By GREG LAUDANI

STAFF WRITER

Athletic events make freshman year better -plain and simple.

The sports teams in Durham bring us all together. It may sound cliché, but it’s true. The games offer you a chance to forget about schoolwork, hang out with your new friends and immerse yourself in UNH’s proud sports culture.

Your homework can take a backseat. That exam you think you need to be studying for? That does not matter, either. Alright, maybe it does, but every now and then you need to give yourself a break from all the work you have to do, and go to a game.

It is easy to get caught up in schoolwork. College classes move faster than in high school, so the workload will seem overwhelming at times. That’s when study breaks become critical to avoid getting burnt out. Athletic events offer a perfect escape.

For however long a game lasts, all you have to focus on is having a good time. You should learn all the school cheers, too. That is an essential part of being a Wildcat. There is something very special about being a part of a roaring crowd. Whether you are all cheering after something great happens or if you are booing the referees after a bad call, the fun you have at UNH games helps you forget about the stress of schoolwork.

Another plus to going to campus sporting events is how economical it is. Student tickets are always free. To get tickets to any sporting event, just show your student ID to the MUB ticket office or the Whittemore Center, and you’re all set. It’s not like you’re at Fenway Park and have to pay an arm and a leg to watch a game. UNH games are free for students no matter the sport. If it’s on campus, everyone is encouraged to come.

The university wants students to get involved on campus, and making sports tickets free is a nice incentive to do so. You don’t have to cough up any extra money than what you are already paying to be here. At many other schools, you still have to shell out cash to see games in person, but UNH offers you the chance to cheer on your fellow Wildcats for free.

Think that means the sports are no good? Think again. Last year, UNH teams brought home conference banners in every season, from football winning the CAA conference title and making a run at the FCS Championship, to women’s soccer and volleyball winning in the America East and making the NCAA tournaments. UNH games are a cheap way to watch high-level athletes compete, and to find that pride in being a Wildcat.

Not a huge sports fan? No problem. You don’t have to understand everything that’s going on in the game. Do not think that you have to be an expert on the sport. Because even though these events revolve around the sport, games at UNH serve many more purposes beyond the sports themselves.

Going to games opens up chances to meet new people.

Making friends is a top priority for all freshmen-and you can make it easier on yourself. Go to as many games as you can, and opportunities to meet more people will pop up. 

There are athletic events throughout the entire fall. From men’s and women’s soccer to football, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, and later men’s and women’s hockey, there is never a shortage of sports during the fall semester.

In crowded student sections at games like football and men’s hockey, it is very likely you will run into people you know from class or elsewhere around campus. And when you are at sporting events with friends, you can often meet some of their friends who also showed up. 

The more people you meet, the easier it becomes to ultimately establish a solid group of friends. And athletic events give you the perfect excuse to get to know people in your early circle of friends, while also offering a chance to expand your group.

Sporting events ultimately deliver a heightened sense of community in students.

While hanging with your friends at the game, it’s almost a guarantee that you will gain an increased sense of pride for UNH. Screaming and cheering for the hometown team, in addition to a healthy dose of booing the other team, will instantly make you feel welcomed as a member of the Wildcat family.

And just remember…every day’s a great day to be a Wildcat!

Cowell Stadium at UNH plays host to football and men's and women's soccer games.

Cowell Stadium at UNH plays host to football and men’s and women’s soccer games.