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When I talk to people about high school, ­especially friends of my parents, they reminisce, adding a personal experience. As I embrace the daily melodrama, rowdy peers, and seven challenging classes, I often wonder what my most profound memories will be. The trying times with friend drama? The ex-boyfriend? Homecoming dances? How about the weekly football games that motivate me to get though my week?

Every Friday around 5:45 I make my way to my friend's house to primp for the football game. Then we carpool to the stadium to tailgate. Boys and girls, freshmen and seniors, cover their bodies with colorful paint and their favorite football players' numbers. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and soda are all consumed before we enter the stadium.

Anticipation makes us antsy and hyper. Then the band plays the national anthem. The football players run through the lines of cheerleaders. We, the fan section, are now as ready as the players to take on the opposing team.

I believe in body paint. I believe hot dogs and soda are the best tailgating essentials. I believe in hyper football fans. I believe in high school football game spirit.

The first touchdown is scored, the bleachers shake, and everybody stomps on the stands. Screams and cheers fill the air. The band plays our all-time favorite song, “Hey Baby,” and we dance and sing along. Whistles are blown and flags are thrown, but nothing will stop the fans of the Sandcrabs. Standing under the hot stadium lights with friends is a perfect Friday night in hundreds of classmates' minds. Pictures are taken documenting the genuine happiness of the fans and the success of our team.

I believe in dancing to the band. I believe in standing under the hot stadium lights. I believe in spending my Friday nights with my friends and peers. I believe in cheering for my team.

I am standing in the front row next to other senior friends. When I look back, all I can see are smiling faces and red shirts with our school logo on the front. Laughing, chatting, and cheering fill my ears. This is what true happiness feels like: standing next to friends with not a worry in the world. As halftime arrives, we sit and watch the show. Then the real fun begins. Five senior boys start a chant and call on others in the crowd. The people they choose have to do their best dances in front of everyone. We all have a great laugh watching everyone dance and act crazy.

I believe in representing my school in red. I believe in living in the moment. I believe in being carefree, if only for three hours on a Friday night. I believe in dancing and embarrassing myself.

When I reflect on my high school experience, my fondest memories are of the football games.

I believe in losing my voice at Friday night games. I believe that those kinds of nights are the ones that I'll reminisce about in thirty years. I believe that the simplest things in life, like football games, can bring the most happiness.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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