Ah yes, Spring Fling.
Or, as it's better known to me, “That thing that seems really fun, but that I can never go to.”
Such is the struggle for in-season spring athletes during Fling weekend. For me and my fellow athletes, Spring Fling goes one of two ways:
You’re either in town constantly turning down invitations to darties, or you’re not in town and are forced to live vicariously through your friend’s drunk snapchat stories.
For all of us, missing something in favor of our sport is nothing new. We've all had to miss a friend’s birthday party or school dance to reach the skill level where we could compete for a school like Penn.
But missing Spring Fling is such a bummer since it’s the most popular and talked-about event on campus all year. It’s simply unavoidable in day-to-day conversation as soon as they announce who’s performing.
“Do you have Fling plans?" "What are you doing for Fling?" "Do you want to come to our house after the concert?” These are all answered with the same “Can’t, I’ll be at a game.”
A team’s Fling fate can be sealed differently.
Some historically never have a chance to attend.
My golf teammates and I are always at the Princeton Invitational, witnessing only the set up and breakdown of the festivities each year. Track and field always competes at an all-day meet and doesn’t get back until late Saturday night. Women’s rowing always races at Clemson University, forcing them to miss Fling altogether.
There are other ways to simulate the Spring Fling experience, however.
The women’s tennis team, for example, missed Kygo and Kesha two years ago thanks to a match at Cornell. But they blasted both acts’ music and hilariously declared, “We’re listening to the same music — and we didn’t even have to pay for it!”
Some teams, like baseball and softball or men’s and women’s tennis, can get lucky and stay in town during Spring Fling due to the weekend series nature of their sport. But they often don’t get to participate fully, even if they are in town.
Having games on Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday means the athletes are at practice until those games or matches. With the responsibility of practice and competitions looming, athletes who are at Penn during Fling are grounded — left wishing they could partake in the festivities.
As one of my athlete friends told me, “It’s hard to watch all of your friends on other teams have a lot of fun and you’re just stuck watching everything.”
I would love to go to Spring Fling — and many other athletes who haven’t gone feel the same way.
One athlete who has never attended Fling but wishes she could said, “I feel like I’m missing out on a Penn tradition.”
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll probably never attend a Fling concert — and that’s okay. I’m not bitter, I promise.
But if I somehow get to go, I’ll be the first one to buy a ticket.