October 23, 2017

We aren’t friends, We are family.

It’s been one year since The Tailgate Society became a thing and I still remember scrolling through my twitter feed a year ago trying to figure out what all the tweets where about hyping “TGS” and how big things were coming. I sat trying to decipher what exactly “TGS” could possibly stand for for a solid 5 minutes once (I wish I was kidding).

I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I loved checking all the content out.

Then my day came.

April 18th rolled around and I was walking on campus when Ted hit me up to let me know that my stuff from my personal blog had caught TGS attention and that he wanted to extend an invite for me to join the team. I was shook. I legit took a screenshot of the message and sent it to my mentors and best friends feeling like this was unreal.

So as we celebrated The Tailgate Societies first birthday I couldn’t help but feel a little cheesy about it and felt like writing what I would call a love letter and share what this anniversary means to me.

I’ve been a member for 72 days and I can’t even wrap my brain around that. I never imagined I would be apart of something so cool and something I admired from my own cheap seat as I just followed all the twitter accounts and checked out the content. When TGS entered my life I was at a point in my semester where I was struggling a lot with my stance as a writer and where I was going career wise. I had just quit writing for a campus magazine I’d been apart of for 2 years and had felt like I had lost my voice. I wasn’t writing much, I had stalked probably every internship out there I could find on the internet and was just down. Then good ol’ Ted made this offer and I accepted.

Within hours of joining I was flooded with all the wonderful humans of TGS. Instantly attacked with questions and open arms no matter what burrito chain I preferred I was sucked into this giant family of people I didn’t even know. I knew 1 person and had stalked a couple others on twitter and instagram 100 times and the rest were just a bunch of strangers. QUICKLY, and I mean quickly, I was so overwhelmed in how fast this family became apart of my everyday. I slowly found myself mentioning staffs names in stories I wanted to share with other friends and all the confused faces of where had these friends come from suddenly.

I’ll never forget when I had drinks with a couple members of the staff and I had only met one of them once. S/O to Dana cause I bombarded her at the spring tailgate as she just strolled through the lots then came me running…like OMG DANA MELCHER!!! But anyways, my friend who had also come into the same bar had asked me who I was with and when I explained it to her she said she could’ve swore I’d known all these people forever because of the way we all looked together just hanging out. Again, I literally didn’t even really know anyone I was with besides conversations we had as a staff via the web.

TGS not only helped me find my voice again by being constantly surrounded around conversations with other writers, even if writing wasn’t a career choice or a consistent things they did. It’s crazy what can happen when you surround yourself with people from so many different places, different values, different points in life and different interests and stances. Whether it’s everyone drunk texting each other, a quick vent session about the crappy day someone’s having at work, advice seekers or quick discussion on new story ideas, it’s through all these people and this bad a** platform that I was able to stop having writers block that felt permanent, discovered my love for podcasts and helped give me the boost I needed to feel confident again in who I am as a writer.

I gained my voice and this huge family of people I never knew were coming my way. I found my confidence again which helped prepare me for the jobs I gained the month after I had joined TGS.

I wouldn’t want to spend my days any other way than catching up on Alex Gookins newest sports rant, Tami’s passion for the Broncos (Sadly, not the Denver Broncos), Ted being Ted, everyone’s garden development, who’s eating what for probably every meal, that time Tiffany got everyone to share pictures of their work desks, who’s drunk, what beers I should be trying even though I hate beer or that one day everyone discussed their weddings, dream weddings or weddings coming up.

TGS was the start to a domino effect to get me back into my groove and I gained all these people in my life. So, cheers to your first year TGS you’ve made a difference in my life and clearly the people who keep coming back to the site! My hope for year 2 is that the audience grows and everyone get’s to love this site as much as I do.

Cheers to the staff and cheers to year 2 being even better!

Jacqueline Cordova
Jacqueline Cordova 11 Articles
Staff Writer

Jacqueline is a current Iowa State student studying journalism. After writing one article for Ethos Magazine on athletes, Jacqueline realized her original plans with an English major were wrong and she flipped her whole life upside down and now wants to devote the rest of her life to the sports industry. Jacqueline takes great liking to bar popcorn and long islands. Some, if not everybody, would describe Jacqueline as the "mom friend". You can find Jacqueline either listening to rap music, googling videos of corgi puppies or looking for the next friend to feed cookies and a home cooked meal.

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