With Midland vs. Dow week coming up, students are looking to step up their school spirit. There are so many ways to show school spirit, one of the most traditional being the Midland vs. Dow Spirit week. But, when the time comes, school participation can often be low, and the sense of comradery that comes with spirit days isn’t quite there. The problem is trying to get 1200 kids of varying interests and comfort zones excited about doing spirit week. The answer is simply, make spirit days accessible to all types of students.
The idea is to have a variety of spirit days. Kim Outinen describes this variety as “Low Risk” and “High Risk”. High risk spirit days involve the crazy outfits and those students whose comfort zones are a mile wide. They include things like super hero day, Harry Potter day, etc. Low risk spirit days are designed to be achievable by everyone, some examples being sun glasses day, twin day, and green and gold Fridays. With this kind of mixture in spirit days, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Students play a role in achieving better participation by participating more, and encouraging others. Upperclassmen are a huge part of this. They set the example for the classes that follow, and if the upperclassmen aren’t interested, it’s likely that the underclassmen won’t care much either.
“I think that the upperclassmen, if they start getting involved more than the underclassmen will kind of be like ‘oh, this is a really cool thing’” senior Brinli Leonhardt said.
If students want more participation, there needs to be a more encouraging, more enthusiastic atmosphere to look forward to. After all, school spirit is really about showing support for classmates and the school.
“Pretty much it just means that people are supporting me, I’m supporting other people, I’m participating, we’re all going for one cause”, junior Garrett Johnson said.
All of this being said, it’s important to keep in mind that spirit days are not the only way that we show spirit here at DHS. Outinen feels that we have to define spirit in a different way.
“People have spirit in their own way so I mean there’s a ton of kids in band who do the band thing and they’re committed to that, and there’s a ton of kids who are in FGL and GERPS and they are connected to that, there are a ton of kids who are in drama and debate and they’re connected to that and that’s showing spirit also”, Outinen said.
So in the grand scheme of things, it’s not so important that a student dresses up for all of the craziest spirit days. School spirit means something different.
“I think what that means is that, when you wear a Dow High shirt or when you wear green and gold, people will recognize you”, senior Minhyo Kang said. ”People will recognize that spirit, they’ll automatically think, ‘Oh, go Dow High, go Dow High’”
There are many different ways that students show spirit, and whether or not you dress up for spirit days doesn’t define that.