We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?

Like many other students of the College, both past and present, I attended Homecoming this past weekend. I went in full force this year, being a senior and someone who has participated in the events of Spirit Week for the past three years— trust me when I say I know Homecoming. Nevertheless, it only dawned on me this past weekend what a true phenomenon this annual celebration really is.

Never at any other time of the year is there such a great amount of school spirit. Roscoe the Lion roams the tailgating areas and stadium, which is packed fuller than ever. Blue and gold pom-poms and noisemakers are seen in the hands of every other person. Hoards of happy people in College apparel swarm the campus— from little children in strollers to older adults in golf carts. It is a wonderful scene.

In addition to wonderful however, the whole situation is rather amusing. See, ever since I entered this school in 2008, all I’ve ever heard from other students is how apathetic the campus community is, what a drastic lack there is of school pride, how nobody cares about anything and blah… blah… blah (to remain a happy student and survive such complaining, one learns to stop listening after a point). As part of The Signal staff I know full well that there are way too many student-run organizations and events that contradict the allegations of apathy, but alas, it is challenging to say the same about the lack of school spirit.

Homecoming, on the other hand, is the one time of the year where such complaints come across as completely foolish and untrue. After all, if nobody cared about this school, why on earth would so many of us continue to participate year after year in the event that celebrates it the most? Beer, friends and food are some answers, but good ‘ole school spirit surrounds them all.

People should also be aware that there are, in fact, many colleges that do not have a homecoming. My brother and sister, for example, both attend schools without football teams. They are the same age as me (I’m a triplet. There, now you’re not confused), yet neither have ever experienced anything like I have yearly. Even some of my friends at schools with football teams don’t necessarily have much of a homecoming to speak of. What we have at the College is in fact special.

I am perhaps being a bit overly emotional because it was, after all, my last Homecoming as a student (providing of course, I pass every class from now until May 2012). Constant reminders of this came my way throughout the weekend, starting with the alumni who cheerfully allowed me to put my name down on their mailing list because my time as an undergraduate is so close to an end. In exchange, I received two blue and gold pom-poms and a brief feeling of despair.

The occasion that left the biggest impression on me, however, was when I went to the Rat for dinner on Saturday and an alumnus, albeit very drunk, told me repeatedly that he still loved the College very much and that one day I would be him. I don’t plan on becoming a middle-aged man at any point in the future, but I do hope that I also still care about this school long after I have graduated.

So enjoy your time in college and don’t be afraid to let your school spirit show during the rest of the year. Maybe even consider attending a non-Homecoming football game. Let’s go Lions!