Opinion: Does Homecoming live up to its hype?

Students are led to believe that school dances are magical and life-changing, but the fantasy rarely lives up to the reality


Teenager Marty McFly’s school dance was life-changing. But can real life live up to the magic on display in films like “Back to the Future” or “High School Musical”?

Michelene Havard, Staff Writer

I had unrealistic expectations for the Homecoming dance. 

As a child, my illusion for Homecoming developed from watching multiple high school films. “High School Musical” made me believe that I could do anything. I enjoyed watching the football games and school dances on television. When it came time for real events in my life, I had no time after school because of the abundance of homework. Even if I completed all my homework, I still felt like an outcast in social groups. 

“Can I have this dance?”—it’s a scene I’ll never forget. It showed me what fairytale dreams are made of. I wished I could dance effortlessly, or sing without a care in the world, like Troy and Gabriella did in on their school’s rooftop. 

When I went to Homecoming my freshman year, students cramped together alternating their hips to the beat of the blaring song. “Back to the Future” led me to believe that school dances are entertaining. The classic film is about a high school student that was mistakenly sent back to the past. The scene where Marty McFly sings “Johnny Be Goode” at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance is thrilling because Marty changed history. In real life, though, Homecoming, is mildly amusing at best, and somewhat boring. 

Marty played rock ‘n’ roll, a music style that had never been heard before. I assumed Homecoming would be as “life-changing” as his but, at the end of the day, it wouldn’t of made a difference in my life if I stayed home. 

I didn’t mind the music at Homecoming; I knew they would play music I had never heard before. In the film “Back to the Future,” everybody dances with enthusiasm, until the end when they are dumbfounded by the guitar solo. Our society is familiar with generations of music, so it isn’t a surprise to hear pop, rap, country, R&B, or even rock music. MCHS would need to break the social norms of American pop culture to get a similar reaction that’s in the movie “Back to the Future”.

Regardless if a student desires to go to Homecoming or not, this week-long event of festivities is unavoidable. Students who have no means to go to the dance most likely have close friends persisting them to go. Pressuring an individual to go to the dance is overrated. Too many of my friends try to pump me up, although the dance hasn’t piqued my interest since freshman year. 

Social media is a large platform that people use to share their Homecoming photos, proposals, and attire. For many students, there is an intense pressure to ask somebody to the dance. All in all, I think MCHS does an excellent job organizing and preparing the Homecoming events. I enjoy that the student body votes for Homecoming king and queen, spirit week, and food trucks, but I believe the tradition is glorified. People do not need to show off posters and puns, as well as, pressure friends into going to Homecoming. 

Despite everything, I think everyone should go to Homecoming at least once. Students who choose to make the most of their Homecoming will have memories to last a lifetime, even if they aren’t as memorable as Troy’s or Marty’s.