HS Editorial: School Spirit

Seabury editors discuss school spirit

Xiang Zhang, Copy

I think it would be a generally uncontroversial statement to say that “Seabury culture” and school spirit have changed—and perhaps suffered—since COVID. Of course, many of the details are up to interpretation, and opinions will vary from student to student as to the extent of these changes, but compared to pre-COVID Seabury, as reduced attendances at sporting events have shown, there is an element of school spirit that is a little bit harder to come by and a little bit more forced these days.

Other students have already spoken about this in Morning Meeting, urging greater turnout and student support for the basketball team for instance, and they have expressed those sentiments more eloquently than I could repeat in this editorial. However, moving beyond just that, I think it’s useful to examine the idea of a “Seabury culture.” Seabury is a unique school with its own unique culture, as anyone who attends the school probably has experienced, but at the same time, Seabury is quite obviously a very small school. Many clubs, activities, or teams are composed of relatively small quantities of people, or a couple of groups of friends. When I think about things at Seabury, I generally think in terms of individuals.

Of course school culture and spirit is shaped by the faculty, the numerous traditions and the various events held by the school, but at a base level, it comes from the people who actually make up the school: the students. Rather than thinking about school culture in broad strokes, it is our own discrete actions, words, thoughts and beliefs that build to create a bigger culture. Each one of us contributes to create culture, because in a school where the average grade is around twenty-five people, we each have an outsized influence on the school. Just five, ten, fifteen people can have a tremendous impact on a school of less than two hundred in a way that is simply unachievable at a school of three thousand. Therefore, much of the burden to create a better culture lies with us as individuals, because we have the ability to do that and create the culture we want or envision.

And it begins with participating in athletic events and supporting our teams, of course, but it goes beyond that. One of the most positive aspects of Seabury is the connection between students; connections that supersede grade, personality, interests, etc. Building those connections entails supporting every team and everyone, creating a spirit of enthusiasm and encouragement. Whether it’s sports, plays, debate or anything in between, it all deserves our support, irrespective of our own interests. From cheering on middle schoolers in the spelling bee to supporting high schoolers at Senior Night, there is much we can do to promote school unity, and I believe that kind of unity is key to school spirit.

Finally, all of this requires us to buy in. Our traditions and our school itself are only as enjoyable as we make them because Seabury can only give out as much as we put in, and every school activity will be unpleasant if one makes it so. But Seabury can give out a lot, and I believe Seabury is a better place when we are connected as a community. And that connection starts with us as individuals making the choice to support our fellow students and to form the connections that make Seabury unique.