Day In The Life of a College Cheerleader

Sterling Silliman

A lot of things look very different this year. One of the things, that goes along with most other aspects of life that have been impacted, is college football. Growing up in Texas, football has always been a very important part of my life. In high school, the highlight of my week was always Friday night games and cheering under the bright lights of my high school stadium. In college, my love for football has continued to grow. I am currently a cheerleader for Texas Christian University and I could not imagine cheering for any other team. Going into this school year it was very uncertain whether or not cheerleaders would be able to be on the sidelines. Even the fate of college football was looking very uncertain a couple of months ago. Thankfully, with news rules and guidelines college football has been able to have a season and so have I. Saturdays are long and tiresome for any college cheerleader but I would not have it any other way. Every Saturday is a little different but this is what a typical Saturday looks like as a TCU cheerleader.

The time I wake up is dependent on many different factors but one of the most prevalent is the time of kickoff. This Saturday, TCU played Kansas State and kickoff was at 3:00 pm. A 3:00 pm kickoff time means that I will wake up at 9:30 am to start getting ready. Typically, our squad will meet 3 to 4 hours before the start of a game. For this particular game, we met at 12:30. I allotted myself 3 hours before meeting time for hair, makeup, and most importantly, breakfast.

After getting ready, I head over to the stadium for team check-in and temperature check. This is a new element of my game-day routine. To enter the Amon G. Carter stadium everyone is required to get their temperature checked and receive a wrist band to prevent the spread of COVID-19. After waiting in line the entire squad heads to the Ed & Rae Schollmaier Basketball Complex. Here, we will normally touch up our hair and makeup, eat lunch, and warm-up for the game.

As kickoff approaches we will line up, 6 feet apart, of course, to head out onto the field for pre-game. Pre-game is a routine that the cheerleaders, showgirls, and band perform 10 minutes before kickoff. It is time to get the fans excited for the upcoming game.

Right after the pre-game routine, we will all get set in our sideline positions. This year there are only a certain amount of people on the field at a time. So, we have had to split up the squad into 3 groups to ensure the safety of the cheerleaders and everyone else in the stadium.

Going into this season the team was informed that we would have a new accessory to go with our uniform. To prevent the spread of COIVD-19 all cheerleaders are now required to wear a mask at all times. Cheering with a mask is definitely a new experience and has made me appreciate what cheer was pre-COVID so much more. Another thing that has changed this year is that our squad is no longer allowed to stunt. This is just because there is no way to regulate social distancing when lifting each other.

At half time all of the cheerleaders and showgirls meet back in the Ed & Rae Schollmaier Basketball Complex. Here, we will eat and touch up our hair and makeup again. This particular game was very hot so there was a huge need for touch-ups. After half time, we all go back out into the Amon G. Carter to cheer on the Frogs for the final half.

Normally, a game will last three to four hours. I can honestly say I love every second of it. When I hear the TCU fight song and alma matter I know it is the end of another home game. Even though this year cheering looks very different I am just thankful to be back on the sideline doing what I love. Gamedays are some of my favorite days of the year and being able to cheer makes them all the more memorable.