Staff Editorial: Stand up and cheer

Oped Cartoon 8.31

For many students pushing three, four (or seven) years on the Hill, WKU traditions have become something to look forward to. But if the lack of enthusiasm during some MASTER Plan events was any indication, the story is different for many of the new kids on the block. The Herald would like to welcome the freshman class with some advice on keeping the WKU spirit alive.

Dear Freshmen:

Now that you’ve begun the transition to independence, things will get much harder. You’ll be stressed, you’ll be confused and you’ll have to work hard. But the good thing about college is, you can play harder. No, that doesn’t mean you should run wild with the intention of setting the world record for the longest keg-stand. You can start by taking off the too-cool-for-school hat and simply showing a little school spirit.

You chose this 104-year-old institution for a reason. And you’ll be here for the next few years, so there’s no sense in dreading it.

Dive in by getting involved. There are hundreds of student groups tailored to your interests and strengths. Whether it’s intramural sports, organizations for your major or community service, you’ll find a place to fit. Not only does it hone your time management skills, but involvement also builds networks, friendships and introduces you and your talents to the WKU community. And when you have obligations, you also have reasons to stay here.

Being stuffed in a dorm and surrounded by new faces can make anyone miss the comforts of home. But dashing home every weekend isn’t going to make your transition any smoother.

Take advantage of the culture Bowling Green has to offer. Visit the square downtown to enjoy the scenery or catch a show at the Capitol Arts Center. Root for the home team at the Hot Rods Stadium. Become a citizen of the town, not just a resident of your dorm.

WKU is a modern school in a growing city. But showing school pride always goes back to following the traditions. Among the most epic? Tailgating.

For hours before football games, thousands of WKU alumni, current students and faculty gather on lawns around campus to celebrate. Mosey around to different tents to meet new people and student groups and enjoy the food. Then go to the games, which are free for those with a WKU ID, and cheer the team to a win.

Don’t peek out of the window and wonder what the six loud booms were; be there to scream right along with them as fireworks mark when the Toppers score a touchdown. Even if the score is not in WKU’s favor, always wave your red towel frantically. Make E.A. Diddle, the former coach who inspired the towel tradition, proud.

To end, dear freshmen, know that seasoned students empathize with you. The weather is sometimes tricky, but you still must go to class. On Spirit Day every Friday, sport your WKU gear like it’s the latest from a Badgley Mischka collection. Big Red’s energy is hard to keep up with, and even though you might look like a goofball doing it, try anyway.

Administrators, professors, event planners and students work hard to make sure the Hill is alive. Keep it that way.

Sincerely, your new Hilltopper family.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.