School Spirit Is Not Everyone’s Priority, but Is That a Problem?

Photo by Julie Samuels

By Eddie Fleming

Opinions Contributor

Students at South have school spirit to varying degrees and there is nothing wrong with being on the low end of the spectrum, the high end of the spectrum, or anywhere else in terms of school pride.

“There is a big range– some people are very high spirit some people are very low [in terms of spirit],” sophomore Jordan Carey said. This makes sense: since South has almost 2,000 students, it would be odd if all of them immersed themselves in school pride to the same extent.

The range is not spread out equally over South’s various demographics, however. Senior Sebastian Marval claims, “seniors have more school pride than freshmen… because over time you grow fond of the school, I guess.”

Isabella Bertrand agrees that freshmen are less involved: “I see [school spirit] a lot in the older group of kids, juniors and seniors.”

Juniors and seniors have been at Newton South longer so they pick up the school traditions more fervently than the lowerclassmen, like during the Thanksgiving pep rally and its accompanying events. There are, of course, exceptions to this, as there are certainly upperclassmen who couldn’t care less about school traditions and lowerclassmen that get deeply wrapped up in the blue and orange attire and attend every sports game possible.

In regards to the pep rally alone, there is also a range of enthusiasm for it.

“I heard people going ‘yes I really like them’ and I heard some of ‘oh that was awful, it was too crowded, too loud,’” Bertrand said. “I enjoyed it. I find it really fun to see that kind of thing.” On the other hand, I was sitting next to a friend who disliked the noise and was miserable for the duration of the event.

There are other areas that tend to be the focus of school spirit, such as school sports teams and events, but enough examples have been mentioned. The important question here  is “does it matter how much school spirit you have?”

The short answer is yes, to some extent. Someone with a lot of school spirit will likely get more involved in the school community. On the flip side, someone who is more indifferent to the idea would not necessarily become less involved in the school community, but they would certainly care less about school spirit focused activities (unless, of course, the event involves missing class time!).

It is important to note that it matters only to a certain extent. Having pride in South does not affect academic abilities, nor does it define what you do in your free time– unless your free time is spent on something related to school spirit, that is.

There is no problem with not having much school spirit, the biggest problem you might have is not getting as much out of something like a pep rally than someone who has painted their face for that same event.