I'm A Cheerleader, And I've Never Been To A Football Game

I'm A Cheerleader, And I've Never Been To A Football Game

We're always curious as to what it's like to be a spectator.
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I started cheerleading in the 8th grade – if you’ve read any of my previous articles, you might have come across the fact that I grew up a gymnast, but retired after high school and became a collegiate cheerleader for the University of Pittsburgh. Starting at that young of an age, I never really got to experience the thrill of being in the stands of a student section of a football game.

I grew up a Steelers fan. Both of my parents were born and raised in Pittsburgh, and as a family, we bleed black and gold for the Steelers. Now that I’m in college, we breathe blue and gold for Pitt. Basically, we live for everything Pittsburgh.

I’ve recently started cheerleading my 8th season of football games. Every year since I was 13, I’ve cheered my school’s football team to victory and stood by them through loss. I’m now 20 years old, and I have yet to attend a football game as a spectator. During my senior year of high school, my friends would be in the front row of the “Hawk’s Nest” (what we called our student section) and they would always call out my name and cheer for me. Now that I’m in college, some of my friends are able to make it all the way down to the front rows of the “Panther Pit” to wave to me and call out my name. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get down to the front row and call out one of my friends’ names, but I think it’s pretty remarkable that people do it for me.

I find it interesting when my friends ask me if I’ve ever been to a game, because their faces when I tell them “no” is so dumbfounded. And by now, I can hear some of you thinking but you have been to a game, you’re on the sidelines every game. What’s different for me is that yes, I do get to watch the game, but I have never gotten to sit down and enjoy a game of football. But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade being a college cheerleader for the world.

In the beginning, maybe around 8 or 9 o’clock, while we cheerleaders are warming up our tumbling and stunts, most students are just waking up and painting their faces for kickoff at noon. At about 10 o’clock, we as cheerleaders head out to the tailgates to get our fans excited. We meet alumni, maybe run into our parents, and get as many people hyped up for the game by encouraging them to do cheers with us as we walk through their parked cars and tables of food. By this point, the students are at a different parking lot, drinking and partying before making their way to their seats for kickoff. Just before kickoff, the student section is about as full as it gets, disregarding the few stragglers that wanted a snack before the game began. At this point, I’m down on the field, next to Roc the Panther, my best friends and teammates, in front of a camera and tens of thousands of people, cheering and waiting for the team to arrive. We dance and do stunts to “Hail to Pitt” and the “Victory Song” and then sprint to make a tunnel for the football players to run out through. I get more exercise in one game that most students have to go to the gym three times to get. But still, I’ve never been to a game.

At the University of Pittsburgh, we have so many football traditions that we participate in at the games. After a touchdown, if the field goal is good, students throw each other up and down seven times while clapping out “Hail to Pitt.” I wonder what it’s like to be thrown at a game. They say curiosity kills the cat, but curiosity won’t be killing this Panther. Nothing compares to being able to say I cheered on Heinz Field.

Cover Image Credit: Jeffrey Gamza Photography

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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ASU Baseball Is Already Knocking It Out Of The Park

All eyes are on the Sun Devils as they enter the national poll this previous week. The Sun Devils are the last unbeaten team left in the NCAA.

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Starting off the season 18-0? Not bad, considering the Sun Devils' haven't gone undefeated at the start of the NCAA baseball season since 2010 when they went 24-0, but honestly where did this come from? In the 2017-18 season, the Devils finished off with 23-32, sitting towards the bottom of the Pac-12. Now they're the top of the conference, past the usual Pac-12 baseball powerhouse, Oregon State.

On a team with only 27 on the roster, which makes it the smallest team in the Pac-12, you wouldn't really expect such an explosive start to the season. Take a look at the improvements made, though, and you'll see why.

For starters, catcher Sam Ferri is back healthy and ready for this season to start with both pitchers Alec Marsh and RJ Dabovich, who've both thrown some great games, but if we're being honest here, have been a little inconsistent with a few errors, but have been backed up by the offense to get the job done.

On offense, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson are the ones to watch out for. Torkelson was named Pac-12 freshman of the year last year, after setting the Pac-12 freshman record of home runs. Now he's back with some deadly at-bat presence, as you can always expect a few RBIs from him, and also doing a great job at infield (#TorkBomb). Bishop's following suit, with major at-bats against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Safe to say being ranked #23 right now is huge for a program that struggled majorly in the past seasons and has had some great players transfer out recently. Despite being faced with huge adversity before the season, this lineup is really producing some good stuff this year, and by being undefeated through the first month of play really exemplified that.

Hats off to Head Coach Tracy Smith for helping these young men after having the program suffer for a while.

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