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    • Students cheer on Varsity Volleyball in their quest for the FAA Championship.

Full-Time Return to Campus Brings Surge in School Spirit

Arielle Rieder ’23 Campus Correspondent
The return to the Hopkins campus after online school sparked a renewed interest in school spirit. From athletic contests with fans to spirit days, such as Spirit Week, that have been absent for over a year, this school year has brought all of these activities back to campus.
During the pandemic, school spirit waned as the school adopted a hybrid model. Joy Xu ’23, a Student Council (StuCo) Representative, stated, “It was difficult to have the same amount of school spirit during the hybrid model, but once we came back to full in-person [school], most people were excited to be part of the community!” Adam Hagens ’23 said that in-person events such as the Back to School Bash and Homecoming have lifted morale: “School Spirit is stronger than before [online school] since everyone wants to get back to normal and what we [had] before.”

In particular, students have been looking forward to the return of Hopkins traditions, especially those that bring together the student body. KC Chustecki ’23 ex- pressed excitement for the Five Golden Rings Assembly before winter break: “I’m so excited for [Five Golden Rings] this year. Shorter classes are amazing and then we get to sit together in the AC and laugh and sing and it’s the best way to go off to break.” Hagens echoed this sentiment: “The whole school comes together before break.”

The resumption of sports games has also led to an increase in student participation. From regular athletics contests to special events like the junior vs. senior girls football game and student-versus-teacher games, attending athletic events is a favorite pastime for many students. As a Volleyball player, Xu has noticed that “lots of people come out to games and cheer us on.” Dev Madhavani ’23 agreed: “I’ve found that we get a lot of people out to games like the Volleyball FAA championships.” However, he wished for “more participation in Spirit Week or other events.” Another way students show school spirit is by wearing Hopkins School or team merchandise. School Store Manager Tracy Bray explained, “I see tons of kids in Hopkins gear, whether for sports or through the items here at the store.”

Sports play a big role in how Hopkins shows school spirit, with events such as Homecoming that showcase the sports teams. Director of Aquatics Chuck Elrick noticed the difficulties that Hopkins has trying to support the teams: “With the majority of students participating in a sport or drama production, it makes it difficult for students to support various teams, as they are participating as well.” Even with difficulties in finding support, StuCo President Albert Yang ’22 enjoys the athletic side of school spirit: “My favorite event has to be Homecoming weekend. For me, playing in a soccer match then cheering on classmates in their sports games is the highlight every year.”

Covid’s differing impact on various grades and the time away from school in 2020-2021 limited efforts at school spirit. With this, the urge to attend school events has grown. When Covid-19 impacted the ninth grade for the Class of 2024, Emma Yan ’24 was most looking forward to the volleyball games and Homecoming. Yan explained, “I feel like Covid definitely dampened our school spirit because [fewer] people showed up to games, but now that things are slowly going back to normal I feel like the school spirit is better than ever because people are making up for lost time.” Yang agreed, “Covid had a significant impact on school spirit, limiting it in all facets. We couldn’t have the same events nor cheer on each other as we can now. I’m happy to see a growing sense of normalcy.”

Students and faculty alike are excited to return to activities on campus that showcase the best school spirit that Hopkins has to offer. The pandemic and online school brought students a new appreciation for school spirit and the many events that foster it. Yang said, “School spirit has bounced back in a big way. Seeing the whole community together at Assemblies, sports games, and events such as Back to School Bash shows the progression we’ve made since last year.” Elrick agreed: “I don’t think the pandemic has changed school spirit. If anything, the desire to get back to ‘normal’ has increased school spirit. My hope is that we can maintain it and not get complacent.”
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