The leaves over the Red Cedar River and around East Lansing are starting to change, which means Michigan State’s campus has finally descended into autumn.
More importantly, this weekend brings back that wonderful fall tradition of homecoming.
Students often tend to overlook what this weekend means to the alumni making the trip back for the game this weekend. Many of us may have gone back for one homecoming weekend at our high school, but after that we move on, because—let’s face it—it’s a lot more fun at college.
But,the Spartans who have moved on to the real world after graduation might only get this one weekend to come back and remember what it was like at their alma mater.
Time spent in East Lansing is going to be the best four years (or five, or six years for some of us) of our lives. After graduation, life gets serious and there’s no more relaxing college life—except for homecoming.
Being a student, it’s scary for me to imagine what a fall Saturday would be like without waking up way too early to tailgate. Walking away from this town is going to be incredibly hard, if only because it is the most ridiculous fun any one person could ask for. I can only imagine the feeling alumni might get when they pull their car into Munn Field at 7 a.m. to fire up their grills and begin their annual tailgate.
Homecoming weekend is always one of the more fun weekends of the year in East Lansing. The energy from the younger alumni, some perhaps coming back to campus for the first time since they left for reality, picks up the town from Friday’s homecoming parade until Saturday’s after-parties.
But, one of my favorite things to see is the older alumni coming back to town. The passion these Spartans have for their school is obvious, from their green and white hats and scarves to the smiles on their faces as they talk about their time in East Lansing.
After the past 40 years of Spartan football, it’s special to see these fans still coming out to support their team. I’ve only been around for 21 of those years and have found it hard at times. To keep the faith after decades of mediocrity and disappointment means these people bleed green and white. It’s an inspiration.
This year’s theme for homecoming is "We’ve Always Been Green" and it coincides with the campus’ movement toward environmental sustainability. However, I think it shows the undying loyalty Spartan grads and fans have to this university as well.
Perhaps a better slogan would have been "We’ll Always Be Green".