Stepping up our Spirit


Illustration by Alexandra Liu

Students are lacking spirit, which leads them to forget how enjoyable the school community can be.

Davis Marks, Assistant News Editor

As Prefect Council planned the annual Spirit Week in September, I eagerly watched the Fanatics Committee brainstorm ideas for dress- up days. In the weeks leading up to Spirit Week, I looked forward to seeing the outfits students would wear to show off their spirit. When Spirit Week arrived, however, something felt different than previous years. As I showed up to school each morning in my humiliating outfits (I’m still processing Emo Day), I noticed a distinct lack of spirit.

This issue becomes even more prevalent when we consider the levels of spirit in past years. Walking on the quad as a sophomore new to the Upper School last year, I was hit by a public Homecoming Formal ask almost every day during the fall. Students across all three grade levels asked others to Formal in a variety of ways, from creative signs, personalized music performances, students painting letters on their bare chests and even mock college commitments. The Homecoming asks created a fun relief from the rigor of school, as we were able to gather on the Quad as a community and laugh as students asked others to Homecoming in the strangest of ways. This year’s Homecoming public ask season greatly contrasted last year’s, as I can count the amount of public asks on my fingers.

I’m not saying that the student body not wearing school colors on Spirit Day or a lack of public Homecoming asks means impending doom. However, it characterizes a noticeable shift between this year and last year. This trend may not mean much on the surface, but its implications are worrying. 

Throughout my time at the Middle School, I heard amazing stories about the Upper School. Older students described a united and intimate community with a wide range of fun traditions that create memories for a lifetime. However, this year it is starting to feel as if we are so blinded by our individual responsibilities and pressures that we forget our important responsibility as a community to make this school an enjoyable place. Though the administration has been working to make the environment less stressful overall, our school is an academically rigorous place. The administration’s work makes a difference, but the most positive change we can make as students is allowing our campus to thrive through our traditions and collective enjoyment.

Though the Class of 2022, the last class to be at the Upper School before the pandemic, has graduated, we can use our experiences from last year to ensure our community’s traditions do not fizzle out. While we are focused on academics and extracurriculars, we have another important responsibility.

 Especially after the pandemic, it is our role to ensure our school’s traditions get passed down to the Class of 2025 and beyond. We are the stewards of our traditions, and it is time we act as such.

It is time to step up and make our school’s community the place we want it to be.