The Forest Scout

An Open Letter to the Anti-Hoco Establishment

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An Open Letter to the Anti-Hoco Establishment

Photo courtesy of VIP

Photo courtesy of VIP

Photo courtesy of VIP

Photo courtesy of VIP

Brett Chody

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Dear anti-Homecoming Activists,

I know you have other things going on and, trust me, I know how cool you are. But for me, at the beginning of this year I had an epiphany. Two years of my high school career have passed and I’ve spent 30 combined minutes at the Homecoming Dance. That’s right–30 minutes. I was the typical, go-straight-to-the-post, negative, anti-dance student that so many of you reading this still are.

Homecoming is something most LFHS students acknowledge, put a bit of effort into, buy tickets for, stay five minutes at, and then leave from in search of something better. Here’s the issue with that: in some high schools, Homecoming is bigger than Prom, and students dance the night away in their high school gym. As they should. They laugh, they have fun, they take pictures, and believe it or not, they dance. But here at LFHS the gym is half-full of unenthusiastic kids and empty by 9:30. Yes, every school is different, but this is an anomaly of LFHS.

I’m not saying we should mimic what other high schools do and I’m not urging you to seek out Homecoming as that poignant, transitional moment that you can write your college essay about. What I am saying is that the kids who enjoy Homecoming and all of its components are the ones that make memories that last beyond the walls of the gym or some classmate’s basement that you were in such an eager rush to get to. 

Homecoming starts with Spirit Week, of course, which I think the majority of the student population finds fun. But the boys that wore their normal khakis and polo tees on Decade’s Day, I’m looking at you. Why wouldn’t you want to dress up on the one day you can pull off your parents attire from college and suspend your run-of-the-mill, everyday outfits? And for class distinction day, it’s no fun when less than half your grade is sporting the groutfits, USA, togas, or flannel themes. There’s a sense of community and school pride during spirit week. Lake Forest High School, whether you have realized it yet or not, is something that is part of your identity for the rest of your life. Take pride in that. If you’re going to be the type to remind everyone that “high school was so lame” and constantly whine once you graduate, people might think you, in fact, are lame. Just dress up for a week. 

Another huge component of Homecoming is the actual game. And the student section, Scout Nation, should be going insane. This year, our opponent is Libertyville– notorious for their raucous student section–and, shocker, they’ll be donning dresses, sweaters, Sperry’s, and pearl earrings to make fun of the Lake Forest stereotype. Give them no reason to make fun of us. Have our stands be full of cheers, blue and gold face paint, actually staying for the entire game, caring about the score. Though trash bags have been chosen in the past as accessories to sport when we play Libertyville (which seems like the equivalent of an off-putting, elementary comeback), our blue and gold attire should be enough to rain on their parade this year. Also, we only have FOUR home games…we should be soaking up every second of them. Scout pride, baby.

Homecoming, the actual dance, can be confusing for a few reasons. First of all, girls stress out about their dresses. The paranoia over having the same dress as someone else, deciding on if wearing your hair up will look weird with your outfit, and how to do your makeup are decision making dilemmas almost every girl goes through in the weeks leading up to the dance.

Oh yes, then the “askings.” Girls are scared they won’t have dates, guys are not sure how to come up with a clever way to ask–or even what to write on a poster, for that matter. Hoco comes with so much unneeded stress to LFHS students, yet when the actual time for the dance arrives, most of the student body stays for thirty minutes tops.  Go with a date, go with a friend, go with a group, go in jeans–it really doesn’t matter. Don’t let all the unnecessary, peripheral social pressures cloud your judgment of Saturday night. 

I’m not saying that I am innocent. I’ll admit the past two years I have departed the commons far too early on. However, my junior year epiphany caused me to take a new stance on the whole “Go to Hoco for 5 Whole Minutes” issue. You are in high school once and I have a feeling if you graduate having spent a total of fifty minutes at school dances, you might have regrets. Yeah, I know you’ve probably heard, “you’re gonna regret it” about a million times at about a million different events from parents, siblings, alumni, teachers, and each other, but hear me out on this one.

Homecoming is something every high schooler should immerse themselves in and something I encourage you to participate in.

Look for me at the dance, I’ll be there.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. 

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Anti-Hoco Establishment”

  1. Kauri McKendry on September 22nd, 2016 9:05 pm

    Love this article Brett! I couldn’t agree more. My daughter and some of her friends stayed later than usual last year and were so happy they did!

  2. Christine Hutchens on September 23rd, 2016 10:18 am

    I love this and you are spot on. My daughter has stayed at every Hoco dance and has alway had a blast. She just loves any opportunity to bust out her awesome dance moves.

  3. Carolina Minetti on September 24th, 2016 3:12 pm

    Beautifly said, hope all of you embrace the day❤️

  4. Nella Visconti on September 23rd, 2016 8:59 pm

    “Lake Forest High School, whether you have realized it yet or not, is something that is part of your identity for the rest of your life. Take pride in that.” This is so true! The four years I spent at LFHS were some of the best in my life! I am filled with so many wonderful memories from high school, and most of my best friends in high school are still my best friends 20+ years later. Enjoy and appreciate it now! You’ll never get this time in your lives back. – c/o 1996

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