This weekend marks one of the greatest traditions in USC football: the “weekender”. For thoseĀ  who aren’t familiar with it, the weekender happens each year during either the Cal or Stanford game- whichever game is away. Students from USC all travel up to the bay to witness a great spectacle: USC beating up on whoever is unfortunate enough to play us.

This year happened to be against Cal, and unfortunately, the game fell on a Thursday night. The NCAA, in its short-sightedness, apparently failed to take into account the needs of the Trojan fans when setting up the scheduling for this year’s football season. Because of this, many students were unable to make the trip due to class obligations- myself included.

But never fear! For those who were left behind, the event became a sort of “stay-cation”. For the members of my fraternity, we took the opportunity to make the game a brotherhood event, hosting a series of small events at our house to lead up to the game.

Although many of the members of my fraternity traveled up north to Cal for the weekend, a decent number stayed behind. We all piled into a room of disproportionate amounts of testosterone to enjoy pizza and some Trojan football. Saddened we were not at Cal, we were consoled in that we dominated the game. Cheers erupted every time Matt Barkley passed for a touchdown or Mark Tyler ran untouched for dozens of yards.

But of course, the best part of the night was, in fact, the friends I was surrounded with. The fraternity has become my home away from home, and I’m fortunate to be a part of a smaller community within USC that is so accepting and welcoming. I’ve found that coming to college will most certainly mean different things to different people, and while Greek life might be great for some, other opportunities are better suited to other people. No matter what you get involved in it’s important to try new things and to do what makes you happy.

My version of the weekender was much different than those who visited Cal, but I can honestly say that I had just as great a time. In the future, I hope to be able to go to the bay area and be a part of the official event, but as long as I’m with friends I know I’ll have a great time, whether in Southern California or in the bay.