FOMO: On the Field or in the Stands


FOMO: Student athletes and student supporters gather for two very different game day experiences. Some scream from the stands, while others fight on the field.

The final bell of the week rings, and people rush out of school in a fall Friday frenzy. At about this time, some North Atlanta students – football players, cheerleaders, dancers, and band members – suit up for the game. Others have hours to assemble in their themed attire and make their way to the student section. Either way, by kickoff, both groups of students have collected by or on the field. Some Dubs do the cheering, while others are cheered on. 

Students involved in the production of Friday night lights spend their Friday afternoons in stark contrast to the rest of the student body. Following the bell marking the end of the school week, players gather, grub, and get ready to face their game-day opponents. Band members suit up and tune up, practicing their chants, while cheerleaders prepare their cheers. Dancers stretch and sparkle. Each of these groups can be found performing on the field instead of standing in the WARRZONE with the rest of their classmates.  A particular fear of missing out finds its way into the psyche of the football players, dancers, cheerleaders, and band members alike, as costumes, colors, and clamor come from the stands. “Of course I enjoy playing football,” said Freshman Josh Mccullough, “but sometimes it would be fun to be in the stands with all my friends.”

As for cheering on the team, there are several ways to go about it. Cheerleaders, dancers, and band members perform while fans show up with volume and spirit. The band and dancers stand away from the students, and the cheerleaders aside, instead of in front. They stare into the faces of unenthused parents and blank bleachers in place of their fanatical friends. “I don’t think people would know we were here if it weren’t for halftime,” said junior dancer Skyla Simpson. 

In the student section, a mass of Dubs converse and partake in the gameday theme, a uniquely high school experience. Each FNL produces a memory of a fun-filled Friday screaming for the team, then departing early for post-game events. But is it worth the hype? “In theory, it’s fun, but the student section can get overwhelming and hot,” said sophomore Lala Kanz. 

Despite their FOMO, fans and players alike gather for Friday night festivities. Some prepare for a face-off while others prepare to scream their face off. Each individual, whether in the stands or on the field, makes game days special.