“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw
For the past three years, I’ve gone through three Spirit Weeks at my high school, leading up to three Homecoming games and dances. These past five days, collectively, have formed my last one. And without a doubt, it’s been the best yet.
For anyone unfamiliar with Spirit Week, in high school (and college) it’s the week of school leading up to the Homecoming football game and dance. Each day is a celebration featuring a different theme, such as dressing in school colors or in a random costume.
I began the spirit-ing about last Saturday, when I spent the better part of the day helping decorate our hallway. See, the theme of this year’s Homecoming was “Road Trip Across the USA,” and each class represented a different city. As a senior, my class had New York.
When we were all finished, the hallway looked like a cleaner version of Manhattan, complete with a graffiti wall and elaborate drawings of every major building you could find. The decoration itself was exciting as well as a bonding experience amongst us seniors (yes, that is a pun dedicated to those who bonded/burned off their flesh with our hot glue guns created from the fiery depths by Satan himself).
And so Spirit Week began.
A brief recap…
Monday, the 1st, was “local county” day. We live in a particularly rural county, and this was the chance for everyone to dress like it. The most interesting outfits I saw were full-body cow costumes, head to toe camouflage, and several people dressed as tractors. Boy, did they slow down the hallway traffic.
Tuesday was a universally recognizable one…character day. There were hipsters, superheroes, the cast of the Big Bang Theory, Jason Mraz, Greek Godesses, and I…went as Batman.
And not because I like the film series, either. Don’t get me wrong; I love the movies…but no, the single reason I was dressed in a full Batman costume the entire day was so I could speak without relapse in his vocal chord-mutilating rasp. “The derivative of 3x equals three!” sounds much more exciting when it sounds like you’ve been kicked in the throat seventy times.
Wacky Tacky day…I won’t say much on it, because I was on a field trip to see a play adaption of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which was great). Plus, even if I’d been at school, I don’t think I’d have dressed up. It would’ve been hard to top the Lightsaber I carried around last year.
Ah, yesterday. “City day,” when everyone dressed according to the city their grade had been assigned. With seniors having New York, I got to see almost everything you’d expect and some things you wouldn’t…from homeless street performers to businessmen to those dressed as actual buildings. I personally went as a tourist, complete with a bright orange backpack and my nose buried in a map.
And, the most anticipated. Spirit Day, when we donned every shade of our school color (blue) that we could. Classes were shortened due to Pep Rally, which was the high point.
As one of my friends pointed out, you knew it was going to be epic when an airplane flew over the school with a banner that read “class of 2013.” And then, a tradition: every year, grades 9-11 gathered on the bleachers, and once they were settled, the seniors charged onto the football field in a massive pack while a spirit-inducing song blasted…in this case, “Arena” by Con Bro Chill. I’d watched it happen for three years, and I was more excited than I could even really understand.
And then I just said it:
“What if I trip?”
Luckily, I didn’t.
I’d like to say I felt the adrenaline rushing, but honestly it happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about it. Mostly, I was focused not knocking people aside (once again, to the girl who I ran over—by the literal definition—I am very sorry and hope your head is okay).
Everything was worth it because our class won the Spirit Stick, something we probably take more seriously than we should. Everyone high-fived, thanked our class president (which I still haven’t done enough) and blew our vuvuzelas like it was the end of the world. As we said hundreds of times today, you just can’t beat the ’13est.
We finished off the day going to our Homecoming football game. And after everything, it didn’t even matter that we lost.