Homecoming is always an exciting time: the school year just started back up again, football has everyone excited to hangout on Friday nights, and camaraderie is at an all-time high. No matter if you’re a freshman awaiting your first few high school events, a senior cherishing your last year, or a grade in between, Homecoming marks a turning point in the fall semester, when everyone unites for the sake of school spirit! Between attending morning pep rallies, the big game, the halftime performances, and the dance, it’s easy to overlook the Homecoming parade–or how to be in it, for that matter! You’ve witnessed parades before, and even though it seems that all you’re doing is walking and waving, there’s a lot more to it than you think. The whole school (or at least most of it) will be at the game and watching the parade, so the last thing you want to do is turn a fun evening of memories into a mortifying experience you’ll never want to remember. Therefore, whether you’re nominated for Homecoming Court, walking with a school club, representing your class, or part of ASB, here are a few tips to keep in mind while on the track.

1. Keep your eye out for moving vehicles.
It’s normal for clubs to build Homecoming floats and displays for the Homecoming parade at halftime. But, a lot of those are propelled around the track by a truck or car, usually driven by faculty members with students hanging off or out of it! There have been several instances at high schools and colleges of vehicles careening out of control and accidentally injuring people at football games. So, do your best to keep out of the way of the designated driving areas, and use the same safety precautions on the sidelines that you would crossing a street.

2. Don’t sulk.
This one seems pretty obvious, but if you aren’t feeling the pep in your step, don’t go onto the track and attract attention to it. Everyone else is having a great time! Homecoming parades are supposed to get school supporters riled and riveted, not bummed out or confused about the one parade participant that looks like they’re hating life. And, this applies TENFOLD if you don’t win Homecoming King/Queen/Prince/Princess/honorary court title!! If your name isn’t called, clap for the winner, keep smiling, and be a humble loser. No sweat–you’ll accomplish many other things throughout your life, just you wait.

3. Get into the celebration.
Now that you know to have a positive attitude, now’s the time to shine! Don’t worry if you show too much school pride, because that virtually doesn’t exist at Homecoming! Go above and beyond in school colors and themes. Wear costumes, and skip and dance down the track behind your club or class float! If you are worried that people are going to judge you for having a little more character than normal, Homecoming is the perfect time to be excused from the status quo of day-to-day life. Open up and let yourself get immersed in the fun, and if you do, you’ll have a Homecoming to reflect on forever.

What are other tips to have a great time in a Homecoming parade? Share your Homecoming moments with us in the comments!