to participate in the races. While I must admit I didn't follow these religiously, I did enjoy checking out these world-class athletes doing their thing — and for free, too. (Student ID = Relays VIP.)

DU Pride — Drake is (obviously) a small university and Relays is the time when we all join together at the Peggy's tent to cheers to our kick-ass school — no matter what major or Greek house you're in. We're all family. It's hard to describe to a non-Bulldog, but just think of it this way: it's that feeling you get when you know that's when and where you're supposed to be.

Friends — If there's any reason why an alum would go back to Relays, it's the people. Not only do I miss my Theta sisters, I haven't been together in a room with my two best friends since our graduation ceremony. Life brings unexpected adventures after college. Relays is the perfect time to bring friends back together where it all began.