Students celebrate St. Patrick's Day in alternative ways

It's a day known for its Irish roots and the color green.

Traditionally a celebration of Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland, has since changed to keep up with modern times. People of all ages find their own unique way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, be it dressing head-to-toe in green or eating corned beef and cabbage.

Bay City senior Brianna Owczarzak celebrates the holiday each year with her family and friends.

"Every year my hometown has a parade on the Sunday closest to the holiday," she said. "Beforehand my family gathers at my sister's house for drinks and appetizers and then we all walk a few blocks to the parade."

When Owczarzak was in high school she used to go to the parade with her friends but now that she is older she goes with her family. She said she appreciates getting to spend time with her family.

"When we're young we often take our family for granted and forget that as we grow older they do too," she said. "St. Patrick's Day is about hanging out with my family and having a good time without having to worry about the hassles of everyday life."

For Pontiac freshman Emmanuel Estrada he celebrates the holiday because he has Irish roots. But that isn't the only reason he celebrates.

"My youngest sister's birthday falls on the same day," he said. "I'm not only celebrating St. Patrick's Day for the cultural experience and my sister's birthday but also celebrating the founding of my fraternity Phi Kappa Tau."

Estrada said while there will be a void this year because he won't be with his sister to celebrate her birthday he is thankful to have his fraternity brothers to help fill it.

"It's definitely going to be different because of the atmosphere at CMU, but I can't wait to celebrate and fire up," he said.

Like Estrada, Davisberg freshman Ryann Ferguson celebrates the day due to her Irish roots as well. While the day of the week St. Patrick's Day falls on can affect how exactly she celebrates, Ferguson said she always pays homage to her roots.

"My siblings and I usually dress up in all green and for dinner my mom makes corn beef and cabbage," Ferguson said. "Now that I'm in college, however, it's a little different. My friends and I are having a celebration in the dorms."

Ferguson said now that she is older she celebrates the day differently than in the past. This year she and her roommates will be making food with Pinterest recipes and homemade shamrock shakes.

"Because I'm older now I feel like the innocence of St. Patrick's Day has kind of been stripped," she said. "If you don't go out and party on St. Patrick's Day in college you're seen as lame"


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