The annual Homecoming Week marks the time of the year when various student organizations showcase the university’s storied traditions. Greek life organizations, school clubs and local businesses engage in various fun-filled activities during Homecoming Week leading up to the Homecoming Day. Above all, the best part about Homecoming is the fact that it is a time when students and the entire community come together to celebrate school pride and spirit.
I participated in my fair share of homecoming experiences in high school. My most memorable experience was when I was picked to be on my high school Homecoming Court my senior year. Our student council sponsored the Homecoming Court for the senior class. The seniors voted for the top students they felt best embodied their class for the Homecoming Court, and I was one of the fortunate members chosen for this honor.
Being on the Homecoming Court, I had the responsibility to represent the school’s culture and values. The Homecoming Court received the exclusive opportunity to participate in the school’s float parade. The theme for my float was “Zeringatanging Around,” and I decorated my float with monkeys and animals that characterized the jungle along with the help of a student from the female side of the Homecoming Court. The parade was held in our football stadium where students came to see the various floats. After the parade, the court battled other school clubs in organized competitions to show school spirit.
When I arrived at college, there were similarities in how I experienced Homecoming Week in the past, but there were significant differences as well. For one, the university homecoming celebrated their former students and athletes “return” to their alma mater. My first Homecoming was more hectic compared to high school, especially with the Homecoming football game day. There was a huge tailgating event set up before the game for all the school organizations to come out and represent their clubs. Former university athletes and alumni also came to enjoy the food and lively atmosphere before the game. In addition, while there was a parade for the Homecoming Court, numerous student organizations also were able to create their own float to display in the event. The entire community was able to experience the parade filled with school pride. It was truly a spectacular sight to behold, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Another huge contrast compared to high school Homecoming is the university sponsoring a full week filled with Homecoming activities. One of my goals in college was getting involved with an organization that participated in the university’s traditions. Through the Campus Activities Board, I was able to participate in “Gumbo Ya Ya.” This was a unique event that allowed students to celebrate school spirit all while getting a free bowl of gumbo to appease their appetite. As a face-painter, I loved being able to decorate students’ faces with the university’s colors. It was very satisfying seeing the student body show their support for the school.
The school’s Homecoming Committee also arranged a number of friendly competitions for the organizations. Through CAB, I competed in an event to paint the best sign that represented our designed theme. We were required to paint the Hulk since the week’s theme was superheroes. Another competition I enjoyed doing was “Minute to Win it.” My game involved trying to throw a poker deck card into a watermelon. Even though I was not able to complete the task, it was an absolute thrill. While I did not personally participate in the “Lip Sync” competition, it had to be my favorite competition of the week because all of the Greek and other campus groups performed routines they rehearsed for the competition. It was an admirable way to capture the full spirit of the week.
Homecoming is the annual time of the year to show school pride, and the university strives to allow the community to express its shared support. It is a true measure of honor, and Homecoming Week leads to lifelong memories for everyone involved. Thus, I believe Homecoming is truly a tradition that should never be broken.