Traying is a term used in lieu of "sledding" at many college campuses. The reason is equipment-related: lacking funds with which to buy a proper sled, students will swipe a tray from a campus dining hall to use for the same purpose.

There is much more of an art to traying than to regular sledding. A sled is built to swiftly descend a snow-covered hill; a tray is built to carry cups and plates. A person who wants to use the latter item for the former purpose must carefully balance himself (or rather, his butt) on the center of the tray and then figure out what to do with his legs. Two options: 1. Holding them straight out; 2. Bending the knees and trying to fit the feet on the edge of the tray.

Regardless of how he is positioned, the person doing the traying has a very small chance of staying on the tray during his entire descent. The likelihood of facing forward for much of the journey is probably even lower. This is all part of the fun, though, or at least that's what we college kids like to tell ourselves.

Though trays are, naturally, the most common piece of equipment used for traying, other items may sometimes end up being used. Included are cardboard boxes, mattresses, garbage bags...and even, on occasion, a professionally-constructed sled. Even so, "traying" is the regularly-used term -- at least at my college.

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