Illini sporting events: Just go

By Lauren Mroz

One of the greatest ways to get involved on campus and start getting the orange and blue blood flowing is by kicking off your college experience by going to the sporting events that the Illini have to offer. There are nine varsity sports that students can watch in the fall: football, volleyball, soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s cross country, wrestling, and swimming.

A lot of people judge college sports programs based on their football and men’s basketball teams. Though these Illini teams haven’t necessarily been national contenders in recent years, there are teams on campus that are a force to be reckoned with by the rest of the nation. Even the sports that the Illini are not so reputable for are always fun to experience.

One idea that my floormates and I had was that before the end of our freshman year, we wanted to be able to say that we had attended at least one event for every sport. This was one of the best decisions we could have made. Not only did we become a lot closer by spending more time together, but it also provided me with the opportunity to meet others who enjoyed going to sporting events as much as I do. This way, when I needed someone to go to another game with me, I didn’t have to worry because I could simply text one of the people I had met at a previous game.

You could say that I had it easy because I could go to the games with my floormates, but that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes I just decided to go to a game by myself. It might be awkward at first, but you have to remember that you already have a talking point with the other students around you: just talk about the game you are watching! Even if you don’t know much about the sport or the team itself, other students are usually willing to educate you.

You don’t have to go to every sporting event in order to find a group of people to go with. You’ll find the people who are die-hards and go to every game, but you’ll also find the casual fans who don’t go to every game but still want to show off their Illini jerseys every once in awhile. The point is that there’s someone at the game that will share your common interest. Maybe it will stay steady as a friend to sit next to and small talk about the latest injuries or current standings. It could even turn into a group of friends who you’ll strategize back and forth with throughout the entire game, giving your best Tim Beckman impression. You might even find your lifelong friends who will be there to talk about Illinois teams for years to come. 

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Lauren is a sophomore in Media.

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