Do I feel good?: School spirit isn’t overrated

How I discovered that school spirit wasn’t lame

Emily Xia

Monta Vista, how do you feel? We feel good, oh, we feel so good, oh!

For the longest time, I’d roll my eyes every time this dreaded question came up. How do I feel? Well, I think the dark eye circles from sleeping at 2:30 a.m., the 10-pound backpack weighing my shoulders down and the four tests I have this week alone will tell you exactly how I feel. And if you couldn’t tell, I do not, in fact, feel good.

Thus, I always felt that the school cheer at the end of every rally was exaggerated and unnecessary, and that school spirit was a façade because for the majority of my time at MVHS, I hadn’t really enjoyed it. It was so easy to get caught up in the stress, to worry about the smallest details of being five minutes late to school or losing two points on homework.

And that was what caused me to miss rallies, avoid going to school dances and avert my eyes as others volunteered for rally games. I don’t like loud noises. I don’t know how to dance in a casual setting. I would lose the games. Every instance I could’ve shown school spirit, I couldn’t come up with anything but excuses. 

I was embarrassed, in fact, because I thought that trying so hard for something was lame, that it was a waste of time. I had the expectation that once I fully enjoyed MVHS and actually “felt good” (whatever that means), then I would show school spirit.

I didn’t realize that school spirit wasn’t the product of happiness, it was a method of inducing it. A way to bring enjoyment on days when I wasn’t, in fact, feeling good. And that’s worth the effort. 

Though I don’t really feel like a senior at all (I have the workload of one, however, and it’s exhausting), I do realize that everything I do is a “last.” Last first-day of school. Last back-to-school night. Last welcome back dance, last winter rally, last homecoming skit. This last year was the first time I went to a welcome back rally. The first time that I took pride in the fact that I go to this school. 

I know that you might be scoffing at me. Pride? I’ve had my fair share of hatred of being at MVHS, but in the long run, that was on me. Yes, the amount of homework is overwhelming at times and the amount of times I’ve cried from stress during junior year alone is probably alarming, but that doesn’t erase the fact that I’ve invested my time into this school, and made some pretty amazing memories along the way. 

To me, school spirit means more than just having faith in the school — it’s a way to get out of my comfort zone and have some fun while I’m at it.

We’re not leaving this school anytime soon, so we might as well enjoy the time we have while we’re here. 

I’m probably still not going to sign up for those rally games or other class competitions (my fear of doing that in front of the entire school is too overpowering), but you bet that I’m going to be on that stage during the homecoming skit, that I’ll be dressed to the max on formal day and that I’ll donate whatever spare cans I have in my house during the canned food drive.

And when someone asks the question “How do you feel?” even if I’m having the absolute rock-bottom, worst day I’ve ever had, I’ll answer “We feel good, oh, we feel so good, oh!”

If I keep saying it, I think I’ll start to believe it.