Hollywood’s best-kept secrets: The making of Homecoming 2023
By Vanessa Katrina Schick
Homecoming: an iconic tradition in the world of American high schools. It is a time for students to come together and create lasting memories. This memorable event is usually associated with formal attire, a dance floor, and decorations following a specific theme. This year, the chosen theme for homecoming is Hollywood. A lot of people don’t realise the team effort required to put together an event like this. We decided to talk to two people on the Wellbeing committee, Emily Player and Ava Reid, to discuss the behind-the-scenes of planning such a big occasion.
What challenges did you face when planning the homecoming?
A: One of the major challenges we faced was coordinating around everyone’s schedules. I wanted to be aware of not consuming too much of their lunchtime, which was a challenge. Also, as IB students, getting information from teachers was a bit difficult. It took a long time to gather budget information and create forms and presentations. There was a lot of pressure on us to make it something that everyone would enjoy.
What is something that you wish you could change about the current plan/future events?
A: I wish we could make use of other venues as well because the default is always the Rainbow Hall, but the Rainbow Hall is quite small and we are growing as a high school, so I think it would be worthwhile to consider other locations for future events.
How difficult was it to stay within the budget and what sacrifices were made?
A: We prioritized our expenses and created a list. We adjusted based on the budget, removing items if they were too costly. By choosing not to have a DJ, we saved a significant amount, around $200, allowing us to allocate more funds for food. And people can still enjoy the event by selecting their own music.
How did you balance academics and other commitments with the demands of homecoming planning?
E: I just try to make sure I hit all of my deadlines. I also try to be very active on Teams and read all the notifications.
A: Yeah, I'd say the same thing, but I'm a little different because I'm the Chair, so the responsibility was on me to organise the meetings and hold everyone accountable. But, on the whole, the committee was fantastic. Everyone did their part, and it wasn't that difficult, so it didn't feel like such a burden. And it's all for a good cause as it's going to be a lot of fun.
What impact do you think Homecoming will have on the school's sense of community?
E: I'm hoping it will bring the high schoolers together. It’s nice to just have a fun event together because I want to see more school spirit, so hopefully, this homecoming dance will help increase the spirit.
A: We see school spirit when we're having sports games and things like that, but we don't see it outside of that kind of scenario. So it'll be interesting to see. I know that the seniors are all close. But I also love it when the younger grades join in with us because even though we are a close grade, we aren’t exclusive. We want everyone to have fun together. It's also our last one, so if more people get involved, it will be better.
Have you started to come up with ideas for the Y13 prom yet?
A: Hopefully, that can get in the works soon. I have some ideas. I've had some ideas for a couple of months now because this is my thing, I love doing this. Growing up in England, I didn't think I was going to have a cool American prom where it's this massive tradition. So I wanna make it as awesome as possible. But hopefully, that can get underway soon because the venues get booked up very quickly.
Have you been to a homecoming event before or any similar event, and how has going or not going affected the plan? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
E: Well, I went to the Middle School Formal, and I went to the dances in year 10 & 11. So I go every year because I think it's fun to dress to impress, and I think it's great because it's an amazing chance to spend time with people from school. Well, duh, it's a school event. But I didn't have a social life <laugh>, so I like going to them to have a little fun while still being in an academic setting.
A: Last year, as co-chair of the Wellbeing Committee, we organized a homecoming. It was less organized and much more last-minute compared to this year's event. It made me realize that decorations and food aren't as crucial as ensuring everyone has a good time. I've learned not to pressure myself to make it extravagant.
If you could invite anybody to be your homecoming date, living or dead, fictional or real, who would you invite? And they would be alive at the homecoming.
A: I do have a boyfriend, but I think he'll forgive me for saying Harry Styles.
E: For me, Zac Efron, specifically the Troy Bolton haircut, that does things, clean things, of course. No, no reason, no thoughts, nothing.
With the homecoming just around the corner, we invite you to join us in walking down the red carpet! We promise you a night filled with laughter, memories, and school spirit. Finally, we express our deepest gratitude to the entire Wellbeing Committee for planning the whole event and, especially, to Ava and Emily for spending time with us to discuss it.