Hailing from the nation's capital, I would have never thought in a million years that I would find a small college town in the middle of Missouri as intriguing as it is.
With the autumn leaves starting to fall and the windows around town painted with colorful scenes in preparation for homecoming, this week, CoMo appears to be particularly enchanting.
I had so much fun painting some of the Chipotle windows downtown with my friends in my building, Schurz Hall.
Whether you attend Mizzou or are even vaguely familiar with the university, you are probably aware of the fact that Mizzou prides itself on "inventing" homecoming; although this statement is often debated by other schools like University of Illinois and U Mich, there's one thing that can't be argued: Mizzou takes this week very seriously.
Besides Decorating the District (all of the big businesses in CoMo trust students with paintbrushes to decorate the outside of their buildings), the campus is decorated with black and gold flags and other spirited decorations on some of the buildings.
You may have also heard of pomping, even if you yourself haven't participated in it.
Students log anywhere from 6-23 hours a week pasting paper to large boards for decorative scenes that will be scattered around Greek Town by the end of the week; it's a must see for students and visiting families!
Greek members spend weeks pomping these boards, which are on display Homecoming weekend.
Although I would have probably have been least likely to win any form of "school spirit" award in high school, the traditions at the University of Missouri are timeless and easy to partake in.
You can rock your black and gold in the local parade, tailgate the football game on Saturday or simply indulge in a scoop of Tiger Stripe ice cream after a long two weeks of tests and midterms; activities that students with all different backgrounds and interests can participate in.
I think my favorite part about homecoming week is the energy in the air; fall is often times archetypal for a transitioning period into the start of a new year, and with the positive energy radiating from students (okay except for those taking midterms), and the cheeky business owners and teachers anticipating the homecoming football game, things are not only looking up for the Tigers for this week's game, but the school year ahead.
Students and staff, brace yourselves for a lot of M-I-Z and Z-O-U chants this week...and don't forget your game faces on Saturday, Tigers!