CHS should consider student input during Homecoming, leads to more engagement


Addie Jacobsen

Homecoming, for many, is boring. What’s the point of meticulously planning your outfit for weeks ahead of time, stressing over people to go with, and securing spots for dinner, only to be crammed into a sweaty, nasty gym the whole night? In movies, homecoming is a magical experience, a defining moment in one’s teenage years. There are towering columns of food, a gym ornately decorated with pieces that fit the theme to the fullest extent, and everyone in the room is attractive and wearing stunning dresses. However, the expectation of Homecoming that movies portray often falls short of reality.

Everyone knows the feeling of disappointment when something doesn’t unfold the way you had planned in your head. Imagine the amount of students who go into their first Homecoming dance with these standards brought onto them by what the media portrays, only to find Homecoming is not, in fact, the glamorous moment they thought it would be.

With films occupying a significant amount of media consumed by youth, it is important to understand how much these films are impacting youth’s minds, according to the National Library of Medicine. Students often criticize movies such as Disney’s “High School Musical ” for the experiences portrayed. Students have fully active academic careers while also having fully formed social lives; but these experiences are not universal among real high school students today.

So, how can we break these unrealistic expectations of Homecoming? Better yet, how can Homecoming be made more enjoyable? The solution can come in many forms, but student involvement is a big one. Collecting feedback and ideas from students helps event coordinators understand the direction to take in planning an event. The Senate plans the activities for Homecoming, which means only a small portion of student’s ideas are represented. Allowing a larger portion of students to contribute ideas will make Homecoming more representative of the large student body. Ideas such as smaller dance areas, creative games, and plenty of activities for the entire student body are all items that could contribute to a more representative and enjoyable Homecoming.

Dancing is a big part of Homecoming, but let’s be honest; it can be annoying when a dance circle forms around someone you can’t even see because everyone around you is taller. Or when the line for cornhole is 20 people long; and doesn’t seem like it will let up any time soon. Although there are other activities besides dancing and cornhole, there simply aren’t enough of them to sustain the substantial student body that CHS has. If students could brainstorm activities to participate in during Homecoming, and maybe even set up a voting system, it could make Homecoming a much more enjoyable and meaningful experience for a student to carry with themselves into their adult lives; and eliminate the disappointment someone might feel from not living up to a Disney movie’s expectations.

I’m not saying we need to get rid of Homecoming because it can be boring; rather, I’m suggesting that we can improve Homecoming in multiple ways. Granted, it can be difficult to represent everyone’s ideas equally, and it is impossible to make everyone happy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Just because movies inaccurately portray Homecoming and high school in general, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be an event that is gratifying. If the school allows students to voice their opinions, Homecoming has the potential to become much more meaningful to a lot more students.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Addie Jacobsen at [email protected]

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