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Friday, August 19, 2022

Life + Arts

Day in the life of: UH cheerleaders


UHCheer

The Spirit of Houston cheerleaders keep the Cougar spirit alive at athletic games and events as they maintain their hectic schedules and build life-long friendships.  |  Courtesy of Misty Statum

Being thrown into the air can be frightening, but it’s nothing that the UH Spirit of Houston cheerleaders are new to.

A day in the life of a cheerleader is filled with the same things that occupy most college students’ time — college courses, studying, homework and with some luck, a little time for social events.

From the moment these Cougar Crusaders wake up, they are checking their planners and mentally organizing their days to ensure that all of their commitments — practices, games and promotions — will fit into the mere 24 hours before the next day is again knocking at their doors.

“Being a cheerleader is definitely different from being a normal student, because you really have to learn to manage your time better,” said cheerleader and nutrition sophomore Misty Statum. “Although it makes school a little more challenging, it’s awesome being noticed around campus for representing and cheering on our athletic programs.”

UH cheerleaders are expected to support the University at all times.

By joining the squad, they exchange their free time for another year to be prepped, pepped and ready to cheer on the Pride.

“Being a UH cheerleader has its advantages and disadvantages, because we are always practicing, doing appearances and games,” said cheerleader and communication sciences and disorders sophomore Nikki Batagower. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

When they aren’t cheering at games or spirit events around campus, the UH cheerleaders find time to practice from noon to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

During these intense practices, the cheerleaders train to accomplish their impressive stunts and tumbling passes.

The squad members work hard to constantly improve their skills, both as individuals and as a team.

They may fall out of stunts or belly slide after a tuck gone wrong at practice, but what sets them apart from the rest and makes them elite is that they get up as many times as it takes to get it perfected.

UH cheerleaders know the road to success is met with many failures along the way. Those failures bring them closer together as they share in times of frustration, anger and laughter.

“The best part about being involved with UH cheer are the friendships that you make,” said cheerleader and business freshman Tori Bumpus. “Also, what better way to be a part of the University than to cheer for the Houston Cougars?”

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