Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Go-pher It

On an autumn Saturday, there is only one place you need to look to find me. TCF Bank Stadium is home to the Minnesota Golden Gopher Football team and I would dream of being nowhere but here on game day. As my love for the Gophers continues to grow, and my experience at these football games increases, I have learned a few things about how I can “Go-pher It” and make the best out of my experience.

No matter where our passions lie or the task we have at hand, we have the ability to achieve great accomplishments. Similarly to my continued practice at becoming a better Gopher fan, in the different things we are passionate about, there are a few pointers that can help us find success.

1. Arrive early.

Starting the line at the student gate four hours in before kick-off definitely has its perks. Your odds of rushing through the gate, sprinting up the stairs, making sure you don’t fall flying down the bleachers and throwing your blankets across the bleachers in order to get front row greatly improve when you are early.

In your life, when you find something you care about, be prepared. Create goals. Plan out the steps you need to take in order to achieve those goals. Be ready to take on challenges and work hard to overcome obstacles. Being on top of your work, making connections with others who can potentially be mentors in your journey and knowing who you are and what you are seeking to achieve will help you to “arrive early.”

2. Come prepared.

In Minnesota, sweltering heat, a beating sun, wind gusts, down pouring rain, ice and a snowstorm all occur throughout football season. Have your sunscreen, raincoat, boots and snow gear on hand for whatever Mother Nature chooses for game day.

Each day provides new challenges and new opportunities for us. We may not always know what is coming, but we can be prepared to take on whatever is thrown at us. By knowing our plan of action for certain situations and having others around us as mentors to assist us in our journey, we can find success. You will have challenges and complications but, like Minnesotans through any type of weather, you can push through them and see the sun shine again.

3. Stay standing.

How often do you get to cheer on your team with 50,000 other fans? The fans in Minnesota are like another player on the team. Stay standing the whole game and give the team the energy and excitement you have to offer to help them achieve victory.

Beginning a project, starting a new job, or just going through day-to-day life can become tiring, but do not give into it by “sitting down.” You have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life every single day. From buying a homeless person a meal to simply smiling at a stranger you pass by, your actions impact others in 
many ways. What is one thing you can do today 
that can brighten the day of someone around you? 
Stand up every day.

4. Always stay through the end.

The Alma Mater, the anthem of our college that we sing with the team after the game, is a song filled with love for our great state and the school we are at. Standing arm-in-arm with friends and strangers with your same love for the Gophers, win or lose, is something leaving early to “beat the rush” just doesn’t justify.

Take pride in what you are doing. It has become a passion of yours for a reason. Just as a school song is meaningful to a school, so too are your values, morals and beliefs are meaningful to you as an individual. Always stand by those and use them to guide your decisions. When you use the things that are important to you to form your life, you will find yourself “arm-in-arm” with friends, family and others ready to support you and what you are doing.

5. Never give up.

Sometimes there are rebuilding years. Sometimes the game just doesn’t go how anyone hoped. Sometimes the team exceeds all expectations. Always be there. They are YOUR team.

Never give up on your passion. There are ups and downs in life, but through hard work and determination, you can overcome the downtimes and celebrate the good ones. Sometimes the fire in you can seem to die out. Go back to the person that first had a burning flame inside of them. You will see that your flame has not died, it just needs a little more fuel. Give yourself the fuel you need and never give up on what you are passionate about.

While I hope to convert some of you to my Gopher-loving ways, I hope even more that you seize the moment today. There are numerous opportunities available to us each day to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Hold your passion tight and indulge in it, because you never know where it may take you.

Whether it is becoming a Gopher Super Fan, a volunteer at a local hospital, a great big brother, a daughter doing chores without being asked, or something else, use “Tips from a Gopher Fan” accomplish this challenge:

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”-Abraham Lincoln

You can do it, so Go-pher It. 

Stationed by the ear of corn,

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