By: Alex Richardson

Being a Griffon Cheerleader is more than just cheering for our team at a basketball or football game. When you become a member of this squad, you become a role model and much more. You become the face of a great university.

Everyone thinks it’s so easy to do what we do, when in reality, being a collegiate cheerleader is more challenging than it seems. We practice; we workout; we cheer at sporting events; we volunteer in the community; and we attend campus events, but most importantly, we are held to the academic standards of every other athlete at Western.

The squad practices two hours, twice a week, every week unless it is clear that we have to fine tune some cheers. The best thing about our practices is that even though we work hard and try new things each time, it’s never something we dread. Every practice is like a family reunion and is where nearly 95 percent of the best memories take place.

When we aren’t practicing, you can find us on the sidelines cheering on our favorite football and basketball teams. Game day may be mandatory, but there’s no question, game day is the best day of the week for a cheerleader. These are the times you get to show off your best skills and show everyone your school spirit.

Despite the countless injuries received, cheerleading is that one thing you never want to stop doing no matter how bad you feel. Because there is nothing like the feeling of hitting that stunt for the first time, after you’ve worked on it for weeks.

Overall, the greatest thing I have gotten in return from cheering isn’t the popularity or the scholarships, it’s the memories and unbreakable, everlasting friendships I have created.

You know the saying, “get a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life?” Well that’s exactly what cheering at Western has done for me!