Cheerleading in college was my life. I was a full-time student putting in long hours in the gym AND the library but I also had a part-time job because, at my university at least, cheerleaders don’t get scholarships. After all that, there wasn’t much time to participate in extracurriculars…or sleep. Then, of course, are the perks of being a cheerleader. Cheerleading brought so many awesome things into my life but I’ve narrowed them down to the following: I got to do what I love. I made the best friends I’ve ever known. I got prime seats at every sporting event.
And I got to travel.
In my opinion, when it comes down to it, travel was the most rewarding perk of all. I cheered throughout all four of my years at Michigan State University. We traversed the country by plane, bus, van, Sprinter (Google it if you’re curious) and I think I was even on a sailboat once.
Football season consisted of traveling to all of the away games, getting to see a ton of other college campuses along the way. When our team had a good season we were sent to a Bowl Game with the Spartan Marching Band and the world’s greatest mascot, Sparty. Bowl Games meant we would arrive early enough to participate in parades and pep-rallies but we also had free-time to explore the city with those best friends I mentioned earlier.
Cheerleaders also traveled along with the men’s and women’s basketball teams to conference and national tournaments. If the team made a run, we hit the jackpot and got to stay for a few more days. My senior year, I spent the entire month of March on the road. (The road to the Final Four, that is.) It’s a sports fan’s dream to watch their team compete on all of these different stages and I got to do it from the sidelines for four years of my life.
California, Washington, Missouri, Texas, and Florida are just a few of the states I was able to visit. And that’s not including the University of Notre Dame and ALL of the schools in the Big 10 Conference. Yes, I even made the short roadtrip to that other school in Michigan. Just long enough to kick their butts at football and eagerly return to East Lansing.
I am a born and raised Spartan and I feel so fortunate to have been able to travel the country supporting my school. The best memories of my college career all involve my teammates and some unforgettable adventure we had on the road.
Other college graduates may remember their glory days on campus but I look back on St. Patrick’s Day in Spokane, Korie Lucious’ buzzer beater to take us to St. Louis, Halloween in Minneapolis, Christmastime at Walt Disney World, New Years Eve in San Antonio, Final Four(s) in Detroit and Indianapolis, endless road trips in a minivan and way too many experiences to list that can only be had by a collegiate cheerleader.