Since it is my senior year, homecoming weekend is going to hit me a little differently this time around.
Homecoming weekend at Oberlin is one of my favorite times of the year. Knowlton Stadium is usually packed for our annual homecoming football game, and that means a lot to me as a ball player. When you’re ready to get on the field and you see the student body cheering you on in the stands, it feels as though you are on the very top of the world. What makes it even more special is that those members of the student body are your friends and peers. You see these people almost every day, and they came out to the stadium to watch you perform? The feeling is phenomenal to say the very least.
One of the best things about homecoming is the fact that the fall weather is usually wonderful in Oberlin at the time.
In my own personal opinion, the period when fall begins is one of the nicest times of the year in Ohio. The weather is cooling down, but it isn’t too cold either. It’s just right. The weather has such a huge influence on a lot of things around here. It can often determine how the day ends up turning out. There are a lot more opportunities for great social functions when the weather is nice. That’s one of the biggest reasons why homecoming games are usually in the middle of the fall all over the country. The overall atmosphere is perfect here when there’s a sunny day with some cloud cover in the fall. And the temperature outside? Perfect. It’s usually around sixty to seventy degrees outside around this time. It rains on occasion, but it’s nothing compared to the downpours that approach in the winter and spring.
For homecoming, the weather is great, and the outdoor views are even greater.
I often talk about the beauty of Oberlin’s natural aspects on this platform, but I just can’t stress it enough. The warm autumn colors blanket all of the trees here, and they stay around from October to mid-late November. When you look around and see how beautiful everything around looks, life just seems... better. College is already stressful as it is. Imagine going to a place where you are stressed all the time AND the visual aesthetics weren’t there. I feel very privileged to go to a school where I can at least enjoy what I’m looking at for the majority of the time. Homecoming weekend only elevates how good everything looks. There are decorations all over the place, as well as the festivities. Everything is just really nice to look at during homecoming.
I know for a fact that one of my favorite things about homecoming is seeing all of my friends who are alums.
Homecoming weekend is really for the alumni. This is their opportunity to show up and return to Obieland and see many of their beloved old classmates and professors. I’m excited to see so many of my old friends again. There are alums who graduated from Oberlin many, many years ago and they still want to show their faces here. That’s another thing that I love about Oberlin in general. The people here have this wonderful sense of pride in being an Obie. That pride and spirit carries on with many students after they graduate, so they still show a lot of love to Oberlin whenever they get the chance. I’m going to see old friends from all sorts of social circles who are doing incredible things in the “real world.” I especially enjoy those conversations with recent graduates about the transition from college to the workforce. Sure, those conversations can be made on the phone, but there’s nothing like face to face interaction. I’m seeing graduates who used to be my teammates. That feeling of seeing your brothers again is out of this world. I’m not going to lie; I miss my old teammates who have graduated. They have done so much for me and our football program during their time here, and I don’t know where I would be without them. Seeing those guys in the stands means the world to me every year. It is definitely going to be a treat to be with my brothers again.
This homecoming game in particular is a special one, because it is ALSO a game against our biggest rival, Kenyon.
Most Obies should know that the Kenyon game is one of the biggest games of the year. Usually, homecoming is for a team other than Kenyon, so the significance wasn’t as huge. This time around, the significance is seemingly doubled in my eyes. Homecoming week and rivalry week on the same week? I’m sure that schools do it more often than I realize, but I have never heard of that before. It is what it is, though. I don’t have any complaints. It’s my senior year anyway, so I might as well embrace it, right? Plus, it’s another opportunity to compete against Kenyon. Kenyon is easily my favorite opponent to face up against. After all, it’s Kenyon! It should be running through every Obie’s veins to hate Kenyon. Purple shouldn’t be pleasant to look at during “Kenyon Hate Week.” They are a school that is highly similar to ours. Kenyon is a small and prestigious school in Ohio like Oberlin is. We compete with them in nearly everything. There’s always a higher sense of competition when Kenyon and Oberlin are associated with one another. The similarities between the two schools force the rivalry to be intensified. Also, the two schools have been playing against each other for the longest time.
I can’t wait until homecoming weekend. I hope it’s as legendary as I anticipate it to be.
Oberlin’s homecoming this year is October 4-6.