As part of my pledge to enjoy my senior year to the fullest and focus on the fun, I decided to wake up at 8 am to begin my last undergraduate homecoming bright and early with the Homecoming Parade. This was my first homecoming parade, and I really had no idea what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect that by the end I would be tearing up.
The parade itself was fun and funny: an endearing combination of alumni riding together in classic cars and trailers full of current students showing their Tribe Pride. This is the year of the Griffin (our new mascot) and everyone came up with different plays on the Griffin’s impending defeat of the Univ. of Delaware Blue Hens in football that afternoon. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched paper mache Hens get roasted, dunked, and wrestled by the Griffin on various floats. I also loved watching my classmates perform with many of the various student groups present at the parade. As I watched, however, it truly began to sink in that this is the last year I will be watching from within. I know William and Mary will always be my home—as homecoming appropriately reminds me—but I also know that becoming an alum will change my perspective on the college. Just in time for Homecoming, the Cohen Career Center and new Sadler Center Terrace were completed. Having watched the transformation over the last year, it’s hard for me to remember what that part of campus looked like before. I know that when I return as an alumnus I will be startled by all the changes on my campus. So I cried a little for the loss that will come from leaving this place, but I cried more for the incredible family I have gained from my time here. When I graduate I will join an amazing group of Tribe members who are leading inspiring lives, and we can all come home together to William and Mary. It was a privilege to enjoy my first and last student homecoming parade, and I look forward to my first alumni homecoming as well.
That afternoon I was too caught up in the football game to be thinking about anything but holding my breath and cheering for our Tribe victory! Football, I will admit, is not my sport. I generally understand the concept of touchdowns and offense vs. defense, but only with the help of my friends Kat and Emily do I advance beyond simply cheering when those around me are. The homecoming game was intense, and I was glad I had their guidance.
Sitting in the middle of the student section is always amusing as I listen to all the witty cheers and attempt to join in at the right times. I particularly enjoyed the student in front of me who had a rubber chicken painted blue to represent the UD Blue Hens that made a hilarious wailing noise when squeezed (the chicken, not the student). Watching our defense hold strong and our offense make great plays was a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Our victory (17-16) was well earned and so great to cheer for!
Homecoming is a wonderful weekend that reminded me of how much I have here at William and Mary, and as scary as the future is, I know that for at least one weekend a year I will always have a home to come back to where I can cry and cheer and enjoy the company of the incredible Tribe family.