Homecoming. It should be about bringing past students home and about building school spirit. But at my high school, the school spirit went a little overboard. It soon became more about competition and as a result, class time was lost. It got so that Homecoming wasn’t even fun any more.
The Homecoming competition between grades was divided into numerous categories, which will be explained in time. During each activity, the classes would be awarded first through fourth place and given points accordingly. At the end of the week, the grade with the most points would be the winners of Homecoming.
Homecoming week started with usual dress up days. I didn’t particularly like the days chosen. Some people would go out and buy clothes and costumes but I couldn’t afford to buy something that I would only wear once. It ended up that I was lucky if I could participate in two of the dress up days.
The Homecoming dress up was the first part of the competition. Sometimes, individual winners from each grade would be chosen and awarded first, second, third, and fourth place. Then, each class would get points. Other years, the competition would be based on the percentage of people in each grade that participated each day.
The next completion was hall decorating. Each grade was assigned a hall to decorate. It wasn’t exactly fair. The freshmen hall was the length of the junior and senior hall combined. The sophomore hall was tiny. It got dangerous to walk down the hall because of the football goal posts in the middle of the floor and streamers hanging from the ceiling. Some of the decorations were fire hazards and after that first year, stricter rules were put in place.
Every day during Homecoming, we would be dismissed early to walk through the over decorated halls and into the gym. First, there would be a pep rally. During the pep rally, every grade would have to yell the battle cry. Points would be given to the loudest classes. My grade was lacking in two things: Size and males. So of course, we got last every time.
After the pep rally was over, we would go outside for games. The games would range from high heel races to finding a chocolate chip in a pan of whipped cream using only the tongue. Points would be awarded to the winning class.
On Thursday of Homecoming week, we would dismiss even earlier so that we could work on the class float for the parade. The floats were to be judged later. And since the parade was a big deal to the people in the community, it was important to make them look good.
Thursday evening was coronation. I hated coronation because it was just a huge popularity contest. My freshmen year, I had no choice but to vote for the popular kids because I didn’t recognize most of the names. During my senior year, I voted for all my friends, even though I knew they wouldn’t make it. I was not going to give my vote to someone who didn’t deserve it. When it came to voting for the actual king and queen, I chose the guy who actually won. He was just a cool guy and I didn’t have any problems with him winning. He was also nice and involved in some school activities. And even though the girl I voted for didn’t get queen, I had no problems with the girl that did. She was really nice and really involved. She deserved to win.
On Friday, there were absolutely no classes. The day would begin with a waffle breakfast. Then, everyone would head outside to watch the girls play football. There were two games going on at once and they only lasted twenty minutes but it was still a long morning of sitting on the bleachers.
After the football games, we would head inside for the boys’ volleyball games. We would take turns eating lunch during this time so it didn’t drag on quite as bad as the football games.
After the volleyball games, it was time for the parade. Most of the high school students would get on some kind of float and then ride over to one of the elementary schools for a pep rally.
I was always relieved when the parade was over because it meant that Homecoming was technically over. No more lost class time. No more completion between the grades. I personally don’t see anything wrong with a little fun, but I believe my high school took it to the extreme. It also lost a lot of the fun when it became one big competition. And why does Homecoming need to be all about football? What about volleyball and cross country? Or even basketball? I have heard coaches say before that Homecoming is about other sports too but it isn’t. The theme of Homecoming is not about the team the volleyball team is playing.
While Homecoming should be about school spirit, I believe that my high school has made it into something extreme.