August 18, 2018

School Spirit: What Does it Really Mean?

Caroline Kelly ’13
Staff Writer

It’s the time of year again – fall, the Pep Rally, Thanksgiving. The Pep Rally definitely fit the bill for a good old fashioned spirited event, but the levels of anticipation varied among students, from “What? We have a Pep Rally?” to “Counting down the hours, Go Raiders!”. Personally, I do not know if that is such a terrible thing, because there is a lot more to school spirit than the excitement surrounding the Thanksgiving Day football game.

There are plenty of people who feel that school spirit is a fun, key part of the high school experience, and I agree with that. It’s important to be proud of our accomplishments as a school and as a community, particularly for those who work so hard for our school to be a positive learning environment that merits our town.

We easily express this externally through wearing pajamas, all black, or whatever else the day calls for. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pep Rally sitting in the overflowing junior section, wearing black and screaming for the junior class pie-eater, Sam Phillips. The gym buzzed with its green, white, black, and red sections, all eager to represent their class. The music was energetic, the dances, well-choreographed, and the football players, contagiously excited.

That being said, I don’t think that wearing school colors, going crazy at the Pep Rally, or attending the football game in question by themselves necessarily fulfills the requirements for school spirit. They are simply signs of Wellesley allegiance, not particularly difficult to show. True school spirit takes much more thought.

To me, school spirit means representing your school proudly though behavior that paints our school and community in a positive light, Raiders or no Raiders. Take the most recent night game. The students that were drinking and losing control may have been cheering for the Raiders, but they were not showing true school spirit.

Therefore, the Pep Rally, a school-wide, and even football-based, event, provided an opportunity for redemption. We had a chance to go beyond the easy signs to set a new standard of behavior this Thanksgiving season. By both our attire and our actions and intentions, we reiterated for upperclassmen and underclassmen alike what it truly means to be a Raider.

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