UCSC First Rain, the traditional naked run that occurs at the beginning of the school year. Yes, I said naked run. That means you see hundreds to thousands of students running completely nude from the start of Porter College all the way to OPERS to jump in the school pool.
Why would anyone do this? Well, it is rumored that in 1989 there was an earthquake that started the first ever First Rain. What does an earthquake have to do with running nude around campus? As crazy as it may sound, apparently a game of "Simon Says" got people to get naked and eventually run around campus after an earthquake had just happened. Is this true? Who knows— possibly. If you want to hear an interview from an alumni student who experienced the First Rain run, you can check it out on http://ucscfirstrain.com/.
As time has passed, rules have begun to be made such as:
1. It has to rain on a weekday (NO WEEKENDS).
2. There are certain time frames that change depending on the person you heard them from. I have heard it was from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but like I said, the timing is different depending on where you learned about First Rain.
3. The rain has to be non-stop, meaning rain all day.
4. Of course, you have to be full-on naked. The only exception is that you should wear shoes because UCSC is built around a lot of nature. They also advise you to bring some type of clothing so that at the end of your run you don't have to walk back in the cold or ride the bus naked.
The main tradition I have heard is that you have to participate in the naked run your first year at UCSC. That doesn't mean the upperclassmen do not or cannot participate, because they sure do and can.
Based on my experience, I did not know of the First Rain until it happened, and I was so shocked. If you are unsure when First Rain is because the rules are crazy since everyone has a different set of rules, do not worry. At some point in the night after 10 p.m., you will be wide awake to hear people yelling and screaming, where as a first-year student you can only wonder what is happening. Of course, you are going to check it out and realize that there are a bunch of students running naked. You can see everything and it is so crazy. Some people are hiding their personal parts and some people even wear underwear. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. Most people do not care about running nude with a large number of strangers.
The best part of First Rain from my experience is that there is not just one First Rain. There are so many students who run naked just to run naked because they think it is First Rain. The only way to know for sure is when there is a large group of students meaning close to the thousands. Most of the time, you will have a lot of fake "First Rains" and there was even a time where the day I was moving in my second year into the dorms with my family that people decided to run nude because it rained. My mom and younger brothers witnessed a small group of naked college students and for them it was a shock, but as a UCSC student it becomes nothing.
It really makes you feel equal as human beings, at least for me it does. No one cares what you look like, what you are wearing, or who you are. This tradition brings UCSC students together and brings nothing but laughs and great memories.
If you are really interested to see what I am talking about, Google "UCSC First Rain" and you will not only learn about what First Rain is but also see what I am talking about—check the links below.