After eighteen months of virtual learning, schools in D.C fully reopened on August 31, 2021. Before then, schools were open for hybrid learning, where students still received instruction from behind a screen, but in a classroom environment. This still was not as close to the “normal” that students wanted as online learning and COVID-19 restrictions limited school events like homecoming and spirit week. With everyone back in the school building, the Student Government Association (SGA) was looking for a way to kickstart school spirit.
In the week of November 1, the SGA led a school-wide spirit week. The themes included decades day, character day, twin day, and the week was topped off with a successful homecoming dance. On Decades day, people took advantage of fashion from every decade and showcased their best outfits for the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s! Those who dressed from the 80s included a splash of color in their attire and those from the 2000s wore low rise jeans. On character day, students dressed up as a variety of characters ranging from Velma (Scooby Doo) to Darth Vader.
Sophomore Avajane Lei, who dressed up as Howl Pendragon (Howl’s Moving Castle ), examines how, “some people were really creative and it was impressive to see their take on a specific character.” For twin day, Walls had a great variety of matching outfits either in pairs or in groups!
However, the following week, there was an unexpected spirit week for the class of 22’. The senior council initiated the idea of senior spirit week which began with pajama day, followed by anything but a backpack day, dress like a teacher day, and lastly, disney day. Students certainly enjoyed anything but a backpack day as the trend rose from TikTok and many were anticipating its arrival. Some items brought in for the occasion were a cooler, laundry basket, and flute case. For dress like a teacher day, very common options were Mr. Koplowitz, who teaches math, and Mr. Davis, who teaches physics..
After speaking to some members of the class of 22’, it became clear that their essential idea for senior spirit week came from their desire to make up for lost time in high school. The pandemic made this year’s seniors leave in March of their sophomore year only to return in their final year of highschool. Transitioning from 10th to 12th grade caused seniors to lose a whole year of connections and lifelong memories. Ideally, this whole week was dedicated to, “kickstarting class engagement and senior spirit in general” says senior Ilan Ziv.
After the arrival of the freshman and sophmores, who never experienced in-person highschool, Walls was missing the “culture” that Ziv referenced. The senior class clearly, “carries the vibes” at Walls through homecoming, senior pranks, and pep rallies, all to fulfill their final year of high school. The class of 22’ felt as if it was their duty to do something unforgettable for their return back to school.
Next, IIan Ziv, who represented the senior council, was asked the question: should seniors get their own spirit week every year? Although every highschool has their own traditions and special events relating to each grade level, Ziv made it clear that the goal of this year’s senior spirit week was not to create a tradition, but rather to maximize the class of 22’s senior experience. However, Ziv said that, “if seniors next year and the following years decide to continue senior spirit week, that would be great.”
As the class of 23’ approaches their senior year, they will have opportunities to pick up where the class of 22’ left off with senior spirit week or to create their own unique events to make senior year memorable. Who knows, maybe the class of 22’ began an enjoyable tradition that will be a highlight of everyone’s senior year.