By Remi Matza
Your red, white, and blue spirit wear is gleaming in the Friday night lights of the homecoming football game. You’re standing on the bleachers surrounded by your classmates, laughing and cheering in the crisp October air. From my perspective as a freshman, high school can be stressful and overwhelming. Students are faced with a great deal of work, tons of exams, and substantial pressure to succeed. This pressure not only stems from the classroom but from other time-consuming responsibilities as well. Being part of a sports team, participating in extracurricular activities, working a job, and obligations at home all contribute to teenage pressure.
On homecoming night, however, my worries about school and the future seem to magically fade away. The bleachers are buzzing with energy, and excitement is radiating from every student cheering on our home team. At this moment, I finally feel a sense of the Byram school spirit that everyone has always told me about.
Evidently, I am not alone in this feeling. Freshman, Samantha Gershuny explained that the spirit she witnessed at homecoming was a very “defining moment” at the start of her high school experience.
Unfortunately, however, it has come to my attention – and to that of many other Byram Hills students – that homecoming is one of the only opportunities for us to put our stresses aside and put our bobcat pride on full display. Another freshman, Aliza Hammond agreed that “our spirit reached its maximum during homecoming and is now back to nothing.” Therefore, students like Liam Cabaleiro and Alexa Tusiani are taking the initiative to introduce more school dances to the Byram Hills community.
So, why school dances? As a high school and a district, one of our goals is to unite as a strong, spirited community where we can all learn and grow together. In order to pursue this goal, we must not only work hard individually but also meet new people and bond over a mutual pride for our school. Senior Liam Cabaleiro is organizing the approaching homecoming dance. He believes that school dances bring together students of different ages, talents, and goals, and allow them to “connect and represent our school with pride.” Junior Alexa Tusiani has worked extremely hard alongside Cabaleiro over the course of the last few months to promote school dances in our district. Knowing that Byram Hills is a very competitive and challenging school, Tusiani is hoping that the dance will allow students to “catch a break to enjoy themselves” and “just enjoy being teenagers”. I realize that an increase in pride and a decrease in stress are only two reasons to introduce school dances to Byram; however, I truly do believe that a solution to these issues can make a major improvement in the lives of high school students.
If we can continue to promote school dances, a bright future will be ahead of us. Picture this: an annual homecoming dance where we deck out in red, white and blue, a Halloween party where we put on the craziest costumes we can find, a Valentine’s Day celebration where we bring a date or our closest friends. The vision is clear, so now all we have to do is follow through. Get involved, show your spirit, and most importantly, help advocate for more dances in the future!