Homecoming in High School vs. College
Homecoming is a tradition carried from high school through college. We celebrate it in a variety of ways, but it is centered on one concept: bringing current students and alumni together.
In high school, homecoming is full of activities and different dress up days to go along with a particular theme.
You’ll notice when you transition to college that homecoming is celebrated differently. While the main point is still to bring students and alumni together, homecoming in college takes a different approach to the festivities.
Weekly Activities (Including Mums and Garters)
In Texas, mums and garters are a huge deal. The saying goes “the bigger the better,” and that definitely applies to this homecoming apparel.
Four years ago, celebrating homecoming in high school, I loved the season. When it was time to make my mum, I went overboard (which most girls did). I decked the mum out with ribbons, teddy bears, bells and anything else I could find. In the end, it probably weighed a couple of pounds and it sat around my neck all day.
I still have one of my mums hanging in my room at home, and I will continue to cherish it. Honestly though, I am glad those days are over. In college, homecoming doesn’t have dress up days or mums galore. Homecoming seems like any other week, as far as academics go, but there are plenty of activities outside class going on each day.
At Angelo State, student organizations plan activities for all students to participate in or watch. Here on campus, Homecoming Week started on Sunday. From Sunday through Saturday of the homecoming football game, there are at least two activities a day to attend. Some of the Homecoming activities going on this week include a dance Step Show, Knockerball Tournament and Midnight Madness.
Returning to Your Alma Mater
Ask yourself, would you return to your high school to attend the homecoming pep rally on Friday afternoon and then head over to the football game? Honestly, I would not.
It’s not that I don’t love my high school and want to return, but it is different now that I am older. Since bringing alumni back to campus is what homecoming truly means, the alumni spirit is far more visible in college.
I am celebrating my fourth homecoming as a college student and my second as a student staff member of the ASU Alumni Association. For the Alumni Association, homecoming is our largest event. If you didn’t know, the Alumni Association honors alumni, as well as faculty, staff, honorary alumni and retired faculty, during a special dinner welcoming alumni back to campus. Alumni also are recognized during halftime at the homecoming football game. As a staff, we plan for homecoming months in advance since it is a special time. The alumni are always so excited to see what has changed and to celebrate with all our students.
Were you ever selected to be on the Homecoming Court in high school? Did you ever win Homecoming King or Queen? I am sure it felt amazing and magical.
In college, the Homecoming Court celebrates students who are a part of an organization. It is nice to see your peers being recognized for their work in their organization. The winning individuals are announced during halftime.
Tailgating and the Football Game
High school football is a large part of Texas. Friday nights, the stadium lights shine as high school football players take the field. It was fun cheering for high school, but it is not the same as college football.
Once you have experienced college football, you may think that high school football was not much to rave about. With Homecoming pulling students and alumni together, the stadiums are full of spirit and excitement. Everyone is pumped up from the weeklong activities and ready for a win.
What goes along with football? In college, we immediately know the answer is tailgating.
Colleges have tailgate parties before heading to the football game. If you have never been to Ram Jam here at ASU, then you are missing out. Ram Jam is our tailgating party hosted by the Alumni Association. All students, alumni and ASU fans are welcome. Being able to tailgate is not only a fun experience, but it truly brings everyone together for a fun time.
There are many differences between high school and college homecoming celebrations. While the weekly activities change, the meaning behind homecoming is typically the same. We want to celebrate with everyone and welcome back those who were once where we are.