Homecoming Week tradition encourages student spirit


Homecoming begins long before the week itself. My sophomore year, it started the first moment somebody asked me what I was wearing to the dance, which was in the middle of September. After that, homecoming was brought up in every conversation one way or the other. From the endless discussions on what dresses my friends should buy on Lulus to who’s-going-to-ask-whom predictions, you can feel the thrill of homecoming before actually living it. I remember my struggle last year when somebody asked me what I was going to wear a week and a half before the homecoming dance, and I had no clue. I didn’t think the homecoming dance was that big a deal. Still, the weekend before homecoming, I went to Nordstrom with a friend and tried on 15 different dresses until I finally found the perfect one.

Homecoming includes a lot more than just the dance—the whole week is a celebration. Even with all the upperclassmen hyping up Homecoming Week, I still wasn’t prepared for what was to come. There was an overwhelming abundance of spirit.
On the first day when each grade dressed up in their respective class color, students came decked out in tutus and body paint—something that I wasn’t expecting at all. I felt very much out of place with my green hoodie, but it was so much fun seeing everyone celebrating their class. The amount of dedication all the students put into the dress-up days was invigorating. Everyone was so happy to be at school and represent their class.

A tip for the underclassmen out there: don’t be afraid to go all out for dress-up days. Your class gets points for best dressed, and it’s the only week where you will be able to dress completely crazy and feel normal. It is a blast seeing the amount of effort and creativity everyone puts into their outfits.

All week, it felt like my destination wasn’t school but homecoming; school was just the setting where homecoming took place. Most of my teachers were kind enough not to assign large assignments during that week because they knew that most students would be focused on homecoming festivities rather than academics.

Sophomore year showed me just how much there is to do during Homecoming Week—especially in the last few days. I participated in the sophomore airbands and performed during the rally on Thursday night, which was one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my life but also the most fun. Airbands demands a lot of time, but it is a great opportunity to represent your class and hang out with friends at the same time. Unfortunately, last year, my class didn’t have as many sign-ups as we would have liked, so I was much more nervous because only around 15 other people were performing. Thankfully, due to the weeks of rehearsal, dancing with friends felt organized and professional. After the rally, our whole class went to Happy Donuts to celebrate. It was great to see how excited everyone was about the Night Rally.

The day after the Night Rally is the homecoming football game. Last year, the student section was packed with people wearing black and red. These sorts of events make me proud to be a Gunn student. Normally, we have a reputation for focusing just on schoolwork, but during homecoming, everyone is able to join in the cheering and fun. To find the true spirit of Gunn, just take a look at our student section at the homecoming football game. After the football game came my favorite part about homecoming: the dance, which serves as the closing of the best week of school. All my friends and I met up in the afternoon and got ready for the dance together. We spent four hours waiting for everyone to change and get their hair and makeup done. When we got there, the dance was a chance to let go and have fun. Everyone was dancing, and I could just feel the happiness emanating from people. In that moment, I felt a true sense of connectedness to my fellow Gunn students. Homecoming was the best week of my sophomore year, and I know for a fact that it will be my favorite week again this year.