On January 21, all high school students flowed into the gymnasium for the first ‘normal’ pep rally since COVID. The stands cheered as students and faculty played tug of war, and the winter sports got their recognition. Are things finally going back to pre-pandemic times? I ask myself this as the tv in front of me displays numbers of Omicron cases spiking and the highest number of COVID deaths yet. Nearly all classes are missing at least two students, as the surge of cases rises in our community. Although many of us have been left feeling uncertain as to what the future holds pandemic-wise, the pep rally acted as a much-needed refresher to snap us out of the pandemic slump.
Unfortunately, this sort of slump has caused many of us high school students to have a get in/get out sort of mentality. I honestly relate to this feeling, but I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness being this is my last year to spend time in these hallways. Over 60 students had left before the pep rally with either early release, early dismissal, or sports release (wrestling team). It’s saddening to know that not as many students find pep rallies as unifying as they used to, which is definitely an occurrence that the pandemic has brought.
Pep rallies used to be a normal occurrence for our school – and I’m sure it was for many others. We would all eagerly wait for the announcement calling us down to the gym to see our friends compete with staff in fun games, or just be excited to be getting out of our period H. I have not thought much about how much pep rallies affected the atmosphere of the school until it was taken from us. Although, the effect it caused only lasted so long. This begs the question, how to get school spirit back in the constant paranoia of the pandemic?
My solution to this would be for the school to more frequently put together in-school activities before typical early release times that bring that sense of excitement back to the hallways. I know many of us are tired of hearing about the harsh reality of Omicron, and an escape from the constant pandemic reminders would be nice to have here at school. I believe that potentially doing mini activities for Valentine’s day, or even just a random spirit week would be a beneficial change of atmosphere. Due to all the activities that the pandemic has taken away from us, I believe that we shouldn’t be taking things that used to be the norm for granted. As old traditions begin to make their way back into our daily lives, we should cherish them, because as we have become well aware of now, they can be gone in the blink of an eye.