So I had my first homecoming. As in, I attended my first homecoming. Not that I was the one invited for homecoming. Confused? Me too.
So lets break it down. Homecoming. Pretty much means what you would expect. Coming home. More specifically, the coming home of our prestigious alumni. (Insert singsongy voice) Homecoming is an annual, American tradition where people, towns, high schools, and colleges come together to welcome back former members of the community. I’m not disrespecting if that would still apply to us since we don’t really live near colleges. It might just be the welcoming back of former students, teachers, and community members. Maybe. I’m not sure. I’m new to high school, ask a senior. (Or someone more cultured than me)
Homecoming usually takes place near late September to early October, and is built around a central event such as a banquet or dance, and most often, a game of American football. Yes the game that isn’t really football but is, hence the name American Football. Call it non-soccer, or non-football football. Anyways, many common activities that take place during this time include a parade featuring aspects of the school such as sports and marching band, a football game on the home field, coronation of a homecoming queen and/or king, and a dance that takes place the day after the game. I had my first homecoming dance last night. So that’s what I meant by attending homecoming.
The first homecoming-like event was the University of Missouri’s 1911 football game where alumni were invited to attend. This was centered around a game and parade, and from this, it became an annual event. Homecoming usually has a backings court which is a representative group if students. My school’s homecoming court was Lord and Lady (Freshman), Due and Duchess (Sophomore), Prince and Princess (Junior), and then King and Queen which is Seniors. We also have His and Her Excellency which consists of two teachers/staff. I know, a little excessive. It’s a fun tradition though.
For my first homecoming experience, I have to say it’s as really exciting. My favorite part is the decoration I’m not sure how each school does it, but we had every sport, fine arts, club, and such decorate a window or a section of a wall. There were balloons and streamers, colorful pop outs, familiar cultural references *cough cough BTS cough cough*, and so many other cute decorations. I loved how each group had something unique and true to what they do, and I loved seeing the school decorated and glammed up for this. The spirit week for homecoming was also super exciting. Monday- Where did all the time go. Each grade had a different theme such as freshman as little kids and seniors as senior citizens. Tuesday- Dress up with another person. Have another person dress you up in a crazy, cool, or fun outfit. Wednesday was a favorite artist, celebrity, album day. Thursday was a pajama day, and Friday was a Hoco shirt (special shirts sold for Hoco ‘22) and Mums/Garters. Now. What is a mum?
Frankly, I have no clue. This is apparently a Texas high school tradition, and is very popular. (Of course it is.) So a mum began as a “sweet Texas token of affection given to a girl by her date in honor of the high school homecoming football game and other events.” ( Schumann, Natalie. “How Giant Homecoming Mums Became a Texas Tradition.” Country Living, 20 Sept. 2020, https://www.countryliving.com/life/g28035883/homecoming-mums-tradition-ideas/. ) Boys would accent a chrysanthemum bloom ( which became the unofficial flower of homecoming events) with ribbons and ornaments and give them to a girl. These would be small and pinned on to clothing. However, over time, not only have they been worn around necks, but they’ve also grown in size. On Friday I saw a mum wider than a girl’s torso, with huge decorations. Some covered their entire torso and were heavily adorned with ribbons, bells, stuffed animals, ruffles, multiple artificial flowers, and such. Some even had lights on theirs.
On home games, we have a pep rally during school. This usually consists of some stunts and tumbling performed by the cheer team, a bit of dancing by the Dazzlers, the band/marching band performing, a little about the football team, the drum line coming out and being the absolute coolest (my favorite part of you couldn’t tell), class chants, and a finale of singing the school anthem(?). I’m not sure if it’s the anthem. It’s more of a song, not a fight song, but it’s sung at the end of games and pep rallies. Pep rallies are the best. Except for the fact that literally no one in my grade wants to cheer along or participates in the class chant. I don’t know if other schools do this- they probably do- but each class has a special chant for all four years of high school. I think it might be because we’re new and we want to seem cool but in reality it makes us look like wimps and spiritless. Like, come on guys. You can do better. We’re the biggest class ever seen. We’re loud. Show that off! Stop being so shy. But yeah. That’s it.
Now, final dance. Prom. I won’t be able to go to prom yet since it’s for Juniors and Seniors, another two years before I can, but it is something I’m looking forward to going when I can. Prom, short for Promenade, means (according to Merriam-Webster) “…a ceremonious opening of a formal ball consisting of a grand march of all the guests.” In th past, it was meant as a way to promote social etiquette for university’s senior classes as they finish their studying years and enter society. Over time it has now become something for high school juniors and seniors. It can often be seen as one last way for the class to have fun together before the year ends. The main reason I would want to attend is because one, it’s a final memory with my grade, and two, it reminds me of my 8th grade dance from last year.
Homecoming. was really nice and I had a lot of fun. However, it was the entire school invited, and my friend and I could barely find people we knew. We had fun together, but not as much fun as we could have with other people. Last year’s dance was only 8th graders, and it was at the end of the school year. At that time, we were finishing the last of our final exams, and it was very easy-going at that time. We also knew each other very well, having bonded together over the past 3 years. It was really comfortable, and it was easy to enjoy. Homecoming is pretty early in the year, and we only started interacting with our peers. (Freshman I mean) Since two other middle schools’ 8th transitioning to 9th grade students were joining us at high school, we had classes with new people. It was 6th grade all over again. It would have been nice to have a dance at the end of the school year, where we had closer relationships with others and could enjoy better. But at least I got to go/ decided to go. Super happy I did. I was considering not going for some time but I’m really happy my parents convinced me to. It helped set up future expectations for the upcoming years.
Firstly, wear comfortable shoes. As pretty as high heels look under a nice dress, they are absolute PAIN when dancing. I took off my heels around the last 45 minutes and my feet have never felt more relieved. It was so much more comfortable to jump and dance flat footed. A bunch of other girls wore white adidas, Nikes, and converse under their dresses as per fashion, but also because of this reason. Now, understanding why, I’ll try that next time. Second, the dress codes aren’t as strict as last year. There wasn’t a lot of action taken on revealing-ish dresses and so a lot of people wore short dresses, had open backs, low necklines, and the guys even took off their shirts near the end. (Ok that was weird to admit.) I mean, I get that it was super hot in the Student Union with everyone dancing, but c’mon man. There’s kids here. Have some decency. Lastly, I need a date. Not for a relationship or anything romantic, but for someone to carry my stuff for me or provide jackets if it’s too cold. And also if your friends abandon you and you want someone special to talk to. Maybe. Yeah. That’s it. (I kinda had a date to our dance last year. We went as ‘friends’ and had fun together. I kinda abandoned him a bunch of times to dance and meet other people. (Sorry) But hey it was fun. *AHEM* Too personal. (HAHA) Anyways, yeah. School dances are fun. I understand why people make such a big deal out of them. I would say that a lot of people choose not to go because they don’t have a date. I think that’s incredibly stupid. I remember saying something like that for a dance in 6th grade. I missed out and regretted it ever since. School dances are just ways to have fun.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a date, or no one you know is going. Just have fun. I can argue for the no friends going part, but I guarantee someone you know will be there. I have personal experience. The least likely people you expect will be there, and you can have fun with them. Just enjoy yourself. That’s all that matters. Just have fun, make memories, don’t do any funny business, and have a great time. That’s what should count.