Are we doing Homecoming wrong?

Bella Geroulis

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It seems like New Trier dances always end up being not about the dance itself, but about the excessive add ons that come with it.

Besides our above average education and extracurricular system, New Trier proves itself to be  different in almost every aspect possible.

If you take a look around the school, it’s not hard to understand that we are not the norm as far as high schools go.

As the Homecoming dance quickly approaches, it’s becoming more and more apparent just how weird our overall attitude is towards school dances.

Most high school students don’t hire party buses that cater to students all night. Most high school students don’t spend hundreds of dollars on hair, makeup, and spray tans. Most high schools don’t go to dances in groups of 30+ kids.

It’s not like it’s not fun to do all these things, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had a good time at school dances.

But then again, it’s all I know. Who’s to say that all of these add-ons are necessary or even worth it for that matter?

I know people from surrounding and out of state high schools, and almost all of them are shocked to find out just how much we spend on one night. We can end up spending upwards of $400 to go a dance that we only stay at for 30 minutes.

That doesn’t make sense, does it?

Like most things New Trier related, it seems like it all becomes a competition to see who can be the best or show how much they have.

Dances, in theory, are supposed to be about going with people you care about and want to spend time with. Yet somehow, we’ve turned it into who has the prettiest house for pictures or who can host the biggest after party.

Like a lot of what we do, we’ve somehow found a way to take the fun out of it and make it into yet another social conflict, another competition.

Trevians have been trained to be competitive in nearly all regards, and some would argue that competitiveness is good because it brings out our fullest potential.

But why have we allowed that competition to infiltrate even the most benign and simplest of things like a school dance?

I really love all the memories I’ve made through the years at school dances, and I can say with confidence that they’ve contributed to my overall high school experience.

The dinners spent with friends and the awkwardness of trying to put on my date’s boutonniere are parts of my high school story that I’ll never forget.

Despite all the bizarre traditions that we’ve created to go along with them, I would encourage all students to attend a dance or two before high school ends.

But we don’t need to be so different about everything we do. For some reason, students at New Trier have time and time again taken it upon themselves to create an image of themselves that differs from everyone else.

It confuses me because we all come from such an interesting school.

Just by attending New Trier, we’re among a diverse group of intelligent and complex students and teachers.

New Trier allows us to have a completely different outlook on life and gives us an experience unlike most other high schools.

The 2016 Homecoming will no doubt be memorable, and I’m not trying to say we should stop how we attend our dances.

I am, however, asking everyone to reflect on why they’re actually going to the dance.

Is it to spend the night with someone you really like, to hangout with your friends, or is it to get the best party bus and count down the minutes till the afterparty?