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OPINION: Hoco or No Go?

Homecoming isn’t every for every one–but why?
media by Sanaa Sow
A pie chart displays the responses of students about Homecoming attendance in a poll conducted by @rcrockmedia on Instagram Sept. 5. After results were in, it was concluded that 149 students out of 201 respondents would be going. “It seems like a fun social event where I can interact with other people, it’s just fun,” Abhinav Gupta ‘27 said.

The big finale.

After days of talking to friends about what dresses and suits to buy and where to eat, the dance drew closer. We participated in the spirit days and pep rallies, but once the Homecoming activities ended and the dance was behind us, there was a switch in the conversations. We all began to wonder why someone may have decided to go or not to go to the dance.

For some, they anticipated a fun day with photos and dancing. But, this is not the case for everyone. For some, the magic and spark of this night has disappeared over time. For example, I began to dread the “cheesy” music, moshpits and humid air that consumes us once we arrive.

So, what was the verdict this year? Did students still enjoy the Homecoming Dance? Or did they find ways to avoid it? 

In my opinion, I chose not to go to the dance because, as a junior, I felt like the dance had nothing new to offer me. I had already been in my freshman and sophomore years. The thought of having to desperately circle the gym to find friends and being pushed by the crazy moshpit lovers did not convince me to go again this year. 

But, it is definitely in the cards for my senior year. I definitely agree with the idea that you should always have a first and last experience with these kinds of activities, as you will probably not get the chance once you graduate. 

Prior to the dance, 74% of students said they would be attending, resulting in a remainder of 26% of students saying they would not, according to a poll conducted by @rcrockmedia on Instagram Sept. 5. Why might that be?

For many, this may be the last time they get to experience these memories with their friends as they graduate and leave their high school experiences behind. 

“I decided to go to Homecoming because some of my friends are seniors and it’s their last Homecoming here at Rock Canyon, and our group thought it would be nice to have one last Homecoming altogether,” Hansika Lakkireddy ‘25 said. “People should go because we only have four Homecomings in our high school careers and so we should make the most out of every event and go make memories you’ll look back on. You don’t want to skip [the dance] and then look back and regret not going.” 

Some seniors also felt the same way.

Isabel Banks ’25 takes a photo of her Homecoming dress at Windsor in the Castle Rock Outlet Mall Aug. 7. Some students, such as Banks, began dress shopping over a month before the dance. “For my shoes, I am wearing high heels that have a clear heel and they are a beige base with silver rhinestones,” Banks said. “I chose to do this outfit because since it is my junior year, I wanted to get a dress I know I would love.” (media by courtesy of Isabel Banks ’25)

“My sister told me she really regretted not going to her senior year Homecoming and I wanted the experience,” Lauren Vick ‘24 said.

Vick wasn’t the only senior who wanted this experience as well.  

“I mainly went because my friends wanted to, since it was our last one,” Danielle Yoder ‘24 said.

Maybe you don’t have any senior friends, but perhaps you have a special someone you would like to go to Homecoming with. 

“I’m going to Homecoming this year with my boyfriend. I went last year, but there is so much drama involved if you go with a group,” Sydney Noble ‘26 said. “I think people should go to Homecoming because it’s a fun excuse to dress up. It’s always fun to take pictures and go out to dinner.”

So, perhaps we are driven by a fear of missing out (FOMO). 

It’s important to note that in comparison to previous generations, we have become increasingly more active and present on social media. For instance, an average individual spends about 147 minutes on social media every day, based on research conducted by Forbes Health

As a result, when the dance is over, we can expect that many will be posting photos and videos from this event. This may also lead to more usage of social media making students feel drained and have a negative mindset influencing them to compare themselves as they may have not been able to go. Forbes Health also mentions that these are common symptoms of FOMO. Thus, we build a tendency to want to be present at every event our peers and friends go to. 

Personally, I agree with this. Before the posts were put up, I felt content with the decision that I had made. After Homecoming passed and I saw everyone sharing their photos, I started to wonder if maybe I should’ve gone. 

Another reason we may notice students are choosing to go to the dance is because of the feeling of familiarity. For many upperclassmen, this may be their third or fourth time going to the dance. 

“I really enjoyed it my freshman and sophomore years, so [it’s] not my first time going, and I think it would be disappointing to not go for the last two years of high school,” Chloe Farson ‘25 said. “I’m expecting the dance to be mostly like any other, with big flashing lights and the same loud music, but there is always something new going on every time I go to one, which is exciting,” 

Nevertheless, familiarity can also serve as a negative factor for why we may also see a decrease in attendance. 

“I’ve been to the dance my freshman and sophomore year and both times I ended up staying for about 20 minutes and then leaving anyway.”

— Olivia Govi ‘25

For example, many juniors–including myself–may have already been in their freshman and sophomore years, so the third year of Homecoming does not seem as appealing or exciting. 

“This is my third year going, but like I said, I might not go to the dance because it was kind of whack and boring last year,” Kishan Vahalia ‘25 said. 

Many juniors may be swayed by this as well, as their expectations begin to decrease. 

I’m not expecting much from the dance because it is just at school with the DJ so it’ll probably be similar to Back-to-School dances and Homecoming last year. A venue would have been nice,” Lakkireddy said.

A further argument of why the dance is not worth it is the cost. This Homecoming, tickets cost $30 on MySchoolBucks or $40 at the door per individual, according to a @rcstuco post made on Instagram.  

“I love socializing with people but I could do that in other places for less money,” Olivia Govi ‘25 said. “Instead, I’m still going to dress up, but I’ll just be taking pictures and going to dinner, then hanging out with people after. I’ve been to the dance my freshman and sophomore year and both times I ended up staying for about 20 minutes and then leaving anyway.”

On the contrary, many still believe that having to pay is actually worth it. For example, I definitely agree with this if it was your first or last time going to the dance. 

“I think it’s worth it [the cost] to get the experience. It’s an experience that you can only get for four years, so might as well do it while you can,” Cole Kliewer ‘27 said. 

Likewise, for seniors, the cost may just be a small ask for some great memories.

“I think $40 dollars is ridiculous to go to the RC gym, but I was willing to pay it. It is money that goes to our school and there are only three dances a year,” Lauren Vick ‘24 said. 

After all the debating, post-Homecoming statistics observe that 53% of polled students went to the dance, while 47% did not, according to a @rcrockmedia poll taken Sept. 24. 

All in all, I don’t feel any regrets about not going. There was no stress of having to figure out what times to get photos and dinner, or how long I needed to stay. Instead, I enjoyed a nice evening at home watching my favorite fall movies. But, who knows what next year will bring!

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