By Joelle Ourtiague

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It’s that time of the year again; Homecoming is finally here, friends. We plan, we prep and we pursue. Our blood, sweat and tears go into Homecoming Week. We strive to achieve perfection and claw our way to the top.

Homecoming helps promote Nevada spirit. For many of us, Homecoming is a reminder as to why we chose Nevada. Many believe it reminds us why we fell in love with this school in the first place and encourages friendly competition.

Students and organizations pair up to compete in a series of events that take place the week leading up to the Homecoming game. These events are supposed to bring different organizations together and create friendly competition. But does the Homecoming competition miss friendly and go straight for cutthroat?

This year the Pack takes on Hawaii, with a Survivor homecoming theme. The Survivor theme tests competing Homecoming teams to see if they can “outwit, outlast and outplay” their competitors.

A lot more goes into homecoming week than simply just showing up the events. Many probably think the competition between opposing teams is only during this weeklong period. However, the competition begins long before when teams begin to form sometime in the spring semester. It is interesting to see who gets matched up with whom, and to see the excitement and anticipation as it all begins to brew.

As for myself, I am a leader for a team competing in this year’s Homecoming event. I can personally attest to all the hard work and dedication that goes into putting on a good Homecoming and competing for the trophy. To win, team leaders always need to be ahead of the game and have to think bigger and better than their competitors.

Homecoming is not an easy job. Teams have countless hours of meetings, shopping, planning and building. As if school and outside jobs weren’t enough, Homecoming appears to be another full-time job. Your phone never stops buzzing with new texts or emails about the competition, and there is always something going on, that has a strict deadline. It also seems as if the week will never end.

But ultimately, the point of all of this is to win first place bragging rights. What exactly comes with this first-place trophy? Essentially, allowing your team to have bragging rights until Homecoming comes around the next year. Real friendly, right?

With all the time and money put into the events, losing is not an option. There is no room for failure when students are spending more time on their Homecoming float rather than staying in and studying for their upcoming midterm. Or when students have to take work off to come to the attendance-based event to sit there for no reason at all besides to rack up Homecoming points.  Countless hours go into homecoming week. For the larger teams, on top of all the time dedicated, thousands of dollars could be potentially spent— for what reason? Simply to say they won.

Like they say, “It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” Not one, but multiple people are bound to get hurt by this “friendly competition.” Some bank accounts may get hurt, some grades get hurt and some spirits definitely get hurt. It is difficult to remind ourselves that Homecoming is supposed to be fun. I know for myself, it is important to take these things with a grain of salt and appreciate all that is happening around you. The new friendships that are forming and the lessons that are learned from dealing with such a large project. Hard work and determination goes a long way.

We put so much time and effort into a good Homecoming that we really do lose sight of the friendly competition it was meant to create. It is hard when you have passion for what you are representing or put so much effort into something for you not to be extremely competitive. But we should take the time to remember we really are winning nothing more than bragging rights, so let’s try and keep it friendly, people, and let’s have a kickass Homecoming!