10 tips for a freshman’s first tailgate

Hurricane football fans gather at the Knight Sports Complex for Saturday's CanesFest in anticipation of the first game of the season next weekend. Victoria Cameron // Contributing Photographer

Your first Miami tailgate can be overwhelming and intimidating, but following these tips will ensure that it will be one to remember.

1. Stay mindful of the sun

It’s not uncommon for the UV index in Miami to exceed 10, which puts the sun’s rays at high risk during the day. Take precautions against a sunburn by drinking plenty of water the night before and throughout the day. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you head out.

2. Eat well

Before you head to the game stop by the dining hall for an omelette and toast or Einstein’s in the law school for a bacon, egg and cheese bagel. Tailgating often starts early in the day and it does not stop for a lunch or snack break. Eating a full, hearty breakfast is necessary. You could even bring some snacks to eat while you are there so you will have enough energy to cheer on the ‘Canes all day long.

3. Ride safe

Being about 25 miles away, Hard Rock Stadium would be a painful Uber to pay for. Take advantage of the resources provided for you, and ride the UBUS – the University’s free and air conditioned shuttles that take you to and from the Hard Rock Stadium. Buses leave campus 3 hours before kick off and begin going back to campus starting at halftime until 30 minutes post-game. Pick up and drop off is located in Lot 14.

4. Be ready for wear and tear

Don’t show up to game day with your brand new, designer shoes. Most people opt for old sneakers such as Converse or Vans to wear to tailgates. Mud, spilled drinks, jumping and other mishaps are inevitable at a Miami tailgate. Wearing a comfortable pair of shoes you don’t mind ruining is strongly advised.

5. No such thing as too much orange and green

At the U, we don’t take school spirit lightly. The more the merrier when it comes to sporting Miami gear. It is to be expected to see plenty of Hurricanes decked out in face paint, DIY t-shirts, orange and green overalls and even Hurricane-themed socks.

6. Function over fashion

Your elaborate Sebastian the Ibis outfit or your strapless crop top might be trendy and spirited, but the importance of function far overpowers the element of fashion. Wear something that you can move, sweat and be comfortable in. Stray away from clothing that is stuffy or requires constant adjusting.

7. Only rep the U

Don’t show up to a game day sporting another school’s colors. This may seem obvious, but at every tailgate there is bound to be one person supporting the opponent. He or she will inevitably be jeered at by passionate Hurricanes. You don’t want to be that person.

8. Sunglasses are a staple

As mentioned before, the Miami sun can be very powerful. Not only will it be hot, but it will be bright and sunny. Bringing a pair of sturdy sunglasses with good lenses is an essential component to any ‘Canes wardrobe. A good pair of sunnies can keep you cool, safe from sun-related illnesses and help you see better.

9. Be a good friend

If your friend needs to use the bathroom, help them find it. If your friend needs to leave the game early for some reason, go home with them. If your friend is dehydrated, find them some water and air conditioning. Being a good friend to others will not only keep you and your friends safe on game day, but is also what being a Hurricane is about.

10. Hydration

After a long day at Hard Rock Stadium and celebrating the ‘Canes, all you want to do is get a good night of sleep. Before you pass out on your bed, remember to hydrate. Drinking a bottle of water or Gatorade before bedtime helps your body revive itself including renewing your skin, flushing out toxins and helping with getting a better night of sleep.