Paint flying, posters hanging, and heated competition filled the school the weekend before spring break began. Highland Student Government was doing everything in our power to make our classmates excited for the most impassioned time of the year — spirit week.
In previous years, the student government had months to plan and get ready for this stressful yet exciting time. But to no one’s surprise, this year was different. We were given a timeline of roughly five weeks to get everything in place. After that, class officers quickly designed tee shirts, and then it was off to work. We painted posters for weeks and were finally able to hang them up in the main halls of Highland.
After spring break, students were allowed to attend school full time. To us, it was the perfect week to bring school spirit back into the building. We watched kids stroll through the halls and look at the many posters that were hung up. This was rewarding to see, but unfortunately, the spirit we searched for still wasn’t there.
I thought students would be more excited when it came to our lunchtime activities, and for a select few, it was. But many of the students ignored our efforts and just shyly mingled within their friend circles. “What could get more kids engaged?” we wondered. In response, we tried bribing them with candy and class points, but it didn’t help much.
It was then when I realized students weren’t connected with Highland on a personal level. They had spent all year on a screen and had forgotten what it was like to be involved inside the building. I questioned if the spirit bowl would even be comparable to previous years, despite our efforts to “Rise up and Ramp up” the student body.
As I woke up on that warm Wednesday morning, I prayed that more kids would be more excited to share their Ram pride. Although the arrival of students was slow, around 300 individuals made an effort to walk down to the football field. And to my surprise, my prayers were answered. My peers brought the passion we were missing all year long.
Each grade had thier own unique energy. Unlike at
lunch, the “fancy freshmen” surprised everyone with their extremely loud cheering. The “superhero sophomores” united and carried the excitement. The “jersey juniors” were good at participating in activities and the “safari seniors” waved the Highland Flag vigorously, releasing all the school spirit they had gathered from their four years as Rams.
From my eyes, the bowl brought an incredible amount of school spirit that was necessary to survive this last term. Playing “marshmallow baseball” during lunch the next day felt as though I had a connection to every student in the gym. Laughter and positive vibes echoed throughout the school, and after a long year of loneliness and isolation, Highland felt united once again.