Isn’t There Anyone Who Knows What Homecoming Is All About?
…The immortal custom of not being sober is celebrated among the masses, and both undergrads and alumni alike can be found throwing up together in cadence on Beaver Avenue–a spectacle to behold, which reflects the true intrinsic meaning of searching for our roots. But what is Homecoming to us? What does this event, which has been happening since 1920, mean?
It is more than having our alumni proudly reminisce their Alma Mater, it is more than just electing peers from our student body to represent our academic and collegiate success, and yes, Homecoming is even more than its historical context of our traditions that explain exactly why “WE ARE…PENN STATE”.
In fact, all of those things are pretty much useless compared to the most important aspect of this university-wide event, which is without a doubt having the most spirit points.
This intention of Homecoming Week to remind everyone about the long forgotten love we have for being the best Penn State we can be. In practice, it reminds us how there is nothing more selfless than organizations willing to do just about anything to ensure everyone looks worse than them. What better method than a competition for the most spirit points illustrates the unity and cohesiveness of our student body?
That’s right: nothing.
What sense would it make for organizations to participate in an event that strives to unite the student body, when they couldn’t be seen individually for their social prowess, or make sure at the very least that another group looks worse?
That’s exactly how I feel too. It would go against everything we stand for if we only arbitrarily elected the Homecoming Royalty for the sake of ironically awkward pairings, and we as students had nothing to gain at the same time. Would that really be the Penn State spirit? I think we all know the answer to that.
I’m comforted knowing I’m in good company; the Penn State Homecoming website prioritizes things exactly the way they should. You can click that link and see right away what obviously is most important: Points Standing.
It’s refreshing that we have such a perfect sense of what Homecoming means. The act of welcoming our alumni is clear! Go back to the Penn State Homecoming website, and you’ll see that alumni have the second to last tab devoted entirely to them, despite how hard it must have been to take space away from the points standing list.
It makes me proud knowing that we have so graciously given our alumni the highest of honors through the exemplification of what we truly find most important: a tailgate competition. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Even though clicking “Tailgate Competition” is useless because it redirects everyone to a broken page, it’s the thought that counts. I’d also like to point out that it is also only accidental coincidence that the “merchandise” tab is right next to “alumni”. No connection there. None. Nothing. Not a hint.
If you, for some weird reason, really wanted to know how or when our Homecoming came to be, well then obviously your heart is in the wrong place. There is a reason that a complete disregard for the actual history of Penn State’s Homecoming is omitted entirely from the present website; it’s been done that way intentionally so that every person on the committee can have room for their personal biography! It’s only fair to give credit where credit is due!
Besides, Homecoming’s origins have nothing to do with the beast it has become today, anyway. I mean, come on, why should anyone even learn why we started protecting the Lion Shrine, when it’s not even safe to do that anymore?
The real focus everyone needs to be aware of, though, is that unless the continuation of the synthetic social caste system remains to belittle other organizations through participation in frivolous events in the endeavor to earn spirit points, Homecoming would be entirely destroyed! It would demolish the importance of going to the HUB during odd hours of the day to sign a name on a list, it would make it impossible to have a good attendance at ice cream socials, or even, God forbid, take away purpose from all the man hours invested in the creation of flamboyant make-shift parade floats! How else could anyone care about the people who loudly advertise their organization, if spirit points didn’t make it worth something?
I’ll tell you what would happen:
It would mean that all of this would be completely useless. And that’s exactly my point.
I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like if the motivation behind any of this was only for the intent of finding our heritage and loyalty to Penn State and not something that seriously mattered, like winning points. That means we’d actually have to care about something other than being better than other people—which, let’s face it, would be a really stupid idea.
The thought of coming together as a school without social barriers is, to me, as absurd as suggesting that people would want to interact in a way that doesn’t include any social context. Would anyone with a current social status of greatness willingly lose the ability to automatically assume dominance in the social hierarchy, so instead ensuring that everyone would treat each other like equals? As if that makes any sense at all, my God.
That’s like saying that Homecoming isn’t about winning, or who has the most points, or even who made the best float. Yeah, okay.
We have to remember why we love Homecoming, and why it’s so important: people are always happier at the expense of someone else’s misery. Nothing but good things have ever come out of social constructs where the reason behind any group’s action was done solely for the sake of being better than another group. Striving for that dominance is what makes me get up in the morning.
And that is what being at Penn State is about.