We’ve got spirit, yes we do! Or… do we really?

By Charli Gilchrist, General Staff

No matter where you are in the school, you can step out of a classroom and find the walls littered with posters trying to engage students in spirit weeks, sports, and events, to try and show some school spirit. They’re almost blinding, but definitely eye-catching. We hang banners, we advertise on the announcements, but is it enough? Students at MTHS of all grades, especially freshmen, seem to have lost interest in our school. Compared to previous years, we have the least amount of participants in spirit days.
It’s not as though having the lower classes less interested is uncommon, at least in my experience, but why is that exactly? And why does it seem to be especially at Mountlake Terrace?
Junior Madeline Beam, who is a member of ASB, mentioned that a possible cause for the lack of spirit may be in the implementation of spirit events.
“A lot of the times the execution kind of falls through,” Beam said.
Even when students are aware of spirit events and want to join in, they can be deterred from participating when their peers aren’t.
“I care about it but I don’t see it a lot, so I don’t really partake in anything,” freshman Arsema Teklay said.
She, similar to a good amount of people across the school, does not often participate. There is an element of herd mentality to school spirit, however the student body here doesn’t usually engage in it. Call it independent mindsets, or going through the motions, either way the result is a contagious attitude against participation. This apathy discourages other students who might have otherwise joined in on the fun.
Some students who would have joined the fun have difficulty doing so due to a lack of accommodations. Assemblies and sports events especially are something that neurodivergent kids tend to avoid because of the overstimulating nature of such events. It’s like a rolling ball of anxiety that becomes incredibly intimidating.
“As someone with sensory issues, maybe not having the spirit as physically loud? I feel like that might make it easier for neurodivergent people,” sophomore Kasey Bock suggested.
What can we do to fix the general lack of school spirit and engagement in our school? I have a simple proposal: community building. School spirit is all about the community, and currently ours isn’t very strong. We can start by bringing back things like Kahoots and games every now and then during PASS to get students more engaged and excited instead of barely listening to the announcements (and avoiding school work). This purposeful choice would be one way to move towards building and strengthening a community we can be proud of, and have fun in.