4 Things I Learned Going to My First UCLA Football Game

Last weekend, I went to my first UCLA football game. My friends and I got the den pass, which is the season ticket for all UCLA home football and basketball games, and it is essential if you want to go to multiple events. We met up and lined up to take the bus to the Rosebowl Stadium in Pasedena, and the day was already off to a fun start. Here are some of the things I learned once I finally got to the stadium!

1. Cheering for the same team brings people together.

When it is the beginning of the school year and you are getting to know new people, school spirit can really bond you. Being on the same team and wanting the same win will unite people easier. Even though we have lost all of our games, just the school pride and atmosphere brings people together. Some students go into the game thinking we are going to lose, but being all together makes people lively and happy. The atmosphere of the stadium is very bright, and everyone is decked out in UCLA gear. The stadium and tailgates are full of bruin blue, happy faces and outgoing personalities. Strangers will put their arms around you, and friendships will form quickly when you are all rooting for the same team. It is very easy to meet new people, and no one has any judgments because you are all rooting for the same people. 

2. Always make sure your phone is fully charged.

Football game days are long. Your phone is the one thing you always have on you, and it is the best communication tool. Having a phone full of battery is a must. If you lost a friend, you need enough battery to shoot a text. If you need to go somewhere, you need enough battery to order an Uber or a Lyft. Having a fully charged phone is a necessity. When my phone is about to die and I have the whole day left, I can get super anxious thinking that I will be somewhat stranded not having a working phone on me. Bringing an extra portable battery pack would be ideal, but once you are going inside the stadium, you are only allowed to bring a clear bag so they see what you bring. It is smart to only bring necessary practical items. 

3. It can be hard to meet up with people at such a huge venue.

I went on the rooter bus and tried to text my other friend to meet up with her there. Once we arrived, it was chaotic. The entire place is huge, with the stadium on one side and the tailgating on the other side. The lawns are huge, and you cannot really describe where you are. There are numbered balloons, but it is still really difficult to meet up with someone, especially when you are surrounded by thousands of other fans. It was hard to meet up when people’s locations were constantly changing, making you run into others while trying to find each other in the crowded place. It felt like sardines in a can just trying to find one person in a tailgate. Describing locations got difficult really fast. Eventually, we found each other, but I would definitely recommend going to the game with the people you want to spend the time with.  

4. Football is not the best thing about UCLA.

This year, we got a new football coach, and everyone was really excited about it! However, it has been 5 games, and UCLA has lost every single one. It has been dayyyss since the last UCLA football win. Football is more fun to tailgate, and a lot of people left during the first quarter when the hype of the tailgate went away. During the tailgate, there was a lot of school pride and chanting. In the contrary, as time went on and the game started, the optimism went away. The beginning was fun, but as the clock started running and the scoreboard was going downhill, the stadium began to slowly empty. You could see groups of people start to head out, and the rowdiness went away. It seems like basketball is more of a popular sport at UCLA, and I even overheard students say they are more excited for the basketball season. Football games are still fun to attend, but UCLA is better known for another sport.