Don’t lazily show school spirit solely through Illinois gear


The Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois fans wait in Grange Grove for a home Illini football game on Sept. 10, 2016.

By Sriram Karumbunathan, Columnist

As we have just passed Homecoming season and are still in the midst of the football season, now is the perfect time for students to show their school spirit. There are many ways to go about doing this. There was just the pep rally, Homecoming Parade and the Homecoming football game. Attending or participating in a mix of these school events is a great way to get involved and show your support for your school and its sports teams.

However, by simply wearing Illinois clothing, you are not adequately showing this spirit, especially if you do not attend any of the games or University events. These outfits are not only an unoriginal way to express school spirit, but they also take away from your ability to express yourself through what you wear.

Illinois apparel is great once you have graduated. It shows that you went to the University and are proud to show it. However, while you are studying here, there are only a few reasons to wear it. Wearing jerseys or shirts to the games or other school events are great since we are all coming together as one on this big campus. It shows that the University has gathered together for a special event. It is one of those times that it is acceptable to all look like a homogeneous mass of like-minded students.

However, during day-to-day classes, there is no reason to wear Illinois clothes and fit in with the crowd. Take advantage of everyday life by expressing yourself through the clothes you wear without lazily pulling on an Illinois sweatshirt in the name of school spirit. There are better ways to show you support the University. Furthermore, originality is something that sometimes seems to be lacking when every student is dressed the same.

Everyone is assumed to have school spirit. You are a student here, and most people would support the university they go to. Even if you do want to show school spirit on a regular day, there are plenty of other ways to do it that seem more genuine. You could volunteer for clubs that help with school alumni and organizing school spirit. You could also go to the games or even represent the school at events. However, wearing a shirt while you go through your daily classes seems not only lazy, but also unoriginal.

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That being said, it is great to wear your Illinois clothes when you are off campus. It is a good way to represent your university wherever you may be. But when you wear it on campus, you are giving up an opportunity to express yourself through your clothes. Whether you are supporting your favorite sports team or are showing off a great new sweater you just picked up, it allows you to express your own personality through your clothes.

In the end, it comes down to how much you value what you wear. If you can’t find anything else and just throw on an Illinois sweatshirt, I’m not saying that’s particularly bad. However, there are better ways to show school spirit, as well as a lot of other ways to express yourself through clothing. Rather than doing something that seems uninspired, mix up the ways you show school spirit. You will seem more authentic by participating in school events, and you will appear more creative and original by dressing in ways that express yourself.   

Sriram is a junior in Engineering. 

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