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Limitless ways to show school spirit

I’m almost done with my first two semesters of my college education, and I still can’t tell if I have any school spirit or not.

Aside from an occasional “B-G-S-U” whenever my fellow Kohl Hall residents and I feel the urge to proclaim our school’s awesome-osity (and our school is pretty awesome indeed), I don’t really do much that involves actively promoting our state university.

Or do I?

Most of the activities I’m involved in here have little to do with organizations that help to put a student face on the University, such as varsity school athletics, student government or Greek organizations.

But does that mean that I have no school spirit? Furthermore, what would I have to do to display my school spirit?

Do we even need school spirit at all?

Although my freshman year has been far from perfect (as with everyone else), I have had an absolute blast in my first eight months on campus. I guess that I don’t need to have school spirit to be active here and to have a literal bucketload of goofy fun.

Or does this goofy fun actually count as school spirit?

Although it may not seem like a proper expression of school spirit, I have come to believe that the things I have done on campus my freshman year are wholly valid (albeit atypical) ways for me to show my school spirit. In all actuality, they’re some of the few ways I can show my spirit!

I say this because I have been cut off from doing certain things here because of who I am, what I am and the things I do. Specifically, I am unable to participate in some of the “glory activities,” supposedly the grandest ways in which one can display his or her spirit.

I cannot participate in varsity sports because I am not athletically accomplished enough to compete on the college level. I did athletics back in high school, and that was arguably the most significant way to show spirit, but this is college; it’s a whole lot harder to compete.

I could not attend any home football games this past semester because I was required to go back to my hometown every weekend to work. It would seem that many people and students perceive this (attending football games) to be one of the best ways to show spirit, and I was locked out of doing so.

I don’t wear University apparel every single day. I haven’t even been to a single University athletic event so far.

I only know one BGSU athlete. I’m not in a fraternity (no offense to any Greek organizations). I spend more time evading zombies than answering BGSU trivia. I ride a bike instead of driving an orange and brown SUV.

But I still believe that I have school spirit.

Everyone here has the potential and the tools to display school spirit in their own unique ways and to help spread the spirit to others like a hyper-contagious disease.

I show my school spirit with medieval-style foam weapons, zombie groans, Kohl-tastic pride and community service.

Some show their school spirit with resounding “B-G-S-U” chants and loyal attendance of sporting events, motivating our athletic teams to go forth and best their opponents on the gridiron/court/pool/track/field/rink.

Others exhibit spirit by taking active roles in student government organizations and by serving as liaisons between students and administration, improving student life on campus.

And a select few epitomize great school spirit by donning giant falcon costumes and jumpsuit/mask combos to cheer up/rally/freak out students.

So who is to say who does and who doesn’t have true school spirit? I now know I have school spirit, and I feel sure in stating that everyone else at the University who gets involved has spirit as well.

In college, the paradigm for school spirit has to be redefined from its previous definitions in high school and junior high.

We are all adults now, and with our newfound freedoms at college to create our own organizations and to get involved in whatever ways we choose, the ways for us to display school spirit are nearly infinite in number.

Don’t accept anyone else’s definition of school spirit as irrefutable truth.

There are simply too many ways to display school spirit for a small set of rules to correctly define.

Just getting involved in an extracurricular activity or starting a student organization shows spirit in itself.

The only real way to not display some measure of school spirit is to deride others for their ways of showing it.

Or, by wearing OSU colors everywhere on campus.

This is BGSU, after all.

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