If you don't know about Penn State's school spirit you must be living under a rock. Even if you don't go to Penn State, you've seen or heard about Penn State football tailgates, where blue and white spread as far as the eye can see.
Sure, students could be proud of their school's academics or clubs, but Penn State football tailgates are the prime example of what college school spirit is all about.
Since my boyfriend, Andrew, goes to Penn State, I've met a lot of amazing friends that we've tailgated with before big games.
My first tailgate I remember being so in shock that there were so many people. Now I knew Penn State was huge, but the tailgates were a whole new level of the word huge. Flags, shirts, socks, sunglasses, gloves, hats, tents, car decals, chairs, everything you could think of the Penn State logo is postered on it. It's incredible that people go this all out for a school.
And they don't even think twice about it! The student section roars during games and chants/songs are screamed. There's a bond there among students that's like something I've never experienced before.
I love West Chester endlessly, and I never want to leave, but at the same time I wonder where along the way I lost my "ra-ra" school spirit. I guess I always thought the kids who were openly borderline obsessed with their school were weird, but after experiencing the Penn State culture, I realized that it isn't weird at all.
I have to admit, at first I was taken aback, but you grow to enjoy it and even be comforted by it. Homecoming at West Chester is really the only time people go crazy with the school spirit, but what about every other weekend? How did our student section at games get so small? Why is it still considered weird to have school spirit?
My experiences at Penn State have taught me that there's no shame in having pride in your college. Why shouldn't you? You're paying a lot of money to go there, so you must love it, right? Penn State has taught me to love my own school and my school's sports teams. Now I go to sports games and I've acquired more WCU T-shirts and I've never been more in love with my school.
The WCU school spirit is there. I see it in small ways everyday, but it's time to change the West Chester culture about school spirit for the better.