Fall is upon us on the Bloomington campus and along with pumpkin spice lattes comes other traditions–like tailgating! The structure of tailgating has changed quite a bit recently. I remember a time when it was pure chaos. Soda liters flying around, music blaring, and red solo cups plastered the beautiful fields of 17th street. Now Greeks have to follow new rules. No more cars, and each fraternity and sorority has their own tent. I was hesitant at first when I heard about this change. Cars are one of the key components of a tailgate! But, it turned out better than I thought. The tents provided some protection from the sun and made it a little easier to find your friends. But I still miss the old tailgates. As a seasoned tailgate vet, here are some tips I would like to pass on.
- DO wear CREAM and CRIMSON
Show some school spirit and bring out anything you own that is cream or crimson! Tracks is a great store on Kirkwood to buy Hoosier apparel. I’m a fan of the IU face stickers.
- DO eat before you go
As I discovered my freshman year, the McNutt C-Store doesn’t open until 11am on the weekends. Make sure you have something to eat before you go even if it means traveling to a new food court. And drink plenty of water because you can get very dehydrated at the fields.
- DO travel in a group
Don’t try to go with your entire floor. It’s just too hard to keep track of that many people. But do have a set group of about four people to navigate the fields with.
- DO go to the football game!
I know that I tend to skip out on the football game usually because of sheer exhaustion, but it actually is really fun to go watch the Hoosiers! Memorial Stadium is gorgeous and you really feel a part of IU when you’re there.
- DO paint your face or body!
My business teacher freshman year offered us extra credit if we painted our face for a home game and took a picture. The experience was even more enjoyable in red and white paint!
- DON’T be the person stumbling around the field.
As many of us know, excise police are EVERYWHERE at the tailgates. Chances are if you’re doing something wrong, you will get caught.
- DON’T wear nice shoes.
The fields are usually pretty muddy and your shoes will get ruined. I don’t even like to wear Converse anymore because they get so gross. I recommend buying cheap Keds that you don’t care about that much and you can wear multiple times.
- DON’T go to the field too late.
A lot of games have an early kickoff. That means that people start tailgating at 7am! I am definitely not a morning person so this concept was difficult for me to grasp. But it is worth it to wake up early and get your butt to the field. They close down the fields 30 minutes prior to kickoff so even if you go to the tailgate an hour before the game you’re missing out.
- DON’T try to meet up with people there
It is almost impossible to meet up with friends at the tailgate. Phone service is spotty and it is always loud so you might not even hear your friend if you make a call. Walk over with a group!
I hope these tips help you have a fun tailgate! Stay safe Hoosiers!