I may be the only person who cried through the entire College Game day show this past Saturday. As the camera zoomed out over Bowman field, my heart longed for the Blue Ridges. When "Sloppy Body" made another iconic appearance, I was not crying from laughing (though that was happening mentally), I was full on ugly crying because "those are my people!" I missed the solid orange, crazy fans that for most of my life had been my Saturday tailgating companions.
Saturday evening I continued my mission of converting everyone to Clemson fans one friend at a time, by bringing my brave grad school friend to the Chicago Clemson Club viewing party. As the pre-show scrolled through Clemson staples, I tried to explain running down the hill, Howard's rock and the Esso club but words failed me.
As I have been planning my future (post grad school life), I have an obvious criteria: proximity to Clemson. I realize, something that honestly did not occur to me until my homesick laden Saturdays, that my Clemson experience is still valid. I had always felt like it was not exciting enough or not a true Clemson story because I had refused to go greek, I did not enjoy painting myself for games and I spent a whole lot of time in studio. But really guys, is there really one exemplar Clemson experience?
Advice that I wish I had known as a freshman- every college experience is in fact a college experience. It will be memorable, individual and important. It does not have to be the most popular path or the most Instagram worthy event-filled experience. It just has to be yours. The mold, that everyone tries to fit, is a mythos.
Lets throw some color theory into this already cheesy post. Orange straight out of the tube does not naturally exist nor is it Clemson Orange. There are infinite shades of orange and I believe that Solid Orange includes all of them. Mix and find your perfect level of hue, tone, and saturation so one day you can also miss and relive your Clemson experience each game day.