A Homecoming Reflection: Why Don’t More People Dress Up?

By Katelyn Wachendorf

I remember when having school spirit was cool and people that didn’t dress up were in the minority. Back when I was in middle school at South, EVERYONE dressed up. Anything people could get their hands on that was black or red they wore: both guys and girls in red leggings, face and hair paint, jerseys, and more. Katie F. wore a traffic cone in her hair! I even remember one spirit day wearing red and black paper clips and shoe laces in my hair. But let’s not forget the mother of all spirit decorations, beaded necklaces.

This group of seniors found something to dress in for 60s/70s day. Photo by Brooke Heppner.
This group of seniors found something to dress in for 60s/70s day. Photo by Brooke Heppner.

So what has changed? Students’ participation in the dress up days homecoming week actually seemed up from the past few years that I’ve been here, but it still didn’t seem like a lot of people dressed up. Less than half the school seems to dress up these days and I can’t help but wonder why. Some of the dress up days are difficult to find outfits for, which is understandable. Another factor I think plays into it is that some people just don’t feel like dressing up every day or are too busy to find an outfit; I know I’ve fallen into that category. However, I don’t think that’s the only reasons don’t people dress up anymore.

The atmosphere of high school is much different than that of middle school. They say we tend to be more self-conscious in middle school, but I think it’s the opposite. I think we have a stronger sense of fear for standing out. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to dress up because they don’t want to be made fun of or they don’t want to go overboard. It’s as if there’s an unsaid rule that unless you’re “popular,” a senior who doesn’t care anymore, or have a healthy dose of confidence, you shouldn’t dress up anymore. Not all, but a lot of us, seem to have our own groups of people or cliques, and our groups tend to take on certain images of who we are and we stick to that. I think some of us are afraid to “look different” from our group or are worried another group will make fun of us.

I think the reasons vary and are different for all of us at different times. Regardless of how real someone’s reason might be, it’s ultimately fun to dress up and have school spirit. It’s exciting to go to a game and have more spirit than the other team, to take pictures of yourself to look back and laugh at later, to walk into a store and surprise everyone in there, to have pride in what you do and where you go to school. Before you know it you’re graduating and this time in your life is over, so don’t miss your chance to look ridiculous and enjoy it!