Anyone who goes to Florida State knows that gamedays are practically a national holiday. Freshmen on campus are woken up to the sound of Florida State’s beloved war chant, played by the Marching Chiefs. In the past FSU’s football team won national championships and gained a highly admired reputation. Although the team may not perform quite as well as it used to, students’ and fans’ love and support for the Seminoles remain strong. Being a senior, I can attest to this because gamedays are just as highly regarded as they were my freshman year. With all of this being said, if you are a student at FSU you know that it is practically a sin to miss a gameday- but it’s also a miracle if you survive one. It took me four years to figure out how to conquer gameday, but I definitely could have used these tips sooner.
Set a plan with your friends
It seems obvious, to make plans before you go out, but gamedays can be hectic and do not always work out this way. With so many different tailgates and options, it is crucial to discuss with your friends where you all want to go and find a compromise. These chaotic Saturdays can make it easy to lose your friends or split up because of differing plans. Because practically every person in Tallahassee is out these days, I tend to run into friends and jump from group to group. There’s no problem with doing this, as long as you stick together and look out for each other. Planning out your day and sticking together with friends is crucial to have an enjoyable and safe game day.
I don’t recommend dismissing your mom’s nagging texts to drink more water- especially on gamedays. Tallahassee can be an extremely hot and sunny place in general, but when you combine this immense heat with alcohol, it can be dangerous. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Especially if you choose to drink, it’s important to stay hydrated to prevent headaches, fainting, and a possible trip to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Many of the fraternities now have cases of water bottles, which I recommend taking advantage of and drinking plenty of. Also, water is great for your skin and general health so there’s never a bad time to hydrate.
Wear sunscreen/bring your sunglasses
With that being said, surviving the heat also requires plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses. As a freshman, I knew it would be somewhat hot- but I did not realize how hot it would be until I came home with a mild sunburn and dripping in sweat. If you don’t have sunscreen, bring sunglasses at the bare minimum. No matter where you go- tailgates, bars, the game- I can guarantee the sun will be in your eyes. This rule applies to generally any day in Tallahassee, but especially on game days in the unshaded student section at Doak. Not to mention, sunglasses will probably make for better pictures than your squinting eyes.
Wear sneakers or closed-toe shoes
Gamedays are most certainly not a high-heeled event. Sneakers are the wisest choice for gamedays- they’re comfortable, casual, and prevent your feet from getting dirty. This is more of personal preference, but I personally find it essential to wear some sort of closed-toe shoe on gamedays. Besides protecting your feet from the sun, sneakers will save you from all of the dirt, grass and spilled drinks that come with tailgating. Many people invest in spirited garnet and gold sneakers- because they know they’ll be put to good use. I’ve worn sandals on game days, it wasn’t awful but I’ve regretted it almost every time. To sum it up- I don’t suggest wearing any shoes that you wouldn’t wear to a Thursday at Standard.
DIY a Florida State shirt
Probably my favorite part about a game day- making an outfit. Florida State t-shirts and tank tops can be bit pricy, and tons of other people will likely be wearing the same one. As a freshman, I was scared to branch out and wear something unique- but it’s much cooler to see people embracing their own style and sporting a one of a kind outfit. Creating your own shirt is even more fun to do with friends. And if you aren’t too creative- invite your friends that are. There are so many different ways to DIY gameday outfits, so your options are limitless. Pinterest also has some great ideas to create your own game day outfit. Whether it be using fabric paint, tie-dying shirts, or ironing on a funny slogan- you’ll be sure to be sporting a unique and Instagram-worthy outfit on gameday.
Actually go to the game
Even though I do not understand or watch much football, I regret going to a few to no football games during my first year at Florida State. The football games at Florida State are one of a kind experience you won’t want to skip. A person of Seminole Indian descent rides Renegade, holding a spear, decorated in Florida State colors. The FSU war chant and fight song are sung as loud as possible by students, alumni, and fans in Doak Stadium. The energy in Doak at the start of an FSU football game is unmatched- everyone is filled with excitement, and your arm will likely hurt from doing the chop so often. Our homecoming game is one you especially won’t want to miss- the school spirit is twice as high, and the football game is followed by a concert on the field. Even if you don’t stay for the entire game, I highly encourage attending some if not most of FSU football games. It’s sad to think about, but you won’t be a student at Florida State forever, so I encourage you to make the most of every experience and participate in every gameday.
Florida State gamedays are a unique experience and can be scary to navigate as a freshman. Before you have fun, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, make a plan, pick out comfortable shoes, apply sunscreen and DIY a shirt to wear. To have a successful gameday from sun up to sundown, I recommend considering these tips and supporting our school in a safe way. Most importantly though, do not skip going to the game and enjoy being a Florida State Seminole!