tj pyche
Photo of the author contributed by the author

Guy wearing the Harvard T-shirt, you are hurting us. Please stop, dude who walks around in the Yale hoodie. Ms. Princeton Lacrosse, (1) find a different shirt and (2) what the hell is lacrosse?


I know the story of how you got that ugly, non-blue/orange piece of apparel. You really did want to go there, I know. I empathize with you, because I did too. Who didn’t? Shoot, it’s Harvard (for the sake of not having to name every Ivy League school, I am going to refer to them collectively—and ignorantly—as Harvard). I am not going to tell you that UF is better than Harvard. It’s not. The guy wearing the Harvard T-shirt or hoodie already knows that. He would not be wearing it if he thought otherwise.


But … you are here, just as I am. Your being here was either a decision you and/or your parents made, or one that was made for you by some snobby admissions officer in a far-off land where women stop shaving (and wearing certain attire) after Labor Day. For many of us, it was a financial decision: $6k a year is a lot easier to swallow than $40k-plus a year. Whatever the reasoning was, it brought you here to UF.


By wearing anything other than the sacred orange and blue, you are, in effect, hurting us. Guys and girls at Harvard are not wearing UF T-shirts, sadly enough. We do not need to be helping them. We need to turn UF into a school that has the same kind of reach. One day I want to be able to wander around Harvard, see a guy wearing a UF shirt, and know that he—like the guy I saw at Library West in the Harvard T-shirt—is wearing it because something prevented him from going there. I want to have our admissions officers turning their noses up at the 90 % of the people who knock at their door.


Is it a naïve dream? Of course it is. However, you are the first step to making it a reality. I promise you that my smart-ass comments and writing for cheap laughs, though the best I can do, are not going to get us there. All the smart pre-med or engineering types are the key. They need to do something impressive. With their help—and my compliance in not bringing everyone down too much—we can make UF into that type of school.


Again, though, it starts with you, the non-UF T-shirt wearer, so have some pride. Despite the best efforts of everyone else, UF will never rise with turncoats in our midst. Wear your Gator gear and do something really impressive while championing (or chomp-ioning) our great school. We will get there.