Embrace tradition, craziness of OU weekend

Olivia Berkeley

UT’s paramount social event of the year is quickly approaching — and no, I’m not talking about ACL. In a little over a week, swarms of UT students will be boarding buses en route to Dallas with ungodly amounts of alcohol, burnt orange and school spirit with one goal in mind: to beat OU and have a good time in the process. 

For months, the question, “Are you going to OU?” has plagued UT students. The decision to hop on the OU weekend bandwagon isn’t one to be taken lightly; the weekend itself, while fun, isn’t cheap. It requires its participants to be of sound mind and body — getting medically released for the weekend by your doctor is strongly advised. 

Anything goes on OU weekend, and those who fully accept the realities of the experience are likely to have a better time. Word to the wise: Don’t go into that weekend expecting anything less than full-blown debauchery. There will be tears, a few bruises and most of all, some excruciating headaches. 

Dallas is neutral football ground for OU and UT football fans, which translates to a lawless purgatory for college-age attendees. There may be referees on the field, but there are none outside the stadium. This no-holds-barred weekend is not for the faint of heart. 

The culture surrounding OU weekend isn’t atypical for any big UT event — if anything, it’s like a destination formal on steroids. In extreme cases, people start painting coolers and searching for the perfect date over the summer. However, the majority of students get OU fever in mid-September, at which point the cooler selections at local Walmarts begin dwindling, T-shirt designing starts happening, and dates begin brainstorming logistics. 

From the outside looking in, OU weekend is an amalgam of all thing wrong with UT’s social life. It emphasizes binge drinking, irresponsibility and, above all, perpetuates the notion that what organizations you are in greatly affect your experience at this University. The Greek and spirit communities are notorious for their attendance at OU weekend, as well as their propagation of the culture surrounding it. Without OU weekend, UT would surely be missing a large component of its unique approach to all things football, Texas and fun. And while OU weekend is in no danger of going anywhere, I advocate a full embrace of its bizarre traditions. The difference between a good and bad OU weekend is having the right attitude, and most of the time, the people who accept what the weekend presents them with open arms — including the good, bad and the ugly — end up having the best time. 

All of those going to Dallas next weekend: I’ll see you there. May we all say a silent prayer for each other, the Longhorns and the great state of Texas. 

Berkeley is a Plan II and public relations sophomore from Austin.