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Game Day 101: A Freshmen's Guide to Surviving Football Season

game-day-headerGame day is a magical time in Oxford and on campus. Our usually quiet small beautiful town and campus become home to some of the nicest, passionate, and well-dressed fans in the college football world. 
However, learning to survive football season without a few bumps, bruises, blisters, and headaches can take some time unless you have some guidance along the way. For the years incoming class I have assembled for you the top ten tips from recent graduates and upperclassmen to help any freshmen or transfer student learn the best way to survive football season and make memories that will last a lifetime. 

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen

Photo by Walter Lyle Photo

Wear sunscreen! With the student section having moved to the north endzone last year, the student section is in direct sunlight for most of the day. 
“I cannot stress this enough, you will need sunscreen, for early games and night games. You will think the tents will protect you in the Grove, but you will burn.” – Lindsey, Class of 2015.

Be in the Stadium for Pregame

Photo by M. Tripoelle

“Be there in time for pregame festivities. There’s nothing like ‘Locking the Vaught’ for the first time as a student with your best friends.” – Kate, Class of 2015

‘Lock the Vaught’

“This is one of my favorite traditions from football season. If you don’t know what ‘Locking the Vaught’ is, you will soon. Link arms with your neighbor and sway until your team runs onto that field. It’s the best part of game day.” – Tyler, Class of 2013

Be Prepared to Stand

“If you are sitting in the student section and you want to be able to see the game, you will need to stand. Be prepared for this. There is very little sitting for the four or more hours that you are in the stadium.” – Jontae, Class of 2018

Wear Comfortable Shoes

“Yes those heels are cute, but can you stand in them for multiple hours? My biggest tip I can give is to wear comfortable, closed toed shoes. You do not want to get caught in a muddy Grove with sandals on, and you definitely do not want to leave the stadium carrying your heels because the ground will not be clean.” – Lauren, Class of 2015

Dress the Part

“One of the best parts of game day is seeing everyone dressed up for the game and decked out in red and blue. But remember to check which color the game is. You will get a lot of comments if you show up to a red game wearing blue. Also, my biggest pro tip, don’t wear anything you mind getting dirty. You never know when you’re going to encounter a drink shower.” – Taylor, Class of 2014

Arrive Early

Photo by J. McCarthy

“If you want a seat, especially for SEC games, show up early. If you want a good seat, show up really early, like an hour and a half early. The student section fills up quickly because it’s general admission.” – Alison, Class of 2016

Stay Until the End

Photo by Danny Dickey

“If you were performing and half of the audience got up and left, it would be understandable that your confidence would be shaken. Do not do this to our team. Even if we are losing, do not leave. Stay and support your team until the end, they deserve it.” – Kyle, Class of 2014

Learn the Chants, Cheers, and Songs

“Learn the HottyToddy, the Fight Song, the Alma Mater, when to yell Ole Miss, and when to be quiet. Do not be the person yelling the wrong thing or at inappropriate moments, such as when a player is hurt. Be proud but be respectful.” – Hailey, Class of 2018

Have Fun

“Football game days are some of my best memories from college. Being surrounded by so much Ole Miss spirit all day long, celebrating a win or consoling a loss with your friends on the Square afterward, and supporting your team and your school. I cried when I left the Grove to head to the game my senior year because I knew it would never be the same again. It is some of the best 28 Saturdays of your life, or more if your stay a student longer. Enjoy them. Study ahead of time and on that day focus on what matters most that day; friends, family, food, and football.” – Jake, Class of 2017.

Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12@gmail.com.

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