Waking up bright and early on a Saturday to the fight song being played, everyone at USC knows what day it is: gameday. You can be from America or abroad, a Viterbi student or a Thornton professor, a sports enthusiast or an avid reader, a current student or a Trojan alumni, everyone in the Trojan family knows what a Saturday in the fall means. Many of my peers have already touched on this topic, however, I wanted to share some of my own experiences, as no single article can truly do the occasion justice.
Living right next to McCarthy Quad my freshman year, I was able to get quite the football Saturday experience. Waking up around 7 AM, the entire campus around me was already coming alive. As I walked downstairs to grab breakfast and some much needed coffee, McCarthy Quad was already packed with cardinal and gold. And as I walk back up to put on my usual collared USC shirt and khaki shorts, the hallways of my dorm were already buzzing with excited students.
Normally, I walked around McCarthy Quad and Alumni Park for a bit before heading over to 28th street to enjoy the pregame festivities there. However, no matter who you are – a diehard football fan, a student simply out for the experience, or an alumni coming back to visit – there is something for everyone to do beforehand.
As gametime approaches, the swarm of Trojans begin heading south towards the Coliseum. Kicking the flagpoles, buying a bacon wrapped hotdog, and chanting the fight songs are all common traditions as the crowd makes its way towards the stadium.
Upon arriving at the Coliseum, most students get bottlenecked at the student section entrance. And while it is a pain to get in, the student section is well worth the wait. Cramped into worn out seats under the blasting heat of the sun, it might not seem that great from the outside. However, being amongst the crowd, chanting the fight song alongside the band and Song Girls, and hearing the deafening cheering as USC dominates the opposing team, the student section is truly a surreal experience.
As halftime rolls around, many choose to return to the coolness of air conditioning outside the stadium to watch the remainder of the game. However, for someone like me, the second half is the best part as I am able to move closer to the front and get an even better view of the action.
At the end of the day, gamedays are whatever you want to make of them. But no matter who you are, where you come from, and what you’re interested in, they’ll provide a truly memorable experience.