I’ll never understand it—the person who wears the University of Michigan sweatshirt to class, the person who could tell you more facts and statistics about any Big Ten sports team than about their own sports teams, the person who is embarrassed to say they go to Eastern Michigan University.
Then why go to school here?
What is it about EMU that makes its students so quick to show their loyalty to some other university? Sure, we’ve had a football teams with not-so-impressive records, a large portion of commuters in our student body and a community with an infamous reputation, but there are plenty of other colleges and universities with the same problems. Somehow, their students seem to show much more pride than ours.
I could name several instances when I have been in class and a discussion of this sort has come up:
“So, why do you like UM, MSU, Notre Dame, Florida, Texas, etc. so much if you go to Eastern?”
“Because it’s the best school ever.”
“Because their football team is awesome.”
“Because I went to Florida for a vacation once when I was six years old so I feel personally connected to their university.”
The list goes on and on.
It’s more than seeing students as fans of other universities’ sports teams. It’s the irony that tens of thousands of students pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to one university, yet commit all their time and energy to another. It’s about seeing countless students completely disassociating themselves from the school they actually attend for one which they seem to be relentlessly pining.
So, inevitably, somewhere in Ypsilanti is an EMU student with a UM t-shirt on and Alanis Morrisette playing through their headphones.
This is one dynamic I will never quite understand.