The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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The Importance of School Spirit

Senior class of 2024 cheering during the pep rally. Credit: Kendall Easterly

 

Football games, face paint, pep rallies, and smiles. That’s usually what comes to mind when we hear the phrase “school spirit”, but how does our school actually feel about its spirit? Do we all lay awake at night, jittery with excitement for the next day of spirit week? Or do we all just put on a cheerful barbie costume, to hide the dread underneath?

Unfortunately, most high school students have negative feelings about their schools. In a national survey conducted by Yale, about 75% of the 21,678 students surveyed reported having negative feelings about school. Do Whitney Young students feel the same? Or do we have pride in our school?

We asked some seniors from around the school about their general thoughts when it comes to spirit week, and most responded with comments like this one from Mingshi Xia, “It brings the school together. You really feel like just one school during spirit week. It also helps you figure out who’s a senior”. Others are more neutral about spirit week, but still appreciate having it around, like Adrian Pitzele, “I enjoy school spirit. I like the spirit weeks, sometimes I don’t participate as much as I should. I think it’s nice, you know [to] bring the school together as a community”. But of course, we will always have those that bring life to our school, like JC Garcia, “I LOVE Pep rallies. But it’s always so sad because no one else gives the same amount of energy.”

Overall, it seems our students enjoy school spirit in our high school. But will our students look for the same qualities in college? When asked regarding the matter, our seniors responded with statements like “That’s not really what I’m considering”,1 or “It’s fine”.2 Others are more focused on having a similar experience in their post-secondary education, like JC Garcia, “It’s just very nice to know that other people are actually wanting to be at that school, rather than just having to be there.”

As I’m going through my photos from today’s homecoming game and pep rally, now I’m truly seeing these crowds of people. Not just any people, but members of the Whitney Young community. We’re banded together in our orange and blue, and we are proud. Students interacting from different friend groups, different grades, all in one crowd. United.

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