Written by Carolyn Kuimelis
A swarm of students—all dressed from head to toe in red and black— crowd the senior quad, shout cheers and watch in anticipation as their classmates go head-to-head in competition. It’s the most anticipated time of year— the week where differences are put aside and classes rally together in hopes of becoming champions: homecoming week.
From planning intricate outfits to losing her voice cheering for her class, senior Kim Fenwick embraces her deep love for homecoming week and all things spirit. Having only been at Gunn since the middle of sophomore year, Fenwick hasn’t experienced three full homecomings. Nevertheless, she’s far from a rookie when it comes to showing school spirit.
Last year, she planned out her out ts a month in advance after hearing from a friend about how intensely spirited the Gunn community is. After scouring Halloween stores, Goodwill and her friends’ closets, her outfits were finally ready to be showcased.
When homecoming week began, Fenwick was shocked by how many people she saw dressed up. “I was very impressed, especially when we took the picture on the field,” she said. “Just to see so many people dressed up was crazy. My old school does not compare.” Being new to the school, Fenwick appreciated the camaraderie of school spirit. “During homecoming week, I felt like everyone just came together,” she said.
Although most of her outfits take weeks to put together, one of Fenwick’s favorite looks from last year was one she threw together rather last minute: a cape, a flannel and black jeans for Vampire Day. She finished the outfit with fake blood and a dramatic makeup look. It wasn’t just fellow classmates who were impressed by her outfit. “As I was walking, a bunch of crows were flocking and following me,” she said. “I would run, and they would start flying in that direction, and I would stop, and they would settle in the trees.”
There is no doubt that dressing in crazy outfits can be intimidating; it takes a certain level of confidence to embrace your inner quirkiness. For Fenwick, showing school spirit and going all out with the wacky themes has helped her express herself. “[My spirit] has progressed with my confidence,” she said. “They work together.”
It’s clear to everyone around her the positivity that showing school spirit brings to Fenwick. “My mom loves it because she sees how much happier I get, and she likes that I’m being active in school activities,” she said. “She fully supports it, even if I look really crazy dressed in all red.”
On Student Executive Council this year, Fenwick hopes to use her position as a platform to encourage other students to get involved in homecoming and other rallies throughout the year. “I want to help bring out school spirit in other students because I’m so much happier expressing myself and my school spirit,” she said. “I want to make a positive impact.”
She also plans on outdoing herself this year costume-wise. “If I thought I went all out last year, I’m taking it three notches up [this year],” she said.