Let’s find time to show school pride
Over the course of my four years at Oakland Mills, I have noticed that there are never enough spirit weeks. The excitement surrounding the spirit days is evident as soon as October arrives. Decorating, preparing for the dance, and practicing before powderpuff are all large parts of what I love about fall. I have never felt a sense of community and pride like I do during this time. The significance of this type of excitement is underrated, it encourages people to come out of their shell and dress up to show support for our school. This is exactly what is lacking for the rest of the year. In the end, the solution is clear, Oakland Mills needs to have more spirit weeks and activities.
Over the years, The Mill has made great progress in the process, but is it enough to satisfy the student body? Clubs have started to have their own spirit weeks to encourage participation in their organization, but this still leaves gaps in the year where students do not have the chance to unwind. After a stressful week of midterms, it would be refreshing to start off the next week in your pajamas. Spreading the activities throughout the year or planning them strategically so they line up with stressful periods in the student’s lives would significantly improve the wellbeing of the student body.
In addition to promoting school spirit, the spirit weeks would also provide an opportunity for fundraising events. Holding gatherings occasionally is certain to raise money while also allowing people to socialize. My freshman year at OM, I attended a movie night afterschool in the library and watched Harriet for a chance to get extra credit for a class. Going into the event I expected to get in, get the credit, and leave. However, I ended up really enjoying the experience because it provided me the chance to explore a different film genre while also gaining a good understanding of a significant period in US history. This would be a unique way to celebrate the end of heritage or culture spirit weeks; showing movies occasionally that stick to a theme would be both educational and fun. Therefore, it is clear to me that Oakland Mills is perfectly capable of hosting interesting events that cater to the student’s interests, it is just a matter of planning. Although this planning may take a while, it is an important discussion that is worth having.
I spoke with Mrs. Florida to learn more about the preparation for spirit week. She explained that she loves the idea of more spirit days or weeks throughout the year, it is just a matter of student involvement and time dedicated to planning. In her experience, student-led events have been possible as long as there are interested parties willing to talk to existing organizations about opportunities to hold events. “..There is a lot of pressure on students to apply to college, do well on the SAT, be in upper level classes, and get all of your homework done on time. School feels like work and this is your primary goal right now as a student, to be educating yourself. But, any little things we can add in like spirit days to just have a breath of fun, I feel like it’s really good for everybody’s mental health,” said Ms. Florida.
After all is said and done, more spirit weeks are within reach. We, as students, must work to make our voices heard by the executives so that they realize there is a demand for more chances to unwind, whether that means sprinkling in spirit days throughout the year or encouraging clubs to hold their own spirit weeks. It is time for the student body to speak up about what we want to see in the future.
Photo credit: Katlyn Moore