The County Chronicle

The online newspaper for Loudoun County High School

The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Where did all the spirit go?

Football games, pep rallies, and school dances seem to be a thing of the past. Once religiously followed spirit weeks are now mundane and overlooked. When did our generation lose the pride in the place we call home for four years of our life? 

As my senior year comes to an end, I realize my expectations going into high school have been violently struck down by reality. Perusing other school-run papers, it became apparent to me that many other young journalists are seeing the same lack of spirit.

Where did this decline in spirit come from? Do I dare mention the possibility of the pandemic limiting the spirit? Is it simply the decline in adolescent mental health? Or is it as our parents so cautiously warned and those “damn phones” are the cause? 

Prom is typically the height of the year for many upperclassmen. It signifies the end of school and gives students a chance to let go of stress that had accumulated over the year. This year, that high school milestone was nearly canceled.

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Ticket sales for the prom were lower than any year prior. As it became apparent that ticket sales were not going to be met, alterations were made to the venue and photo booth contract in order to keep the dance alive.

Regardless of the fact prom was still held, the majority of the students still did not attend the dance put on by the school. Many chip in to travel to DC, hire a party bus or limo for the night, or attend their own gatherings outside of the school.

Traditionally, prom is a time for all students to see each other after a long year’s work. Now without the attendance at these planned events, there is even more disconnection among the upperclassmen, further lessening the spirit of the student body. 

Prior to the dance, a spirit week is typically held and in years past hallways are decorated to a specific theme. Now spirit weeks have very little participation and decorating hallways is a long gone tradition. 

I can recall my sophomore year at County, following the pandemic, the hallways were decorated head to toe to fit the theme of the Grammys. There was loud music, endless balloons and streamers, and a red carpet outside of the cafeteria. The festivities excited me for my senior year, when I would get to decorate the hallways; but that tradition was struck down the following year. 

It partially appears that just not enough students care or have the time to participate in school sanctioned activities and events. Looking at the environment around me, I see this constant competition that every student seems to have to be the best. 

Although working hard and focusing on the future is important to keep in mind, it feels as if it has gotten to a toxic level. And with students’ mental health constantly declining, everyone could afford to take a break and actually experience high school. 

With the disconnection among the student body, school events could be what the population needs to reconnect.

When planning spirit weeks, instead of trying to gain interest with over the top themes, possibly going back to the basics: pajama day, crazy hat and hair day, and class color day. It may seem unoriginal, but it helps allow every student to get involved with items they already own. 

Receiving help from other clubs could help to hype up the levels of spirit. With the endless clubs at our school, collaboration between them on events could promote club participation, as well as school spirit. 

As for prom and other gatherings, students seem to want something a little more. Holding the prom half an hour away and in a hotel seems to be unappealing to most students. Several other schools hold the prom outdoors or in local barns/wedding venues. These venues shouldn’t cost too much more than the hotel and could spark the interest of students. 

As a graduating senior, I always tried my best to get involved in events. I always attend a few football games, go to school dances, and try my best to participate in spirit weeks. There is always more that I could be doing, but already I feel I do more than the majority of my peers. 

Regarding underclassmen, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to attend at least two sporting events each quarter, attend your school dances, and dress up for at least a couple spirit days. 

I understand the drive for your future. But for the majority of students, I know you spend endless hours doom scrolling on social media. Instead of that, get out of the comfort of your house. This isn’t just about spirit. This is about your life. 

Go get ice cream with your friends. Play outside. Go to the movies. As much as this is an issue about the pride you have in your school, the real problem is that our generation doesn’t know how to live their life. 

Looking back on your life, you wouldn’t want to remember each instagram post you liked or the streak you kept on snapchat. Have pride in the school that is your home for so long and get involved in the community.  But most importantly, make memories while you are in high school and have the privilege of doing so.

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About the Contributor
Cat Pizzarello
Cat Pizzarello, editor-in-chief
Cat Pizzarello is a senior at Loudoun County High School. This is her third year on The County Chronicle newspaper staff and she will be serving as an editor-in-chief this year.  She really enjoys writing a variety of different articles throughout the year. Outside of newspapers, she is very involved in the cross country and track teams at LCHS since freshman year and mainly does distance events. She also really enjoys listening to music, hiking and hanging out with her family and friends.

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