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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Main image courtesy of Card Chronicle.

Each fall brings the promise of a new school year on campus. And whether it’s your freshman year or your senior year, you can’t help getting a little excited about returning to campus. There’s so much to look forward to at the start of the school year, whether it’s new classes, seeing old friends (and meeting new ones), getting ready for new experiences, and of course, the start of college sports on campus!

Football is the sport that might first come to mind when you think about the fall semester, but depending on your school, it might also be the start of the season for other sports like soccer, tennis, or golf. No matter what fall sport you’re into, there are definitely some things to keep in mind if you want to get ready for them this year!

We thought it would be helpful to discuss how to best prepare for college sports on campus with suggestions like:

  • Knowing where to watch the game
  • Where to tailgate
  • What kind of supplies you need
  • How to dress

Finish up your school work first

First things first, make sure your work is complete!

college students on campus
You want to enjoy game day without worrying about that assignment you didn’t complete! Image courtesy of Forbes.

Before we start getting ready for the big game, it’s important that first you ensure that your coursework is completed. This way, you don’t have anything hanging over your head causing you to worry. The fall sports season starts soon after students arrive on campus, and while there’s a chance your academic load isn’t too bad at this point, you still don’t want to leave your school work unfinished. 

If you’re getting ready for your first big football game, you’ll want to aim to have your work completed by Friday afternoon. Lots of schools have campus events for students that start Friday evening, such as pep rallies or other get-togethers in support of the team. You don’t want to miss out because you waited until the last minute to get your readings done or your equations worked out. 

If you’re an upperclassman, you know this by now! Stick to your study routine and you’ll be fine. Freshmen take note: it feels good to have your assignments done before the weekend, that way you aren’t feeling so overwhelmed on Sunday night.

Decide where you want to watch the game

This is an important decision, so make sure you plan ahead!

college students at a football game
Whether you watch in person or on TV, you can always create a fun game day atmosphere. Image courtesy of Onward State.

It’s finally here, Saturday game day! For a lot of students, Saturday afternoons are all about football games. Football seems to be tied to the fall semester as much as pumpkin spice lattes, boots, and sweater weather, and it is a great way to get out of the dorm and enjoy a beautiful (or not so beautiful) autumn day. Now that you’ve finished your school work, it’s time to decide where you’re going to watch the game. 

Live in person

Most students love trekking over to the stadium on campus to cheer on their classmates to victory. Depending on your school, this means you’ll need to have student tickets. Some larger schools make use of a lottery system that designates where you’ll sit based on your class year. Students typically always sit (or stand!) in the student section, but where exactly you are can vary from year to year.

You’ll also want to determine who you want to sit with for the duration of the football season. This is different at every school, so it’s probably best to check the policies in place at your school before the season begins. 

We understand that this can be a lot to take in for freshmen while you’re trying to get all your classes in order, but if you want to participate in an amazing experience, it’s well worth your time. 

Other smaller schools may just have a regular student admission process, where you purchase game day tickets at the start of the semester. Some may even allow students to purchase tickets on the day of the game. However your school decides to go about this, make sure you’re aware and if your team is playing at home, try to watch it in person. Because there’s nothing like the experience of cheering your team onto victory!

In your dorm room

While we’d like to watch every game in person if we can, sometimes that’s just not an option. Team schedules dictate that some games are played at home, while others are away. If it’s an away weekend for your team, not to worry, you can still gather friends and throw a game watch in your dorm! It’s always more fun to watch the game among friends, so make sure you pick the dorm that will allow you to hang out and watch your team on TV.

If the opponent’s school is within driving distance, you could also consider visiting their campus! Tickets might be harder to get, so you’ll want to plan this out beforehand. It’s fun to see new campuses and see the traditions that make up football season at other schools.

Alternatively, if you’re 21, you could also watch your school’s team on TV at a bar.

Do you have a tailgate to attend?

One of the most popular parts of game day is attending tailgates or game day parties before kick off. Tailgates are a great way to meet up with friends and get excited for the upcoming game. The best part? You can have a tailgate regardless of whether the game is played at home or away! Let’s be honest, not all tailgates need to happen with a car in a parking lot. All you need is a place to hang out and some friends!

Get supplies for game day!

Whether you’re having a game day party in your dorm, a tailgate, or hosting a pre-game party, you’ve got to have the right supplies!

college students attending a college football game
All game day parties need the right supplies. Image courtesy of Harvard.

