Written by Megan Li
Homecoming: one week, five days, 80 waking hours of pure, unadulterated school spirit. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of excitement and anticipation and a way to aunt enthusiasm and creativity through dressing up. Much of the interest in the week, however, is kept through the rotation and addition of themes: without variety, the entire concept of dressing up would quickly become stale.
Although the happy anticipation of homecoming is omnipresent, its approach becomes truly tangible with the theme reveal assembly. The video not only acts as a showcase of the Student Executive Council’s imagination, but it also brings a buzz of excitement for the arrival of homecoming week and for all the potential outfits that can bloom under the umbrella of each theme. Even though some themes, such as class colors and a handful of senior themes, have already been solidified in their positions, much of the rest are shrouded in mystery. It’s never clear what themes may be added into the rotation; there’s no way to predict whether or not ones from ages back might resurface or if completely fresh ideas will make their debut appearance.
The themes known to make annual appearances, such as cosmopolitan and western, also help to buoy excitement since they aren’t ever a sure-fire bet for a specific grade. Seniors in the past slipped into patent leather dress shoes and chic dresses, while juniors fitted into ornamental cowboy boots and denim jeans, but recent years have seen change. They may not be quite as interesting as never-before-seen themes, but the possibility of reshuffling is still strong enough to stoke the flames of homecoming-related enthusiasm, adding yet another layer to the excitement.
Not knowing what themes are going to pop up is arguably one of the best parts of the assembly. Being blindfolded and kept in the dark feeds into the anticipation. If everything were to remain stagnant year after year, it would eventually come to a point where wholehearted interest would flatline. After all, predictability is the killer of giddy apprehension.
Once themes have been unveiled and the music has faded, creativity is unleashed and imagination can run wild. By switching things up and adding new themes every year, more space can be created for coming up with original outfits that could easily bolster spirit. Despite the fact that there are currently still many options that can t underneath one theme, that variety would eventually become tired-out with constant overuse. “Peter Pan,” for example, fields a whole assortment of Wendys, Peter Pans, Captain Hooks, Tinkerbells and more, but if it were to become a recurring theme, those options would become tired-out and repetitive.
Keeping dress-up days the same might be better in terms of saving money and time, since clothing items could be borrowed from older students, but half the fun of participating is found in digging through closets or specialty party stores to find the perfect themed look. Besides, if the same outfits walked the halls each October, the novelty would undoubtedly become watered down and bland.
Even though the spirit of homecoming week is not derived solely from dressing up and can live on without constant revamping, shaking it up from time to time and keeping the student body on its toes does no harm at all. Moving a few themes around or throwing new ones into the mix only has a widespread positive effect on the creation, longevity and universalness of homecoming-grown enthusiasm.