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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bleed red and blue

    Chelsea Jo Simpsoncolumnist
    Chelsea Jo Simpson
    columnist

    It’s that time again. School has started. UA t-shirt-wearing, tote-carrying parents have gone home, Target is bare and frantically restocking, and students are already skipping class. And the freshmen, though still wandering about aimlessly, seem to have figured out a thing or two.

    For example, bicycles will run them over, and they won’t think twice about it. Professors will devote two-thirds of the first week to their syllabi. And when it comes to getting dressed for class, UA apparel is generally accepted as stylish.

    But let’s be honest: throwing on that UA sweatshirt for class isn’t just the easy way out. On the days when you jump out of bed and do the power walk to class, it’s a blessing.

    Over the years, I have learned that it is sure-bet entertainment to wear UA apparel, sporting as much red and blue as possible, when traveling through an airport. In particular, Phoenix Sky Harbor. It just never fails that I manage to piss off some Sun Devil on his or her own turf. That satisfaction alone warms my heart with Wildcat pride.

    Warning: I am convinced that I was sent through the extra security check this summer, the one where they take every belonging out of your bag and ask if you are planning to stab someone with your fingernail clippers, all because a USC alumnus happened to be working. Let’s just say he wasn’t too excited about my Wildcat pride. Simply a theory of mine. Take it for what it’s worth.

    As a freshman, wearing UA apparel is just a cop-out when you don’t want to get dressed. But after that first football game that tends to change.

    My little sister is one of the wide-eyed freshmen trying to fit in this year. When asked for the best advice I could offer her, I responded without hesitation: find Wildcat pride and bleed red and blue.

    I couldn’t tell you the difference between a football and a helmet, but there I am in the stands of every football game, cheering when it seems appropriate … pretty much just a constant roar, and an occasional chant.

    It doesn’t matter how well the players are doing or how badly they’re being trampled – the point is that feeling of belonging to something simply because you, too, are a Wildcat. You may not be suited up or running the field, but somewhere between that acceptance letter and that first sporting event, you become a Wildcat. And that win is your victory, too.

    If you do nothing else as a freshman, go to a football game, stand in the Zona Zoo section and scream your heart out. Watch the Pride of Arizona play “”Bear Down”” and shake your keys in the air with every other student, alumni and kids training to be a Wildcat.

    As the years

    It just never fails that I manage to piss off some Sun Devil on his or her own turf. That satisfaction alone warms my heart with Wildcat pride.

    pass, that pride changes from a painted face and a UA sweatshirt to something more. Don’t get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoy pissing off every Sun Devil I come across. But I also have found a special place for the years that I have spent as a Wildcat, and excitement that I still have two more.

    Of course, in a couple of years I could always return for a football game or Homecoming. But after graduation (something I am trying desperately to put off), I won’t get to stand in the student section and cheer my heart out as a student, only as a creepy old lady who still thinks she’s in college. And let’s just not go there.

    Before long we will be knee-deep in football season, a perfect time to stretch out and embrace that UA Wildcat pride. Let’s start the clock now – four years. Maybe a little more and maybe a little less, but either way it’s a limited amount of time. And just in case your college days do not go into overtime, get out there and take that opportunity now.

    So put on that UA t-shirt and go to class. Make it a little easier for yourself. But on Sept. 8, make it a point to paint your face, bring your keys, learn “”Bear Down”” and jump in the crowd of screaming Zona Zoo members. It’s the only feeling better than knowing you aren’t a Sun Devil.

    Chelsea Jo Simpson is a junior majoring in journalism and Spanish. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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