Staying home for homecoming


Kavya Iyer

Writer Elena Williams take on Homecoming

Elena Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Class of 2021, I like you. You’ve got a lot of nice people. You’ve got a lot of my friends. You’ve got a lot of good spirit.

But do I like you enough to spend hours after school poring over decorations or practicing a dance? … No.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s great to see so many people having fun during Homecoming. I’ve always been in awe of people who dedicate so much time and effort into creating a memorable experience for their school. Every year, it puts a smile on my face to see people laughing and shouting at rallies and football games, knowing that they love the feeling of being in the crowd and cheering for their class or school. But frankly, it’s just not my cup of tea. 

As a class-A introvert, I have always felt a bit out of place at rallies, where I can never seem to find any excitement in the cheering and shouting; honestly, it gives me more of a headache than anything. At dances, I’ve always found it more enjoyable to hang back and talk with my friends than to get on the dance floor. Getting lost in the crowd, I’ve realized, isn’t my thing. 

In the past two years as an underclassman, I heard a great deal of advice from upperclassmen to go out to school events and have “school spirit.” “Make the most of your time in high school!” is common to hear. While these words might motivate some to go out to make Homecoming decorations or practice their dances, they remind me that the way I choose to spend these four years will become what I remember of high school. With that in mind, it becomes clear that I’d rather not go to events that don’t appeal to me.

As Homecoming rolls around, I find myself reevaluating what “school spirit” means to me. I look back on my two years and two months of high school, and I realize that my most treasured memories have not been from Homecoming or rallies, but from the everyday experience of being with my friends and talking to teachers. In my experience, “school spirit” has meant forging bonds with people all over campus and creating lasting memories with them. That’s what makes my experience more rewarding, and those friendships are part of what makes Lynbrook a better place, just as skit dances and football games do. 

I recall my first rally at Lynbrook in freshman year. I spent ten minutes shoving past people I didn’t know to get to the only available seat in the bleachers, and the next forty minutes getting shoved by the people next to me in the bleachers. I peered down at the gym floor through the narrow window between the two heads of the tall people in front of me. 

It felt like I was watching someone else’s show. I wasn’t a participant in the scene; I watched people shout and cheer, tapped my foot and let my mind wander toward the nagging worry of my impending Biology test. (Ah, more innocent times.) 

I never felt like the experience was mine. When it belonged to hundreds of people, it became distant and remote, and it was hard for me to find personal attachment.

I ditched the second rally. That day, my friends and I sat in the quad and took goofy pictures for half an hour. While the setting was far less glamorous than the balloons and decorations of the gym, I found myself smiling more, laughing more and making more memories. This experience, unlike the others, felt distinctly personal. I knew that it would be closer to my heart than anything I saw lost in a crowd.

As you might have guessed, I’m not exactly known for my extraordinary level of school spirit. But I do have pride in my school — not in the institution or in the Lynbrook name, but in the many incredible and kind people I have been blessed to meet here.

What will I remember about Lynbrook? Not the events. Not the dances or the games. Not even the class officers, the skit voice actors or the Homecoming royalty. (Nothing personal, guys.) I’ll remember my friends and my teachers — the people I knew personally. While Homecoming is often celebrated as a community activity, but I’ve found that the simple, everyday practice of talking and laughing with peers and staff is an unsung form of building a student’s own high school experience.

As I’ve become an upperclassman myself, I find myself compelled to make a case in defense of antisocial, negative-Nancy rally-ditchers across campus like me. So my advice to freshmen and anyone new to Lynbrook is this: go to Homecoming. Go to the rallies, the dances, the games. Get the full “high school experience.” But if you’ve tried it and it’s not your thing, take your time to discover what you do love about and value in your four years at Lynbrook. If it’s not your cup of tea, you aren’t missing out on the world by staying home for Homecoming.