Pride is Your Prerogative

“The Ghost of School Spirit”

Yeabsira Getachew, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When was the last time you went to a sports game? Can you recall the last time you participated in the entirety of spirit week? Do you own anything with Paint Branch, PB, or the panther on it? 

I’m sure many of us can’t remember the last time we were a full participant here at PB. The lack of school spirit is growing immensely and impacting our experience. Growing up, I always thought high school would finally be a time where repping your school was no longer embarrassing. Turns out I was wrong.

I guess the question is: What has caused the tragic death of school pride? I’ve heard from upperclassmen and recent graduates that in the past couple of years the school spirit was starting to decline. Less creative class councils; Less people in the student section; Less participation in events. Then, the pandemic hit, closing in-person high school for a year and a half. 

My theory is that once students returned, they had completely lost any spirit filled upperclassmen to influence them. Though physically high schoolers, inside they were still embarrassed tweens from middle school, with the misconception that refusing to participate in events earned them cool points.

Our school’s student spirit used to be off the charts. Photos from the early 2010s on the school’s student section Instagram account exhibits this clearly. The student section at football games used to make up half of the bleachers, now it barely fills a quarter. Students not only participated in spirit days, but would go full out. From head to toe in neons on 80s day, to full superhero costumes on Marvel vs DC day. A look back at Mainstream coverage of spirit week from that era and you see the spirit jumping off the pages.

Flash to today and although many clubs, organizations, and even administration try to plan fun days, no one seems to be interested.

I believe the lack of school spirit has led to less enjoyment in our educational environment. Most kids go from school to home, living the same uneventful day every day. There is no fun anymore because anything that used to be fun is considered embarrassing by many students. Forced to conform to their peers’ opinions, kids are deprived of their right to enjoy their last years as kids in school. The desire for social acceptability has completely ruined students´ high school experiences. 

So the next time you want to join the student section, pop out on a spirit day, or perform at the talent show, do it! Don’t waste your days as a silly teenager being worried about what insecure people have to say about you. Let yourself have fun. There´s nothing to lose and endless memories to gain.