There’s no place like homecoming

As students, it’s important to paint the town maroon and gold annually.

by Aditi Pradeep

The University of Minnesota student body painted the campus maroon and gold, donned in their own Gopher pride, for homecoming over the weekend.

Few colleges boast the impressive student population the University does. With about 50,000 students on our campus, finding one thing to unite us is a daunting task. Homecoming, however, is a time when every single person could feel the true spirit of the University.

What does homecoming mean, though? Is it going to the concert, or bundling up for the football game? Is it building floats and joining with greek houses
to celebrate?

The essence of homecoming lies not solely in the activities, but in the word itself.

Homecoming gives perspective on where we were compared to where we are now. It’s the realization of our place in a larger world of thousands of intersecting lives. It is the contagious spirit that it inspires out of shared connection.

Homecoming is the ritual of walking in the parade, waving to Gophers both young and old. It is exploring the nostalgia that University students share — they feel it when they walk through the mall or revisit Coffman Union. Most importantly, it’s honoring the moments when you made connections with friends, mentors and your dreams on our campus.

Homecoming is a fancy word for showing appreciation for your college experience. It is a celebration of both the spectacle and mundane.

I don’t mean to read too far into the event, but whatever you chose to do last weekend, your experience was influenced by homecoming festivities. Perhaps waiting in traffic or going through Facebook was your only reminder, but that may have been enough to inspire remembrance of times past.

If you felt this sense of pride and gratification at being here at the University, you experienced the essence of homecoming. In that moment, you were a part of something bigger than yourself.