No matter if you’re having a dorm party, are attending a tailgate, or are going to a friend’s place for a pre-game party, you’re definitely going to need some supplies. While we’re sure you could just have people over to sit and watch the game, why not go all out and make a little event out of it? If you’re planning on attending the game live in person, you’ll want to start your party with plenty of time before kickoff. 

If you’re hosting a watch party, you’ll want to plan on having friends over before the game, during the game, and probably a little bit after the game. You can plan your game day party according to your preferences. If you want to take your tailgate/game day party to the next level you should make sure you’re prepared.

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  • A car, your dorm room, or apartment. If you’re tailgating for a home game, most people choose to do so out of their car or RV. The parking lots surrounding the stadium are typically packed full of vehicles getting ready for the big game. But you can always have a game day party in your dorm or apartment.
  • Decor. While technically you don’t have to have game day decor, why not? Your campus bookstore is sure to have all kinds of posters or flags that you can proudly display, no matter where you’re getting together. 

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  • Snacks, beverages, and food. Tailgating food is some of the most quintessential American food you can have. Whether you want to go all out and get a grill to fry up burgers, hotdogs, wings, or sausage, or would rather keep it a little smaller with snacks like chips, dip, and some sweets, there’s not really a wrong way to do this. Beverages are important too, so make sure you ask everyone attending to bring along their favorites.

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OCM sports inspired plates and cups
You can combine your school spirit with practical necessities like cups, plates, and napkins with your school colors and mascot! This is sure to keep the game day energy high and prepare you and your friends for a great time. Image courtesy of OCM.
  • Music. This is the time to get pumped up before your team takes the field. You’ve got to have the right music to do that! Create a tailgate playlist and make sure you keep it on repeat. Whether you’re into old school rock classics, or want something a little more current, browse through Spotify or YouTube for some amazing suggestions.
  • Games. Another way to keep the fun vibes going is to include games like throwing the football around or cornhole. Nothing like a little friendly competition to get everyone in the zone.
  • TV/radio. If you don’t have tickets for the game, or your team is playing out of town, you can still tailgate and either watch the game on TV or listen to it on the radio.

Make sure you’re properly dressed

If you’re lucky enough to attend the game in person, make sure you’re dressed for the part

OCM college football sweatshirt
You’ve got to be prepared for all kinds of weather when you’re at the game. Make sure you always check the forecast before heading over to the stadium! Image courtesy of OCM.

While it may seem obvious, you can’t be too prepared when it comes to the weather. Depending on where your school is, you could be dealing with everything from 90 degree days, to 35 degree game days by the time the football season is over. But luckily for you, if you head over to the OCM Fan Shop, we have attire that’s perfect for all kinds of weather. 

Hot

Because football games (and the fall semester) typically start at the end of August, you can count on it being pretty warm outside. Not to worry, you can still have fun on game day cheering on your team while staying cool and comfortable in the sun and humidity. Make sure you dress for the hot weather with a t-shirt or a tank top, and pair it with either shorts, a skirt, or even a pair of jeans. Don’t forget your sunglasses and SPF, because you don’t want the sun in your eyes for the entire game, and you certainly don’t want to deal with a sunburn!

Pro tip: Drink water while you’re in the stadium! It’s easy to get overheated with all the excitement, so make sure you stay hydrated.

Cold 

This won’t apply to everyone, but there are a substantial amount of schools that deal with a cold end to the football season. If this applies to you, make sure when you attend games you’re layering your garments. There’s nothing worse than getting cold at a game, because it can become extremely distracting! Layer both your bottoms and your shirts, and make sure you top it off with a jacket, scarf, hat, and gloves. If you can, bring a blanket and something to sit on.

Remember, if it gets too cold, you can always go back to the dorm and watch the rest on TV with a nice mug of hot chocolate. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Rain

Even when rain occurs in the warmer months, it can really dampen the mood of a football game. It’s best to be prepared for this type of weather by bringing along a raincoat or poncho if the weather seems to be threatening on game day. If the weather is warm, try to stick to flip flops because wet tennis shoes can really be a downer. If it’s cold and raining, opt for some boots that have some rain or weather protection. 

Enjoy the game!

Getting ready to enjoy college sports back on campus is always an exciting time. It seems like the campus is buzzing when game day arrives. Make sure to follow these tips and you’re going to have a great season!