Politics & International Relations student Katie Schwarting is currently studying abroad at the University of Texas at Austin and it’s safe to say she’s settling in to the local culture well…
When I was debating destinations to go to, I was primarily looking at US schools, with a heavy focus on East Coast schools because I felt like they would be the best fit for me. I scrolled down the list and noticed The University of Texas at Austin. Growing up half-American and being from the Midwest, I laughed because I’ve only heard rumors about Texas from prejudice that Texas is awful, and thought “Ew who’s going to Texas?” (spoiler, it’s me). Just because it caught my attention, I googled it, and a video popped up of a football game at the university.
I was immediately hooked, “I need to go and see that,” I said. So I told my dad I wanted to go to UT and he looked at me like I had committed the deepest betrayal, and with disgust he said “Texas..?”. I showed him the video, and we both were speechless once again, “you need to go and see that,” he said. So here I am, writing this blog, to share my experience and tips to surviving game day at UT. Without further ado, here are my top tips to have the best game day at UT, HOOK EM HORNS!!!
- Cowboy boots are a must
It is the south after all, and your cowboy boots quickly become a staple for most southern events you go to, but especially games, they complement any outfit and I promise they do not look weird.
2. SUNSCREEN AND WATER
Football season starts in September, games last about four hours, and Texas is HOT, so be prepared with a high SPF sunscreen, a hat for shade, and drink lots of water because if it’s a day game, you will be in the sun in 37 degree heat for the whole game.
3. Don’t worry about learning the rules
Honestly, American football looks super complicated, but you’ll know when to cheer because the stadium erupts in cheering when we score, it doesn’t matter the play that got us to score.
4. Do worry about learning the songs
Texas is a state with deep traditions, and the University of Texas is no exception. They have the lyrics to the school song on the jumbotron, and the cheerleaders help you get through every chant, but it doesn’t hurt to Google clips of the songs so you’re not completely lost.
5. TAILGATE TAILGATE TAILGATE!!!
Tailgating is an integral part of gameday. While the game might not start until 6:30pm, the tailgate starts much earlier. Essentially, the tailgate was created for fans to get together, eat barbeque, and drink before the game, but because you’re a student, you go to a tailgate with your friends at a fraternity house. Tailgates are very exclusive, most of the ones in parking lots on the actual tailgate of pickup trucks require invitations, so instead, we all go to the fraternity houses around campus because they have free drinks, and you don’t want to pay stadium prices, and you can party with your friends before the game. But remember, the drinking age is 21 in America.
6. Don’t forget to wear school colors or spirit wear
You want to show that you are a longhorn fan, so make sure to get yourself to the school store for some longhorn merch, or a cute burnt orange tank top, so you look the part at the game. I know burnt orange sounds really ugly, but actually it looks really cute, and you feel like you are really part of the school, and part of a crazy fan base.
7. Learn the hand sign
Much like the songs and cheers, Texas has a very specific hand sign that you throw up ALL THE TIME. You will be doing the hook em horns sign so often at the game, and if you wear Texas spirit wear around Austin or even the country, people will throw up the hand sign to let you know they’re also a fan.