The Brown-Harvard Homecoming Game is the setting for one of a Brunonian fall’s most illustrious traditions: the homecoming tailgate. Brown and Harvard students come together to partake in a little harmless pregame fun with non-alcoholic beverages and family-friendly music. At least that’s what I told my parents. In truth, the event is called Brown State, because it is the one time when members of the Brown student body party like students at schools where car flipping and body painting are regular occurrences. I was told that, as a freshman, I needed to go. I took a few friends from my unit with me and made careful note of my observations.
- There is a lot of wandering aimlessly. Freshmen don’t exactly know the ins and outs of having a fun college time yet, and don’t even know very many people. So a lot of time was spent finding each other, losing each other and fearfully scanning the crowd for familiar faces. The moments when we recognized someone were emotional, with relieved hugs all around.
Ahhh who are these people?
- It’s hard to figure out what to do. Some people played complicated drinking games. Others decided to jump on top of cars. The most inebriated found that tackling each other and getting told off by the police was the best option. My friends and I just stood there and tried to look cool and popular, doing our best to avoid bumping into any drunk person who might get annoyed. In reality we probably looked more like TV show nerdy middle schoolers hiding from bullies.
- Awkward dancing. With little wiggle room in the crowd, the only way to move was really with upper-body gestures, with some light hip shakes sprinkled in. None of us had very much to drink since we weren’t able to find beers easily, and thus were acutely aware of how awkward and uncoordinated we truly were.
Hi. I’m a freshman. Am I cool yet?
- The weekend of the Homecoming game is really, really long. Friday night was Friday night, with everything that a wild Friday night entails. Then we woke up at 10:30 a.m. or so and it was time to party again. Then the game happened. Then we crashed like grandparents by the afternoon.
Thanks to some hardcore napping we rallied like champs for A Night on College Hill and pulled off even more increasingly cringy dance moves.
- It was pretty fun. Nothing brings together a pack of freshmen like feeling uncomfortable and sticking out for all the wrong reasons. I never felt as close to my unit mates as when we were surrounded by drunk people and not really sure how to act or what to do. If anything, it was a good lesson that we weren’t high school seniors anymore and have a lot to learn. I know that I’ll be doing some more of that learning at the tailgate next year. See you then.