Homecoming traditions changed amid pandemic

Keyla Holmes, Reporter

Mums and masks? Due to Covid, the overall Homecoming environment at Martin looked very different compared to past years. Unfortunately, students didn’t get to experience walking into a highly decorated school filled with streamers. They didn’t get to stare at the clock, anticipating the pep rally at the end of the day.

While the event of a pep rally didn’t take place, the overall environment alone was drastically different. Covid completely changed what the usual Homecoming experience would even look like at Martin. 

“Decorations were no longer needed, spirit days were not participated in, and the Homecoming pep rally was not prepared and performed,” senior student council officer Emma Allen said. “It just was not the same.”

Although the Homecoming game is the big event, Martin’s decorations are part of what makes Homecoming the exciting, social event that it is. Normally decorations, mums, and spirit week is used to “hype up” the student body. 

“Homecoming is usually a really big event at our school, so it was sad to not be able to celebrate as we usually do, but I tried to make the most of it,” student council officer senior Jenean Adi said.  

While Student Council tried to do its best in maintaining the energy and excitement that Martin students have experienced over the years, due to the challenges the pandemic posed,  they didn’t have the same outcome as usual. 

Student Council expressed some of the challenges that were faced, explaining how the lack of student bodies significantly impacted the atmosphere during Homecoming week. 

“In my opinion I don’t think as many people participated as we usually have due to the circumstances that were in now,” Adi said.

“When I came to school for my fine arts class on Decade day, I was the only one [dressed up], ” Allen said.

While the absence of students affected the Homecoming environment, it has also impacted the overall atmosphere at Martin. 

“I think that it’s safe to say that the attendance is affecting not just Homecoming, but the atmosphere of school this year,” Student Council teacher Courtney Briggs said. “There’s just not much of an excitability and it’s hard to invoke that.”

Due to the hybrid schedule and absence of students, not many participated in spirit week. The spirit wear aspect of Homecoming was heavily affected.  Not having your peers to make dressing up more fun and enticing, resulted in spirit week not being as successful as it’s been in past years. 

“It seems to get a little harder each year to tap into people’s interest as it is, and to get people to put themselves out there as far as wearing spirit day stuff, but it’s especially hard whenever you don’t have leadership coming straight from your student body who aren’t there physically,” Briggs said. 

While many didn’t participate in showing school spirit and not many students dressed up in the fun outfits Student Council planned, there was one spirit day that was heavily participated in. 

“Jersey day is one of our big ones because it is easy and all genders like to participate,” Allen said. “The senior girls also get to wear their senior girls jerseys’ on this day.” 

Jersey day has been a reoccurring spirit day at Martin, and seems to still receive a great amount of attention, reminding us in a subtle way of the normalcy that still exists within Homecoming week.