The significance of the homecoming celebration

Homecoming 2019 is over.

The biggest annual gathering of students from past and present has come to an end and I enjoyed every minute of it. Seeing old friends is something I know not to take for granted, as this might be the only time of the year I can talk with some of the people who have left campus to explore the next portion of their lives. 

Not everybody appreciates homecoming the way I do, however, I think students who don’t share in the homecoming experience are missing out. Big time. 

All through high school, I was one of the kids who never cared for homecoming. 

I viewed it as an annual waste of time as opposed to an annual celebration. 

Over the past few years of college, my outlook has changed. 

When I was a freshman, I left campus on homecoming early Saturday evening and the only reason I didn’t leave sooner was because I had to work the football game for the Waynesburg University Sports Network. I didn’t know any alumni who were coming back and my outlook on homecoming, in general, was the same as it was in high school. 

It wasn’t until my junior year of college when my opinion was altered. 

Students at Waynesburg University often go home on the weekends. Some do it literally every weekend. That’s understandable, especially for new students that aren’t comfortable with college life yet. With that said, homecoming is one weekend where I think every student should stay on campus.

For sophomores and especially upperclassmen, homecoming is a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Even for freshmen who know little graduates if any, there is still reason to stay for homecoming, with events such as Jacketfest, as well as, the football game taking place. 

My first homecoming memory happened before I even really cared about what homecoming was. It was my freshman year, and the football team was hosting Geneva. 

The university was celebrating the 1966 national championship football team, which is the only one in Waynesburg history to win a national championship. The plan was for the members of the ’66 team to run through the Yellow Jacket banner and have the current team follow behind. Unfortunately, none of the national champions could run like they used to, so, they walked through the banner instead. 

Therefore, the players too had to walk, what we had was maybe the most awkward team entrance in the history of football. It was something maybe nobody else who was at John F. Wiley Stadium that day remembers, but for me, it’s a memory that will stick forever. 

Waynesburg University students can choose to spend their weekends however they please. When homecoming comes around, I think spending the day anywhere but Waynesburg would be a mistake.