Written by Julia Cheunkarndee
During homecoming week, everyone goes all out with their school spirit. However, junior Sandra Chiu takes it to a whole new level. From swaggering around in a pirate costume to wearing a 3-D cardboard sh mask, Chiu has embraced much of Gunn’s homecoming festivities each year.
Although many events are planned throughout homecoming week, Chiu especially enjoys creating di erent costumes for each day’s theme. “I have a lot of spirit,” she said. “But for me, dressing up is the most fun part. I get to show o my hard work and costumes.”
e excitement surrounding homecoming costumes is almost tangible, from the anticipation leading up to the unveiling of homecoming themes to parading around in the actual out ts during homecoming week. Chiu enjoys planning out her costumes and working out their design in the days before.
O en, however, Chiu ends up scrapping the idea and starting over. “Most of the time, I plan the cos- tumes out, but then I nd out that it won’t work, and I end up winging it the night before,” she said.
To give a realistic depiction of her process, Chiu compares the amount of time that she spends on her costumes to the time commitment of Advanced Placement Biology homework. “I think making my costume takes a couple of hours, for each costume,” Chiu said. “ e longest one to make was the bush costume. I uprooted a bush from the garden, and then I trimmed it to t a wire.”
Chiu’s school spirit has also led to some interesting encounters. She recalls one entertaining moment that occurred during the homecoming of her sophomore year, when she had to dress up to t a “Yosemite” theme. Chiu came to school wearing a bush she had pulled up from her yard. “During lunch, my friend and I would go around campus,” she said. “My friend would lure people into conversations, and I would sit there pretending to be a bush. en I would jump out and scare them.”
Although not all of her costumes lean toward that extreme, Chiu’s peers welcomed her enthusiasm to- ward school spirit and expressed interest in her creations. “My mom thought I was crazy,” Chiu said. “Some of my friends thought it was cool, and a couple of people thought I was too extra, but it was worth it.”
e creativity of Chiu’s costumes, however, has sometimes landed her in a pickle. During Chiu’s fresh- man year, she designed an elaborate costume for a ‘Cars’ theme. e plan for the costume entailed using cardboard to build a car around a shopping cart, which Chiu could then ride in. However, Chiu wasn’t aware that this wasn’t allowed on campus. School supervisors ensured that she would not be riding the cart throughout the school grounds. “ at kind of back red on me, but it was still fun,” said Chiu.
As homecoming week approaches, she is ready to embrace her school spirit and creatives costumes once more. “You get to be someone or something else for a day,” Chiu said. “It’s cool to not be yourself.”