School spirit

I was never good at the whole “school spirit” thing.

OK, I shouldn’t say never. I did have a ton of school spirit at one point, it just was never while attending UND.

During my first three years of high school, I was that rowdy, silly fangirl at every one of my school’s hockey and football games. I knew every word to our cheers and I owned a closet full of fashionable clothing in maroon and gray, my high school’s colors.

That all changed during my senior year though. I realized my plan wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to.

My plan was to get involved with as many student organizations as I could and attend as many games as possible so I could get to know the “popular” kids. I wanted be that girl who everyone knew about, who had a glamorous group of female friends and a super hottie boyfriend–just like what I saw in the movies.

My plan sort-of worked. I got to know a very wide variety of people, including some of the football and hockey players who I was cheering so obnoxiously for.

I never fully reached my goal though. I never had a close group of female friends, let alone a boyfriend. I just had a large quantity of people I who I got along with but rarely hung out with outside of school-related functions. I knew almost every other student in a school of approximately 1,300, yet I was very lonely.

I finally realized during my senior year what a waste of time school spirit was, so I quit. I quit watching guys who would never be interested in me play hockey. I quit trying to be friends with a crowd who I didn’t have much in common with. I began dedicating as much time as I could to my future career goals, since I knew those would be my ticket out of the small hometown that I hated.

This attitude followed me into my freshman year at UND. I told myself I was only here to get an education, have fun and meet new people. School spirit was never a priority. I attended a small handful of men’s hockey games but I was never sad if UND lost. I just wanted something fun to do on weekends that I didn’t require me to be 21.

Since turning 21 last June, I’ve attended one hockey game. I’ve never bought season tickets and I don’t hate the Gophers or the Bison. I don’t even own a Sioux jersey.

What’s a bit ironic though, is that my job here at The Dakota Student requires me to explore our campus and talk to a ton of different people. I’ve enjoyed it enough to stay here for over two years. While covering a story, I’m representing UND and showing that I care about something UND-related outside of class. I’m going to miss it a lot when a graduate in December.

I’ve recently realized that having this job is a form of school spirit. There’s so much more to the concept than just cheering loudly at a game. School spirit is having pride in what you’re doing at your school, whether you’re a hockey player or working for the student-run newspaper.