Studying abroad is one the most exciting experiences that I’ve ever had. The main reason I wanted to do this was because I wanted to discover myself and discover a culture different than mine. I didn’t think this would change the way I think about life, but I think it is crazy that living outside my own country has had a huge impact on me along the way. It is so interesting to uncover all the differences between Ecuador, where I am from, and the United States.
This past Saturday, I experienced my first homecoming football game. Going to a football game was one of the things I put on my bucket list to do in the States before I go back home. I know that American football is really popular and probably the most well-known sport in the United States, and I understand this is a big thing for the Washington & Jefferson College community. American football is a sport that I don’t have back home. In Ecuador, soccer is as popular as American football is the US.
I had a lot of expectations for the game. I went to see the game with my friends that are exchange students because some of them haven’t been to one before either. In order to be a part of all the festivities, I attended a tailgate outside of Cameron Stadium. I was wearing red and black in order to represent the school. I really wanted to do everything you are supposed to do for a game and live the complete “American experience.”
When I got to Cameron Stadium, I was completely amazed by the enthusiasm and support of all the alumni, professors and students that were in the stadium cheering for the Presidents. I loved the band, the cheerleaders and the fact that everybody on the bleachers were wearing red and black.
It was difficult to understand the point system, the amount of players and the statistics involved in the game, but I am glad I was able to attend the biggest game of the fall semester. During the first half, I was so confused and didn’t know what was going on in the game, but by the second half, I understood a little more; one of my American friends explained the rules to me. I spent a lot of time taking pictures of everything because I wanted to show them to family when I go back to Ecuador. I consider myself lucky because this was my first football game, and W&J won! I was so happy at the end of the game because everybody was screaming, jumping and celebrating the victory.
I would say this was the best thing I have done during the semester.