Excitement builds around campus as the Saint Mary’s community prepares for the first Notre Dame home game of the season, as the Irish prepare to square off against Purdue on Saturday. For many first-year students, this will be their first experience attending a Notre Dame football game and their first time in the student section. “It will be my first game,” first-year student Mary Margaret Artman said. “All I know is that I’m very excited … I’ve heard a lot of great things from the other students.” Even though she is from Georgia, Artman said she is prepared for game day. “There are actually quite a few people from where I’m from in Georgia who are Saint Mary’s College alumnae,” Artman said. “They gave me some advice on what to expect from the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s connection.” Artman said she is prepared for an exciting game day. “I have jerseys, tattoos, all the decor for the football game,” she said. “I’m going to go all-out. I might look a little ridiculous, but it’s all for team spirit.” Some of the pre-game traditions Notre Dame has to offer are especially exciting to Artman. “One of my roommates’ parents are having a tailgate, so I’m probably going to stop by there,” she said. “Apparently Notre Dame tailgating is the best, so I’m very excited!” Artman is not alone in her enthusiasm on campus. Saint Mary’s senior Megan Lord said she is excited to cheer on the Irish with her friends. “I have six roommates, so I’m sure all of us will go together,” Lord said. “We have a large group in our section … It’s just fun, we all get out, cheer for [the] team … Usually we’ll end up dressing weird.” Lord, who grew up in the area, has a long personal history with Notre Dame football. “My family goes to the games,” Lord said. “I grew up around Notre Dame football. My first game was probably when I was six … The student section is always great; since I’ve been a [first-year] I haven’t missed a game. Everyone’s more into it!”. Football rivalries between Notre Dame and other colleges are something Lord said she understands very well. “Purdue versus Notre Dame is a big game around here,” Lord said. “I expect a great outcome.” In addition to the actual competition, Lord said she enjoys many pregame traditions. “My favorite aspect is the tailgating [and] getting to meet everybody’s family,” she said. After graduation, Lord said she plans to get season tickets and continue attending games, but she said it will be different from sitting in the student section. “The student section is the life of the stadium,” she said.