An ode to USC tailgates: the best in the world
Christmas comes every other weekend
Other schools do not happily wake up at 7:30a.m. to their university's fight song. Not every college student proudly dresses up in outlandish outfits, boasting their school pride. Most colleges do not make it a tradition that by 9:00a.m., the entire student body is jumping up and down, ecstatic, thrilled, jubilant, that they get to come together, freeze time, and live in the moment to experience the beauty of game day.
I had no idea the magnitude
Let's rewind a few years, I was a senior in high school and just made the decision that I would attend USC. It was certainly a time of excitement.
What I knew about USC was just the bullet points – I was a big sports fan and USC would offer me ample opportunity for football on Saturdays, basketball games all the time, and a general “rah-rah” atmosphere pulsing everywhere I turned. That was really all I knew.
I remember entering my senior year adviser's office and exclaiming that I just got into USC. I was expecting a common, "that's great, you better study hard" or a "oh, how terrific…you are going to love California."
Instead, she said, "you are going to fucking love their tailgates."
I had no idea how to respond to this statement. My mind raced with questions: "Why did it take this long for my senior year adviser to use profanity!?" "How did this New York suburban women know anything about USC's tailgates or its traditions? Is this common knowledge?"
I awkwardly told her "thank you," and exited her office.
I had to wait until my first Saturday on campus to realize what she was really talking about.
We don't realize how good we have it
"This is wild, I have never experienced anything like this," said every visitor who has ever stepped foot on campus on game day.
They are not bullshitting when they make comments like this, because the extremity that USC takes game days is unlike any other place in the world. Having the entire school shutdown to celebrate on the entire campus is unseen anywhere else.
Yes, no denying that our Saturday mornings turn into your traditional party. However, this day is not primarily for the students or for supporting the football team, it is a day to show love for the Trojan family. It is a day where alumnus, employees, students, and parents gather to celebrate the community.
Take a minute and soak it in
Every Saturday, when SC is playing at home, I flashback to the comment my senior year adviser made to me. I flashback to the first few weeks of my freshman year, when I thought my friends were joking when they told me "festivities kick off around 7:30a.m."
I flashback to feeling nervous as I worried that I was wearing "too much" school spirit. Within seconds of walking out of my dorm, I quickly realized there is never "too much" school spirit.
I flashback to that euphoric sensation I felt, the same feeling I feel every game day, when you have never felt more connected to USC.
As this football season comes to an end, take in the wonders that comes with this day. Join the sea of red that marches over to the Coliseum. Hold on to that childlike feeling we all get when we hear the fight song. Fully embrace the beauty that game days present, because honestly, there's nothing else like it in the world.