Homecoming is a foreign concept that I had only seen in movies and American pop culture. I was also under the impression that prom and homecoming were vaguely attached to each other, but I really didn’t know how or why they were connected. I was expecting a massive hype, a big football game and everyone dressed up in Oberlin colours to celebrate the big day.
It turns out, homecoming happens in the fall, which makes sense as all of the returning students are 'coming home' to college for the start of the new school year. Prom (which is a high school thing and not a college thing FYI) happens in the spring and is a celebration of the year. Prom is also a dance, and Homecoming is a whole weekend, punctuated by a football game.
Homecoming here at Oberlin is not what my brain had envisioned from American pop culture. It really isn't all that big of an event, but I did enjoy getting to watch the various sporting teams play. I went to my first football game, which was actually really fun and although our team does not have the greatest track record (sorry guys but it's true), the game was interesting to watch and learn the rules of. I highly recommend for any international prospective students reading this blog, no matter where you end up attending college (although I do hope it is Oberlin), hit up YouTube and find a video that explains the rules of American football, cause you're going to need it.
Oberlin ended up losing that game 12-7, but it was great to see Oberlin's first touchdown of the year. The energy in the crowd was electric when the touchdown was scored, and that energy was not something I had experienced before. The passion Americans feel for their team, especially their alma mater, is exhilarating. Oberlin was winning at the end of the third quarter, but in the last quarter, a Kenyon player managed to get the ball and ran nearly half the field to get a touchdown and then ended up losing. The confusion in the air as the Lords scored the touchdown was overwhelming, and to a degree, slightly entertaining.
The swim team also had our alumni meet, and as a freshman it was great to be able to interact with previous swim and dive Obies and hear about the opportunities that life has presented to them. Although we only had one alum swim with us in the meet, there were about twenty of them that came out to celebrate with us, and it was great to meet generations past. I also would like to thank specifically Dr Dave Tempest '72 and his wife Kathy '72 who biked all the way from Seattle to Oberlin in order to raise money for the Heisman Club, OC Swim and Track/Field. Dr Tempest raised over $15,000 for the athletic department and we are incredibly grateful.
Later in the evening, the men's soccer team played against Ohio Wesleyan College, a game the Yeomen also lost. It was a fun game to watch, despite the score, and I enjoyed watching both the game and the crowd as the team attempted to change the 5-0 score. Once the game was done, the fireworks began. Although there were moments I thought the ground was going to be burnt, the fireworks really were quite pretty.
Homecoming is not what I expected it would be. I enjoyed getting a taste of American culture and learnt not to expect life to be the same as is presented in American pop culture.
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