ART BY SHIRLEEN KWONG
BY GARY LEE
School spirit has always been a part of students’ life, and has a surprisingly positive influence on our high school careers.
In the past, most people prioritize their focus on grades and education because these aspects were believed to guarantee good jobs. Consequently, factors like school spirit was irrelevant as most people only thought of their academics and education.
However, as time and technology evolved, promoting school spirit became necessary for a student’s education and their extracurriculars. In other words, despite previous beliefs and criticism, having school spirit in high school will not only create an atmosphere which will benefit students’ mental state, but also improve their education, social skills, and attitudes.
Additionally, when students reach high school, they start to worry about factors such as grades, relationships, and their future; for them, high school may be difficult to adjust to as adolescents begin to see the importance of school work, homework and extracurricular activities. Due to this, the morale of many students is often very low. However, organizations such as Associated Student Body are formed to help maintain a positive attitude among the student body.
To begin, school spirit positively affects the school, improving the performance of students and decreasing the stress and anxiety caused by school work. If no school events or activities existed, many students would be in a constant state of worry over grades, potentially leading students to make bad decisions. For example, studies from the University of Pittsburgh proves that anxiety can have a large impact on decision-making, attention and higher thinking capabilities of a person.
Having school spirit does not just mean participating in school activities. It also encompassess the enjoyment and happiness one experiences at school, and, most importantly, the pride one has for being apart of that school.
Despite this, many continue to argue that school spirit is an insignificant factor and not important compared to other aspects of education. However, a study from Varsity-Brands displayed that students who have a high morale and school spirit are more likely to become leaders in comparison to those who do not. This indicates that school spirit motivates students to take initiative, which benefits not only the school but also through the activities they partake in, whether it be school-related or extracurricular.
Additionally, an online survey by Harris Poll stated that the majority of students who possess high school spirit performed above average academically while over 20 percent of students with low spirit performed below average. This is another instance of how school spirit is able to better young adults, who are learning how to make a mark on the world.
Whether it be in work or people, school spirit helps us understand who we are, and who we want to be. School spirit can increases our ability to empathize with others.