The fall semester has started! You’ve expected this day for a while now: ever since you landed a spot on the team during the spring semester tryouts, you couldn’t wait to finally adorn the uniform around your school grounds. You’ve put in the time and effort over the summer break to learn as much as you can, to make your motions hit and your cheers sharp! Now that class is back in session, it dawns on you that the time has finally come to step into the sideline spotlight and shine. But, all of a sudden, you feel so many things at once. Here’s a breakdown of what those feelings probably are:

1. You’ve gone to school for years, but you've never been so noticed before.

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It’s stereotypical to say that cheerleaders are popular snobs, but it’s pretty accurate to say that cheerleaders are quite well known… and generally liked! The ‘instant popularity’ of a new cheerleader nowadays is not like what’s depicted of cheerleaders in the movies; modern cheerleaders represent school kindness, spirit, and generosity! Doors really do open for cheerleaders, and it’s not because they demand it–it’s because they deserve it!

2. And, you’ve never been more distracted in class.

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You’re a smart cookie. Obviously, because sideline cheerleaders have to maintain that B-average GPA! But, this semester is a little different: you’re finding yourself daydreaming about your first Friday Night Lights game, what Homecoming’s going to be like, and how you can better yourself in cheerleading faster. All these cheer tips and tricks are hammering in your head all day long as you try to focus on your first class lectures, and you already know that the first round of exams is going to be a doozy! Better study up, because you’re only going to fall more in love with sideline cheering as football season wages onward.

3. You’ve never gone THIS school color crazy...

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You always have had school pride, but you now find yourself including your school colors in every outfit, and in every accessory you buy. A school lanyard hangs from your keys, and your binder is all decked out with mascots. Attention teachers, you will be completing your assignments in school-colored ink from this day forward…

4. How. Did you never. Wear jumbo bows before????

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When you first fastened that big bow on your head, you thought to yourself, “OK, this is interesting… kinda cute, but maybe a little much…” But, then you got to your school campus and realized the response giant cheer bows bring to the table. You are now OBSESSED with the next best bow: bring on the glitter and the personalized cheer sayings–you want it all! The more attention-grabbing the better, because your school rivals are going to be bringing their bow A-game the minute they step onto your home field turf.

5. You seriously wonder why you never joined cheer until now.

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For those who’ve cheered their whole lives (since they were itty bitty-sized Pee Wee cheerleaders), joining a sideline school team probably feels similar to what they’ve always done in youth cheer. However, for first-time cheerleaders, there is a moment of realization that happens–usually after the first couple of home games, or even the first time you wear your uniform to school–where you wonder why you’ve never cheered earlier in life. This is so much fun! You feel so confident about yourself and have never bonded with your classmates like you have with your sideline teammates in a short amount of time. It’s going to be a great first season, so enjoy it!

What other 'nevers' does a new cheerleader experience when joining a sideline team? Share your experiences in the comments!